During his most recent visit to the Opry stage, Young performed a rendition of Whitley’s 1988 hit, “When You Say Nothing At All”. The cover was a straight-forward version that stayed true to the original sound of the song.
“Keith Whitley was always one of my favorites growing up so I had to do this,” Young said during an instrumental break in the song. He hits his stride during the second chorus of the song as his smooth voice soars with confidence.
Young is one of many artists to pay tribute to Whitley by putting their own mark on his career-defining song. Alison Krauss‘ bluegrass version of the track was a surprise hit in 1995, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
While Whitley’s recording of “When You Say Nothing at All” spent two weeks at number one at the end of 1988, he sadly did not see it become a true country classic. Whitley tragically passed away just a few months later from alcohol poisoning in his Tennessee home.