Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for a while, then you know that one of the hottest country hits of the decade is “Tennessee Whiskey.” After Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake knocked the socks off of everyone at the 2015 CMA Awards with their performance of the song, it has been a country music sensation.
Although Stapleton’s name is the one many now associate with the song, it is not original to him. In fact, the song was first recorded by David Allan Coe, who managed to snag a spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart with it.
But it was George Jones who brought the song into the spotlight. He released his cover in 1983, and it climbed to the second spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and hit number one in Canada.
Stapleton is the first artist to score a number one hit in the U.S. with “Tennessee Whiskey,” and he has helped introduce the song to a whole new generation of country fans and artists. One member of that generation is none other than the final winner of the original version of American Idol, Trent Harmon.
Growing up in the South, Harmon developed a deep love for country music when he was young and he has carried that love into his adult life. After he won Idol, Harmon knew that country music was where he wanted to head with his career.
During a performance in Seattle, Harmon dusted off “Tennessee Whiskey” to entertain the crowd. He invited everyone to dance along if they felt like it, then took a step back and started playing the intro on his acoustic guitar.
After the intro was over, Harmon came up to the microphone and crooned out the lyrics that country fans now know by heart. His smooth as honey delivery of the song mixed elements of both Stapleton and Jones’ ways of singing it, which made it unique from any other version done before.
It’s no surprise that Harmon did such an excellent job performing “Tennessee Whiskey.” After all, it was one of the songs he picked to sing on Idol, and he received praise for doing so.
“That was a bullseye man, that was fantastic,” judge and country super star Keith Urban said of Harmon’s “Tennessee Whiskey” performance on Idol.
We echo Urban’s words when it comes to Harmon’s Seattle cover of the song…he hit the bullseye! You can watch it in the video below.