The annual convention is where musicians perform their new music for radio programmers and execs.
Gill, a 33-time veteran of CRS, sang “Sad One Comin’ On” during the Universal Music Group showcase at the Ryman Auditorium. The song features vocals by Little Big Town, and is featured on Gill’s upcoming album, Down to My Last Bad Habit.
Gill was close friends with Jones. He gave a tearful performance of “Go Rest High On That Mountain” at Jones’ memorial service in 2013.
“Sad One Comin’ On” pays homage to Jones’ greatest talent: making unbearable sadness sound incredibly beautiful.
Here’s the song’s refrain: “Sing me the sad ones, I don’t like the fast ones/I can’t bear that he’s really gone/I’m drawn to the blue side since the king of broken hearts died/and I feel a sad one coming on.”
Gill’s performance, featured in the video below, earned a standing ovation.
Gill will release his new album, Down to My Last Bad Habit, on Feb. 12. As Gill mentioned in the video above, he released his first album 42 years ago. You can bet he won’t stop making music any time soon.