In their first weekend of their historic Ryman Auditorium residency, Little Big Town brought out some heavy hitters. The Grammy-winning foursome surprised the crowd with a performance of “Tennessee Whiskey” with Chris Stapleton.
The duet occurred near the end of the group’s first evening at the historic venue. As the four vocalists huddled up together, they began singing the familiar chorus.
Then, the crowd caught on as a spotlight panned over to Stapleton, guitar in hand. Cue the raucous applause. Little Big Town let Stapleton do his thing, supporting him on the chorus of the famous tune.
This wasn’t the first time the five collaborated. In fact, Little Big Town sang the Oak Ridge Boys’ classic “Elvira” with Stapleton almost every night of their tour a few years back. So when they extended Stapleton an offer to sing with them on their historic first night, the answer probably came pretty easily.
Of course, most people probably remember when Stapleton burst into the public spotlight. He sang that very same tune across the street at Bridgestone Arena with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards.
“Tennessee Whiskey” was first recorded by David Allan Coe in 1980. Three years later, George Jones’ version of the song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts. Stapleton put the tune on his critically lauded album Traveller. His version ultimately sold more than 1 million copies.
And though Stapleton helped end the night on a high note, he wasn’t the only special guest of the evening. Brent Cobb played an opening set, and Sam Hunt appeared later in the evening to sing his new single, “Body Like A Back Road.”
Little Big Town plan on bringing surprise guests to all of their Ryman shows. They have been adding additional shows, too, so don’t worry if you haven’t snagged tickets yet.