The Killers were former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid’s final music request before he died, according to the late senator’s son Leif Reid.
Videos by American Songwriter
To honor the senator, who died following a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer on Dec. 28, 2021, at the age of 82, Killers’ singer Brandon Flowers performed for Reid—who first served as a member of the Nevada Assembly in the 1960s before serving as a United States Senator from 1987 through 2017—at his memorial service on Jan. 8 with a tender a cappella performance of the state anthem “Home Means Nevada.”
Flowers also sat at the piano for an emotional rendition of “Be Still,” off the The Killers’ 2012 album Battle Born, a song Reid’s son Leif said embodied his father’s personality since he never shifted in character. The long-running senator of Nevada, Sen. Reid was known as a tough dealmaker during his four decades of dedicated public service.
Before performing, Flowers shared a personal story, remembering how the senator embraced the Nevada band.
“I first met Senator Reid in 2009, and we were lucky enough to tour the capital,” shared Flowers before singing the state anthem. “It was an inspiration for me because here was the Senate majority leader, and he came from basically the same dirt that I came from and we shared the same faith. It wasn’t five minutes into the meeting when he waved for Chuck Schumer to come in and he had me sing the Nevada state song in the office.”
Flowers continued, “I think he was showing me off a little bit, but I also, as we’ve all heard today, I think he just loved where he was from, and it makes it a lot easier for me to stand here and tell you how much I love Nevada.”
Singer and songwriter Carole King was also on the program for the memorial and sang her 1977 song “In the Name of Love.”
President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke at the service, and former president Barack Obama gave a eulogy for Reid. during the invite-only service at the Smith Center in Las Vegas.
“Let there be no doubt,” said President Biden. “Harry Reid will be considered one of the greatest Senate majority leaders in history.”
Reid’s son Leif remembered the family gathered around his father before he died and how music always helped ease his pain towards the end.
“Bob Dylan? No response,” said Leif Reid, asking his father what music he wanted to hear. “Bruce? No. Then we said, ‘Brandon [Flowers].’ He smiled and gave a huge thumb’s up. That was the last musical request he had.”