When I first heard the tragic story of Matthew Shepard’s death, I was saddened and outraged. I wanted to kick my television set, scream and cry. Instead, I went to my piano to find solace in my music. What transpired was the song What Matters. The song is not about Matthew’s death, as much as it is about his life, his family, and the unconditional love they represent.

Randi Driscoll
Singer / Songwriter

In 1999, Randi Driscoll’s original song What Matters was first independently released and sold out of the trunk of Randi’s car at various coffeehouses, college campuses, festivals and record stores, with proceeds of the benefit single supporting the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

In 2002, Kevin Robison and Randi Driscoll released the choral version of What Matters which has been performed nationwide by countless GALA choirs. Randi recorded the song with GMCLA, for their “Red, White and Blues” cd, and the song has been performed at prestigious venues all over.

In 2006, Randi was awarded the Matthew Shepard Foundation “Essential Piece” award.

Along with being covered by various choirs and artists, the song has been featured in stage productions, films, documentaries, and commercials, and continues to be included in performances of The Laramie Project. In 2009, a celebrity performance of The Laramie Project Epilogue featured Randi and the GMCLA performing What Matters at the Broad Theatre in Los Angles. The song was named one of the best Pride anthems by The Advocate magazine and received a special mention in Rolling Stone.

In August of 2023, Randi gathered a group of musicians to record a new version of What Matters to commemorate the twenty-five years since Matthew Shepard’s passing and the creation of Randi’s original song. Proceeds from the song continue to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Today, Randi continues to tour Pride festivals, clubs, theaters, cabarets and college campuses performing the song, which continues to be one of her most requested pieces. Randi cherishes her friendship with the Shepard family and is continuously inspired by the work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation to Erase Hate.

What Matters Video

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