Chris Stapleton and Patty Loveless perform onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 09, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Chris Stapleton and Patty Loveless Deliver Haunting 'You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive' at CMA Awards

Chris Stapleton teamed up with a fellow Kentuckian, country legend Patty Loveless to perform a song near and dear to each of them, "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive," at the 56th annual CMA Awards. Joined by Stapleton's wife, singer-songwriter Morgane Stapleton, Stapleton and Loveless traded verses on the Darrell Scott-penned song, which captures the pain and sacrifice of Kentucky coal miners.

Loveless, who grew up in Pikeville, Ky., is herself a coal miner's daughter and recorded the song for her 2001 bluegrass album Mountain Soul. Just last month, Stapleton and Loveless performed the song at Kentucky Rising, a benefit concert which raised over $2.5 million to support flood relief in Eastern Kentucky.

Much like during their Kentucky Rising performance, Stapleton — along with the entire viewing audience — was awe-struck by Loveless' signature high lonesome vocals.

"Where the sun comes up about ten in the mornin'/ And the sun goes down about three in the day," Loveless sang. "And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinkin'/ And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away."

Loveless, who won the CMA award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1996, largely retired from touring over a decade ago. Her rare live performance at the CMAs was yet another reminder of her incredible impact on the genre and just how much she's missed by country fans and peers alike.

The "Blame It On Your Heart" singer was one of several country legends to stand in the spotlight at the ceremony. Alan Jackson was awarded the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and country artists, including Jon Pardi, Dierks Bentley and Lainey Wilson, took the stage to sing some of the Country Music Hall of Famer's greatest hits.


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