Penned and recorded by Vince Gill, “Pretty Little Adriana” is the third single from his album High Lonesome Sound. The song peaked second on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. In addition, Gill won a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance because of the song. It was released in October 1996 following a 1995 Nashville, Tennessee killing.

Deborah Evans Price of Billboard magazine reviewed the song saying it is “a little lackluster”. Later, however, she said the song asserts “tasty guitar work, a pretty melody, and, of course, Gill’s signature vocals.” 

1995 Murder That Inspired a Dreadful Melody, “Pretty Little Adriana” by Vince Gill 1

That Dreadful Day, A Young Girl Died

On the 17th of October 1995, a 12-year –old girl was shot at the Hickory Hollow MegaMarket parking lot. The young girl’s name is Adriane Dickerson – an honor student, cheerleader, and church usher. That day, she returned to their car to get change for the bubble gum machine. From then, bullets from the crossfire of gang activity killed her while walking back to the shop. Adriane laid a few feet from the store, shot in the chest and holding a quarter in her hand. Two men: Christopher Davis and G’Dongalay Berry awaited trial thereafter. They were charged with first-degree murder. A witness for the prosecution testified that he was in the car with Berry and Davis the night killed shot Dickerson. He described how he saw the young girl gunned down.

That same time, they were awaiting trial in an unrelated murder case. Of course, life in prison was their ultimate sentence.

Her murder sent shock waves through the city. Their community held several candlelight vigils, thereafter. It was such a horrible scene to behold for her mother. Her death inspired Vince Gill to write a song in her honor. He released “Pretty Little Adriana” a year after the tragic incident.  He said these bad things that happened to this little girl moved him. The lyrics of the song describes the pain felt by parents who lose a child.

“You’re so soft and innocent
The sweetest night I ever spent
Was being held in your embrace
You’re such a gentle soul
It’s killing me to know
When will I see your face.”