Detroit Youth Choir’s heart-breaking hymn to a murdered child
The choir's impassioned voices aim to raise awareness of gun violence with a version of Guns N’ Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine, that calls for continued progress in the wake of shootings at Uvalde, Oxford, Highland Park, and Buffalo.
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Layla Salazar, aged 11 years, was was one of nineteen children and two teachers tragically killed at Robb Elementary School in Ulvade, Texas on 24 May 2022.
According to research by the New England Journal of Medicine, an average of 12 children a day die from gun violence across America.
Finding solutions to make our schools and our communities safer from gun violence can’t just be down to the families impacted by these tragedies, it is down to all of us. This is the hope behind the release of the song performed by more than 50 young members of the Motor City choir.
The new arrangement of the rock anthem was created by Grammy Award-winning producer Gerard Smerek from Yessian Music, and creative agency Imagination – the team behind the Detroit Youth Choir’s 2020 anthem: Glory of 2020, which called for racial equality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Each morning as her Dad Vinnie Salazar drove Layla to school in his truck, they would sing-along together to Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses. The song, Layla’s father wrote on Facebook, was the only thing bringing him peace right now.
Vinnie gave permission for Layla's image to be used in the video of the recording and has shared his appreciation to the choir for their efforts.