Jon Pardi honored Randy Travis with a performance of two iconic country hits.
The country superstar paid tribute to CMT’s Artist Of A Lifetime, Randy Travis, in a video shared by CMT on Sunday (Oct. 10). The clip, which was recorded at The Nashville Palace in Tennessee, finds Pardi paying homage to the country music legend days ahead of the CMT’s Artist Of The Year special, which airs on Wednesday (Oct. 13) and honors Travis.
In the near 10-minute long clip, Pardi performed two of Travis’ iconic hits, including “On the Other Hand” and “Forever and Ever, Amen,” which he called two “big ol’ hits.” During the video, he also honored Travis with some heartfelt stories.
“Randy Travis is country. When you think legendary country, it’s Randy Travis,” said. “I’m such a big fan of Randy, it just goes to show… your influences will guide you to what you want to do if you do it right. Being a part of country music now, with all the new artists, and then you got our legends like Randy. We’re all a part of this big community and my names in that big hat with Randy and that’s a big deal.”
Pardi then recalled growing up in Northern California listening to Travis with his grandma.
“I grew up in Northern California, outside of Sacramento. Grew up in Dixon, my Mom was from Winters, Dad was from Dixon,” Pardi recalled. “My parents go to work and I would stay at my Grandmother’s house. My Grandma loved Randy Travis, I still have Randy Travis cassette tapes of hers.”
“‘On The Other Hand’ is a great song, it’s a classic, but it’s got such an intro to it, you know? Once you hear that guitar strumming, you know what song it is, and it’s just all around a great song, and it’s timeless,” Pardi said of the timeless tune before performing “On The Other Hand.”
The Universal Music Group Nashville recording artist strummed his acoustic guitar while singing the twangy tune by Travis, sitting in the middle of the Nashville Palace surrounded by his band as well as tables with chairs piled on top of them.
Following his performance of “On The Other Hand,” the country hitmaker and California native
“When I was really young, my Mom and Dad worked, and I stayed a lot at my Grandmother’s house, and she loved Randy Travis, and she loved Merle Haggard. She loved George Strait,” Pardi continued to share in the CMT clip. “I thought I was those guys… I mean, I was going to pre-school obviously, just kind of soaking up the world, you know? I would tell my teacher that I was Randy Travis a lot and I would also say I was Merle Haggard or George Strait.”
“My Dad tells a story, where they called up and said ‘your son doesn’t know who he is,’” Pardi added. “Like he didn’t know his, and they didn’t listen to country music and my Dad was like ‘do you not listen to the radio?’ The kid loves country music, I was like full decked out, cowboy coming to pre-school. I’m still crazy, but I know my name.”
The singer continued with a second performance, this time of Travis’ chart-topping, iconic hit, “Forever And Ever, Amen.”
“‘Forever And Ever, Amen’ launched Randy Travis into this megastar, and it was a huge song,” Pardi shared before he performed the country classic. “They played it at like every wedding. I could only wonder how many wedding he got invited to, to sing. I always loved ‘Forever And Ever, Amen,’ it’s a beautiful song and I don’t know if any other artist could pull that song off the way he did it and make it as massive as Randy Travis did it.”
Click above to watch Pardi’s heartfelt tribute performance.
CMT’s Artist Of The Year special honors Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, ‘Breakout Artist Of The Year’ Mickey Guyton and ‘Artist Of a Lifetime’ Randy Travis.
The televised special will air on Wednesday, October 13 at 8/7c on CMT and will feature performances by Brown, Combs, Ballerini with Jonas Brothers, Boyz II Men feat. Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix, Guyton and Yola as well as Walker Hayes, who will be making his awards show debut with a performance of “Fancy Like.”