Normally known for her playful, upbeat antics, Ellen DeGeneres took a more serious tone on Thursday morning as she addressed the Orlando shooting tragedy which occurred this past June at Pulse nightclub. She paid tribute to the victims and invited 30-year-old Tony Marrero, a survivor who was shot four times in the back and lost his best friend in the tragedy, to share his experience on The Ellen Show.
Following the emotional, but composed interview segment, Ellen then surprised Marrero with a visit from Katy Perry, whose powerful anthem “Rise” had helped him during his recovery. Marrero and Katy Perry shared a tearful embrace, noting that they inspired and “electrified” each other, and he thanked her for her lyrics, which include the lines: “Victory is in my veins/ I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it/ I will transform.”
“I’m happy in my own little way to help you. I heard that you’re a creative, just like me, and you have dreams, and you want to go out there and do good and fulfill them,” said Katy, before offering to pay for Marrero’s first year at film school.
You can see the whole interview here. (Grab some tissues.)
Watch the “Rise” video below: