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Justin Timberlake And Chris Stapleton’s Electrifying CMA 2015 Duet

At the 2015 CMA Awards, the stage was set for an unforgettable performance when pop icon Justin Timberlake joined forces with country music sensation Chris Stapleton. The two artists, seemingly from different musical worlds, came together to deliver a rousing medley of “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away,” creating a moment that has since become legendary in the annals of CMA history.

Chris Stapleton, relatively unknown to the general public at the time despite his extensive songwriting credentials, had just won three major awards that night: New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album of the Year for his debut solo album, *Traveller*. His collaboration with Timberlake was a pivotal moment that catapulted his career to new heights. The performance began with Stapleton’s soulful rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey,” a classic country song originally made famous by George Jones and later David Allan Coe. Stapleton’s gritty, emotive vocals captured the essence of the song, drawing the audience into a hushed reverence.

As Timberlake joined in, the energy in the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville transformed. The smooth transition into Timberlake’s “Drink You Away,” a bluesy, rock-infused track from his album *The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2*, showcased the seamless blend of their musical styles. Timberlake, a Memphis native, brought his signature charisma and vocal prowess to the stage, complementing Stapleton’s raw country sound. The audience, including Timberlake’s wife Jessica Biel who was seen cheering passionately, was on their feet, singing along and reveling in the unexpected but perfect harmony between the two artists.

The performance was met with widespread acclaim, both from the live audience and viewers at home. Social media lit up with praise, as fans and celebrities alike expressed their admiration. Miranda Lambert, who also performed that night, tweeted about the goosebumps the performance gave her, encapsulating the sentiment felt by many. This collaboration not only showcased Stapleton’s incredible talent but also highlighted Timberlake’s versatility and deep appreciation for country music.

Following the CMA Awards, the impact of the performance was immediate and profound. Sales of Stapleton’s *Traveller* surged, reportedly increasing by over 6,000%. The album, which had initially seen moderate success, soared up the charts, cementing Stapleton’s place in the spotlight. This moment was a turning point, marking the beginning of Stapleton’s rise as a leading figure in the country music scene.

Justin Timberlake’s involvement was not merely a one-off collaboration but a testament to his genuine passion for country music. Throughout his career, Timberlake has often explored various genres, seamlessly blending his pop and R&B roots with other musical styles. His performance with Stapleton at the CMAs was a natural extension of this exploration, demonstrating his ability to bridge musical divides and create unforgettable moments.

Chris Stapleton, before his breakthrough at the 2015 CMA Awards, had already established a formidable reputation in Nashville as a songwriter. He penned hits for a slew of country stars, including George Strait, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney. Stapleton’s journey to stardom was marked by years of hard work and dedication, honing his craft and developing his unique sound that blends country, rock, and blues.

The collaboration between Timberlake and Stapleton is often credited with helping to steer country music back towards its roots, away from the ‘bro-country’ trend that had dominated the genre. Their performance was a reminder of the power of genuine musical artistry and the magic that can happen when artists from different backgrounds come together.

In the years following the 2015 CMA Awards, both Timberlake and Stapleton have continued to enjoy immense success. Stapleton has released several more critically acclaimed albums, further solidifying his status as one of country music’s most respected artists. Timberlake, meanwhile, continues to be a versatile force in the music industry, constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of his musical expression.

The 2015 CMA performance remains a highlight in both artists’ careers, a moment of musical synergy that transcended genres and left an indelible mark on the music industry. It stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the enduring appeal of heartfelt, soul-stirring music.

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