Some of country music’s best and brightest paid tribute to songwriting legend Kris Kristofferson at the ‘Life and Songs of Kris Kristofferson” concert held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday night.
Guest artists — including Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and Alison Krauss, just to name a few — performed renditions of Kristofferson’s songs while Kristofferson sat on the side of the stage and watched.
Actor W. Earl Brown (Deadwood, American Crime) emceed the event. The house band included the prolific music producer Don Was on bass and Americana luminary Buddy Miller on guitar.
Notable performances included Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson’s duet of “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” Hank Williams, Jr.’s family hat-tip with “If You Don’t Like Hank Williams,” and Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson, Shooter Jennings and Kristofferson sharing the stage for “Highwaymen.” You can watch some of those performances in the videos below.
The evening concluded with all the artists gathering on stage to sing a chorus of Kristofferson’s classic gospel song, “Why Me, Lord?”
According to the Tennessean, the Mayor of Nashville took the stage after the first song to decree March 16 as Kris Kristofferson Day, adding the legend “left his indelible mark on country music.”
The format of the show, including the emcee, house band and artist roster was nearly identical to the Waylon Jennings tribute show, held at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas last year.
According to the production company, more than two dozen country stars were on the waiting list to perform.
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