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Watch: Canadian’s hot air balloon tribute to COVID victims

Canadian singer-songwriter Emily Moore was devastated when her grandmother died of COVID-19 in 2020.

Shirley Liira was one of the first people in North America to die from the virus, according to Moore.

Liira influenced her people through music, Moore told in an email.

“She made the best fudge, strawberry jam and chicken noodle soup, and she was the most cheerful person,” Moore said. “He was someone who always took time to be kind to others.”

Overcoming her grief, Moore composed the lyrics to the song “Married Life” from the Disney-Pixar film Up. The instrumental song, written by Michael Giacchino, is played during the opening scene, where the protagonist Carl meets his wife Ellie for the first time, and the audience sees a montage of their lives until Ellie’s death.

Moore, moved to tears by the film, said it inspired him to write lyrics that fit the “tone of grief.”

“As soon as I started writing, the words just flew out of my mouth like I really needed to get them off my chest,” she said. “And I had a feeling it would rub off on others.”

After posting her version of the song on TikTok as a tribute to her grandmother, Moore’s video has garnered 2.5 million views. Moore said other creators have joined the tributes and have collectively racked up more than 20 million views.

The Vancouver native then created a music video in which she filmed the song during a hot air balloon ride in Temecula, California, in September 2022.

The balloon was also able to act as a green screen, allowing Moore to project videos of people’s loved ones in a moving tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Click the video above this article to listen to the full song.

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