Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris Offer Poignant Tom Petty Tribute at 2018 Grammys
Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris teamed up for a standout performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards that was one of the highlights of the night, performing a Tom Petty classic in a musical tribute to the departed music icon.
They blended their voices together on a haunting rendition of "Wildflowers," the title track from Petty's second solo album, released in 1994. The lyrics offer an appropriate farewell to someone whose music brought joy to so many: "You belong among the wildflowers / You belong somewhere close to me / Far away from your trouble and worries / You belong somewhere you feel free."
They sang the song simply, standing at adjacent mics and both strumming the chords on acoustic guitar. Both of the singers tend to gravitate toward darker songs, and while Petty's original recording was pretty upbeat, the juxtaposition of Stapleton's gritty rasp and Harris' ethereal harmony created a more somber, but still uplifting vibe.
Petty died on Oct, 2, not long after wrapping a 40th-anniversary tour with his legendary band, the Heartbreakers. Country artists were among the many who turned to social media to react:
Stapleton has been performing Petty's "Learning to Fly" at his live shows, and Jason Aldean delivered a defiant version of "I Won't Back Down" less than a week after the mass shooting in Las Vegas when he took the stage unannounced on Saturday Night Live.
Stapleton was already a two-time Grammy winner, and he was nominated again in 2018 for Best Country Solo Performance for "Either Way," Best Country Song for "Broken Halos" and Best Country Album for From A Room: Volume 1. He took home all three on Sunday.
Stapleton and Harris' performance was just one of the major spotlight moments on country music during the 60th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night (Jan. 28). Little Big Town performed "Better Man," and Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne teamed up for an emotional tribute to the victims of the mass shooting that took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in October of 2017, singing Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven."
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