For an emotional episode of Ellen, the host sat down with Tony Marrero, a survivor of the Orlando shooting at gay nightclub Pulse. DeGeneres surprised Marrero with an appearance from Katy Perry, whose song “Rise” motivated him during his recovery period.
The host pointed out to the audience Marrero’s love for the track and asked if he had gotten the chance to meet Perry. After the pop star emerged, both Perry and Marrero broke down in tears upon seeing each other. “We’re both electrified by each other and so inspired,” Perry said after noting how much she was shaking. Marrero thanked her for her music, pointing out how the song has gotten him through his time in the hospital until now.
“I’m happy to be a joy. I’m happy to be a light, and I’m happy I could be there in my own little way to help you,” Perry responded. Afterwards, the singer offered to pay for Marrero’s first year of film school.