Chris Stapleton delivered a heart-wrenching tribute to the late victims of the Route 91 shooting, which happened on the Las Vegas Strip in October 2017, at the 2022 ACM Awards on Monday evening (Mar. 7).
After being introduced by Jason Aldean, who was onstage at the time of the tragic incident in 2017, Stapleton was joined by a 16-person choir to perform “Watch You Burn,” a track from his GRAMMY-nominated album, Starting Over, during the 57th Academy Of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, NV at Allegiant Stadium.
“Tomorrow we’ll be performing ‘Watch You Burn,’ which is a song that I wrote with Mike Campbell about the shooting that happened here during the country music festival,” Stapleton told People ahead of his performance. “So yeah, that’s what we’re doing.”
The performance, which marked the live television debut of the track, made for the most poignant performance of the evening.
— ACM Awards (@ACMawards) March 8, 2022
Co-hosted by global icon Dolly Parton with Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett, the two-hour show livestreamed without commercials and featured 20+ performances from some of country music’s hottest superstars and rising newcomers.
The performance lineup included Parker McCollum and Lainey Wilson, who were crowned this year’s New Male and New Female Artist of the Year, respectively as well as Barrett, Allen, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Walker Hayes, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Chris Young, Lady A and Kelly Clarkson.
“The concert event of the year” also included several collaborations, including Parton featuring Kelsea Ballerini (“Big Dreams & Faded Jeans”), BRELAND featuring Thomas Rhett (“Praise The Lord”), Jordan Davis (“Buy Dirt,” feat. Luke Bryan), Brothers Osborne and Brittney Spencer (“These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”), Parmalee and Blanco Brown featuring Brooke Eden (“Just the Way”), Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde (“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”), and Chris Young featuring Mitchell Tenpenny (“At the End of a Bar”).
The 2022 ACM Awards presenters included Alan Ritchson (actor, Reacher), Derek Carr (quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders), Guy Torry (comedian, Phat Tuesdays), James Patterson (author, Run Rose Run), Jason Aldean, Kelsey Asbille (actor, Yellowstone), Luke Grimes (actor, Yellowstone), Mickey Guyton, and Tom Pelphrey (actor, Outer Range).
The ACM Awards made history as the first major awards show to livestream exclusively as it streamed live on Prime Video in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.