After losing his brother-in-law over Thanksgiving weekend, Luke Bryan had to cancel his appearance at CMT’s “Artist Of The Year,” program on Tuesday (Dec. 2).
And although he wasn’t present, he was still on every artist’s mind.
“One of my buddies, Luke Bryan, is not here tonight, dealing with some family stuff in Georgia,” Aldean said after accepting his award. “Just want to say I’m thinkin’ about you, you and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Hurry back to the country music world.”
Lady Antebellum and songwriter Chris Stapleton performed in honor of the missing country superstar.
The band and Stapleton perched on stools singing Luke’s song, ‘Drink A Beer,’ making for one emotional performance.
“As you just saw, our good buddy Luke Bryan had another amazing year professionally and was looking so forward to being here with all of you to accept this honor,” stated Lady A’ss Charles Kelley onstage. “But family comes first and sadly Luke’s family faced a tragic loss this weekend with the death of his brother-in-law, Lee.”
“So, tonight we wanted to perform a song that’s very special to Luke with another of his good buddies that co-wrote the song. One of the best singers in the entire universe, Mr. Chris Stapleton right here. This song is called ‘Drink a Beer,’ and if you’re watching tonight back home, this one’s for you, Luke, and your family. We love you so much and our thoughts are with you,” added Kelley.
The camera panned out to audience members, which caught artists like Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban singing along.
After the song, the group and Stapleton received a standing ovation.
The act was not unnoticed. Luke Bryan took to his Twitter account writing, “That was amazing. Truly. Thank you Charles, Dave, Hillary and Chris! Beautiful!!! Thank you fans for your love.”
This once again proves just how great the country music community is!
See the full performance HERE!