Last August, country music’s biggest stars gathered at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, to celebrate the genre’s heart and soul. And fans everywhere were lucky enough to witness it as the 15th ACM Honors was broadcasted across the country last Tuesday (September 13).
There were absolutely plenty of memorable performances throughout the night – but one of the rarest treats was definitely from the 18-time Grammy winner Vince Gill, who took center stage to pay tribute to his friend Chris Stapleton.
Fascinatingly, the country legend debuted the first song they wrote together, a mid-tempo, mournful ballad called “You Don’t Want to Love a Man Like Me.”
“You’ve never heard it, and the truth is, neither one of us know it very well,” Gill jokingly said before unveiling the never-heard-before song, “so no matter how I do, we’re good.”
Chris Stapleton Honored For His Incredible Talent
Chris Stapleton is also the recipient of this year’s ACM’s Merle Haggard Spirit Award – an award that recognizes a singer-songwriter who continues Haggard’s legacy and exemplifies his spirit through sincere performances and great storytelling.
Stapleton was welcomed onstage by none other than Vince Gill. In his acceptance remarks, the “Tennessee Whiskey” singer also made sure to pay tribute to his notably high-tenor friend – saying that he had wanted to be like Gill when he entered the country music industry. “So I tried to sing like him, and I can’t do it. Eventually, what came out turned out to be me,” Stapleton said.
The star-studded awards ceremony was hosted by Carly Pearce. Other performances featured were by Trace Adkins, Kelsea Ballerini, Morgan Wallen, and Brooks & Dunn, among others. Anyway, you can watch Vince Gill’s performance of “You Don’t Want to Love a Man Like Me” in the video below. You’ll definitely be surprised how this bittersweet ballad still sits on a shelf.
chris stapleton, Vince Gill