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Chris Stapleton, Justin Timberlake Bring Soul to the 2015 CMA Awards

Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake teamed up for one of the biggest standout performances of the night at the 2015 CMA Awards.

Stapleton was fresh off winning one of the biggest awards of the night, taking home a somewhat surprise victory for New Artist of the Year after releasing one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year with his debut record, Traveller.

He and Timberlake joined together for an incendiary performance of “Tennessee Whiskey” from Traveller, with Stapleton’s deep growl and Timberlake’s sweet, sexy soulful vibe blending together seamlessly for a truly musical performance that was easily one of the high points of the night.

But they weren’t anywhere near done yet. Timberlake took center stage with the acoustic in hand, launching into his own song, “Drink You Away,” joined by a full horn section as he and Stapleton destroyed the dumbfounded crowd at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with a powerful performance that nobody could have anticipated. The contrast between the two men couldn’t be more striking, both visually and vocally, but they turned out to be musical soul brothers, joining together like they’d been singing together all their lives. You know it’s an unusually hot performance when a beaming Keith Urban is seen in the audience taping it on his phone to watch again later!

Stapleton was also nominated for Male Vocalist and Album of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards.

2015 CMA Awards Red Carpet Pictures

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