YouTube/Grand Ole Opry
Hailing from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, this country star began performing early on and learned a lot from records of country legends. He developed a strong aptitude for music and later began performing during his later teenage and early college years.
Chris Young, born and raised in the South, has always had an incredible amount of respect for those singers who he grew up listening to.
This passion for music and respect melded during his career when he began his journey on a singing competition, Nashville Star, and performed many of his idol’s hits for a massive television audience.
Taking home the trophy and grand prize from that competition was only the beginning for Young. Immediately following he issued his debut single and followed that up with his record.
Throughout the subsequent years and records, Young performed on the Opry many times. On several occasions, Young paid tribute to one of the greatest names in country music, Keith Whitley, by performing his songs – but there was one night that would change how Young played music forever.
In October 2011, Young appeared on the hallowed Grand Ole Opry stage and began talking to the audience. Prior to performing his next song, he let the crowd in on a secret.
“A more important reason why I wanted to play this last song [is because] this guitar right here actually belonged to the late, great Keith Whitley,” he confessed. “I was always a huge Keith Whitley fan and I figured the first time I played it ought to be here at the Opry – and ought to be a Keith Whitley song.”
The guitar he held looked nearly brand new, with only minimal signs it had been played before. He handled it lovingly and cared for it in a way that showed everyone how much the music he grew up listening to truly meant to him.
And with that, Chris Young began singing and playing one of the best renditions of “Don’t Close Your Eyes” we have ever heard.
Watch this incredible performance in the video below!
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