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The world was seemingly introduced to a country singer by the name of Chris Stapleton when he performed at the 2015 CMA Awards on November 4. He shared the stage with Justin Timberlake and they sang Stapleton’s version of “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s song “Drink You Away.”
Not only did Stapleton bring down the house with this performance, he went from a seemingly unknown (to the viewing audience) to a powerhouse hitter by bringing home three awards: Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.
Stapleton released his award-winning album Traveller on May 5, 2015. The first single off the album was “Traveller,” which he dropped on April 27, 2015. Despite not getting radio play, due to the impact of the CMA Awards, “Tennessee Whiskey” shot straight to number one days after the show.
It hit the top spot on November 21, 2015 and stayed there for two weeks. It also peaked at number 20 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. On May 4, 2016 it was certified Platinum by RIAA.
“Tennessee Whiskey” was written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove and originally released by David Allan Coe in 1981. He took his version to number 77 on the Hot Country Songs chart. George Jones released a cover of the song in 1983, and it peaked at number two.
Watch Timberlake and Stapleton’s collaboration that changed everything!