WATCH: CMA Fest Delivers A Magical Moment As Luke Combs And Vince Gill Team Up For Duet

The country legends joined Combs in singing the 1993 chart-topper, “One More Last Chance.”


Country Now Staff

| Posted on

July 19, 2023

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Luke Combs, Vince Gill; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, Luke Combs took the stage at CMA Fest for a show-stopping performance that fans won’t soon forget. 

Combs effortlessly captivated the crowd with performances of some of his biggest hits, like “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” “The Kind Of Love We Make,” “Beautiful Crazy,” and more. But, it was his special surprise guest that drew the biggest response from the audience. 

In the middle of his set, Combs welcomed one of his musical heroes, Vince Gill, to the stage to join him in performing Gill’s 1993 chart-topper, “One More Last Chance.” Together, the artists showcased their undeniable talents as fans sang along to the beloved country hit. 

Prior to taking the stage with Combs, Gill shared, “What can fans expect from my performance with Luke? Maybe just a lot of mutual admiration. I’m the first concert Luke ever went to as a nine year old boy. Fun to find that out. I’m a fan of his talent and he of mine, so just makes for a great friendship and when people really, really get on and like each other, I think all that can happen is something good.” 

The full-circle moment aired as part of the CMA Fest special on ABC. 

During the festival, the North Carolina native reflected on his past CMA Fest performances. 

“CMA Fest has been a lot to me. I can’t believe it’s been five years, honestly, feels like my first year and or second year in a lot of ways. Time flies, I guess, when you’re having fun, but it’s been amazing. It’s like you move to town and you spend a couple years kind of just meandering around downtown and watching all the craziness, and you’re playing the park stage one year, and then you’re going and meeting fans at the convention center, and then all of a sudden you’re on the riverfront stage and then somehow end up here at Nissan. It’s insane. This is, gosh, I don’t know, probably my fifth time playing here. Overall, I had two shows on my own here a few months ago, and it’s just crazy. It’s just really hard to believe, to be honest, but it’s been a whole lot to me.” 

Additionally, Combs’ performance of “Love You Anyway” garnered airtime during the three-hour CMA Fest special.  

Co-written by Combs alongside Ray Fulcher and Reid Isbell, “Love You Anyway” finds Combs professing his endless love for his wife, Nicole Combs. 

“There’s just some things that leave a man no choice / Like a compass needle needing its true north / Even if I knew, the day we met, you’d be the reason this heart breaks / I’d love you anyway,” Combs sang on the track.

Luke Combs; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Combs; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

This isn’t the first song he’s written that was inspired by his wife. In fact, Combs has written a trilogy of hits with her in mind, including “Beautiful Crazy,” “Better Together” and “Forever After All.”

The three-hour CMA Fest special was hosted by Dierks Bentley, Elle King, and Lainey Wilson and aired on ABC on Wednesday, July 19. 

Dubbed “the music event of summer,” the special featured 30+ performances and surprise collaborations from some of Country music’s hottest stars, including Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Vince Gill, HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, and Lainey Wilson.  

CMA Fest marked its 50th Anniversary with a record-breaking celebration in Nashville, June 8 through June 11. 

Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King.; Photo by ABC/Robby Klein
Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King.; Photo by ABC/Robby Klein

The four-day event hosted an estimated daily attendance of over 90,000, a 12% increase from 2022, according to the Country Music Association. Additionally, the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium saw 10% growth from 2022.

The festival also hosted fans from all 50 states as well as a record-breaking 51 countries.

“What a weekend! As we’ve spent the past year reflecting on this milestone celebration, one theme has persisted—the incredible connection between Country Music fans and the artists,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, shared in a statement. “It’s magical because it still matters after all these years. From first-timers to legends, so many artists started as fans—some as far back as Fan Fair. Almost every artist who performs during the festival has had their own experience as a fan, so for many of them, taking the stage at CMA Fest is a full-circle moment. We only get the chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary once, and to do so in such an impactful way has meant the world to us. Thank you, Country Music!”   

More than 300 acts took part in CMA Fest this year, including performances at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Dr Pepper Amp Stage, Chevy Vibes Stage, Maui Jim Reverb Stage and the Hard Rock Stage as well at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center. 

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