Tuscaloosa man turns tragedy into triumph through song

"I wrote a song without the intentions of initially helping people, but to help myself deal with it," Sean Rivers said. "[Then I] realized it could probably touch some other people."

With a few chords, 28-year-old Rivers has made the healing process for tornado victims much easier.

"My Mind on Tuscaloosa" is a heartfelt song about the city's devastation, which is something he relives every performance.

"Everything you can imagine when you play that song, for me, goes through my head," he said. "There's something there in every part that touches me in some way."

But for Rivers it's personal.

"The line in the song 'The sweetest girl I've known to this day,' that's the honest truth," he said. "She was that person who lived life to the fullest and smiling all the time, making you laugh."

Rivers' good friend, 21-year-old Loryn Brown, died in the storms.

He remembers getting the call.

"First thing he said was 'I have bad news'," Rivers said. "I said 'Who is it?' He said 'It's Low'."

But Rivers says his song isn't filled with sadness. It's filled with love, hope and the urge to move forward.

"The bottom line is that life goes on," Rivers said.