Chris Stapleton And Justin Timberlake’s Performance Of “Tennessee Whiskey” 

¬†Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake’s performance of “Tennessee Whiskey” at the CMA Awards in November 2015 was the single most significant event in country music over the past ten years if simply put. The implications of that particular event are so vast. And the ripple effects are so earth-shattering that they are still felt today. Recognize that even though the moment occurred seven years ago. “Tennessee Whiskey” was the fifth most streamed song in all of country music this week. Its parent album Traveler continues to be one of the most well-liked in the genre thanks in part to the success of the song.


Old Classic Version

Although Chris Stapleton’s version of the traditional country song gives it a strong R&B classic soul flavor. Remember that Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove wrote the song in the early 1980s, David Allan Coe recorded it in 1981. And George Jones re-recorded it and made it a hit in 1983. It is a 40-year-old American country music classic that, if anything, is even more timely now than it was then.

Chris Stapleton Version

On November 4, 2015, Chris Stapleton did not yet have a reputation as a household name when he entered the stage at the CMA Awards. Few listeners of traditional country music even knew who he was. Tennessee Whiskey was barely making a dent on the charts when TravelerC released it. However, riding on Justin Timberlake’s star power, that one performance was like a stab in the heart of the then-dominant Bro-Country era. Bro-Country wouldn’t pass away here and there, but it has been gradually deteriorating ever since.

Tennessee Whiskey

Latest Breathtaking Performance At LA

Chris Stapleton performed on Friday, June 10th, in Los Angeles at the storied Forum in Inglewood. To recreate that moment, Justin Timberlake joined him on stage. To finish the event, they performed an epic 12-minute version of the song. It shook the entire building and brought back memories for many of that time in 2015.


It’s simple to lose sight of how significant that moment was in the context of everything else going on around the globe, especially in country music. Purists and Americana types will dismiss it as unnecessary. But even now, seven years later, it’s difficult to deny that what we witnessed that evening was magical. And something that changed the course of country music more than any other moment in recent memory and possibly ever. There may not be a country music fan out there who enjoys Chris Stapleton, Justin Timberlake, or their particular version of “Tennessee Whiskey.” 

However, it’s something that most definitely has had an impact on everything else in country music in ways that are still felt today, and that impact may not go away anytime soon. Even if it required a touch of R&B flavor, the two men at that time contributed to the revival of the country.