Chris Stapleton brought an emotion-filled performance to the 2021 ACM Awards on Sunday, April 18, and he had Miranda Lambert by his side.
The country music superstar’s performance paid homage to his late dog, Maggie, who passed away in 2019. Stapleton performed the heartfelt track that he labeled his “most personal song” with Lambert by his side as his wife, Morgan, was unable to appear due to a “prior doula commitment.”
Stapleton penned the track just one day after Maggie’s passing as a tribute to his late pet of 14 years.
“She deserved a tribute of a song,” Stapleton explained ahead of his performance. “Now, whether or not I did her justice in the song, I don’t know, but she was a dog that deserved a song so I wrote a song about her the day after she died.”
“That song happened to carry through to me being allowed to play it live, and we wound up in the studio and we recorded it,” Stapleton continued. “And now it lives in the world to make people more sad than they deserve to be (laughs) in a year that we don’t need much of that. But I loved that dog very much, and she was a great member of our family.”
— ACM Awards (@ACMawards) April 19, 2021
Stapleton leads the ACM Awards nominations with six nods, including Entertainer Of The Year, Male Artist Of The Year, Album Of The Year (‘Starting Over‘) and Song Of The Year (“Starting Over”).
The 56th ACM Awards also featured performances from Brothers Osborne, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Lady A, Ashley McBryde, Keith Urban, Gabby Barrett, Jimmie Allen, Little Big Town and more.
Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations by Dierks Bentley feat. The War And Treaty, Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd, Chris Young feat. Kane Brown, Carly Pearce and Lee Brice, as well as Carrie Underwood & CeCe Winans. The show opener featured the live debut of Elle King and Miranda Lambert’s duet, “Drunk (And I Don’t Want To Go Home).”
Co-hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, the 2021 ACM Awards took place in Music City for the second consecutive year. The three-hour awards show took place at three iconic Nashville venues, including Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. The awards show aired on Sunday, April 18 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET) on CBS Television Network and were also streamed live on CBS All Access.