Stapleton was in attendance at Willie’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in November, and they even performed the red headed stranger’s 1973 hit “Whiskey River.”
While I’m sure it was a cool moment to witness if you were sitting in the audience, I can’t imagine what it was like to be the one sitting next to him in that moment… and it sounds like Chris got pretty emotional witnessing one of his heroes receive such an honor.
Dave Matthews presented Willie with his trophy at the induction ceremony while Chris was sitting next to Willie on stage, and they immediately went into “Whiskey River” after Willie gave a pretty short and sweet speech.
Chris explained in a recent interview with the Rock Hall that he actually shed a few tears as it was happening, saying that the gravity of the moment hit him and he couldn’t hold back:
“I think the realization that where I was sitting, my proximity to Willie being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, really didn’t hit me until the moment it was happening.
It was a very heavy and cool moment to get to be that close to. You know, Willie made a wonderful speech and I was tearing up, and I was looking back at Paul, who plays in my band on steel guitar.
He gets done with the speech, and Willie leans over to me and goes, ‘Alright, what song are we gonna play now?’And so it was a very nice moment for me for Willie to go, ‘We’re doin’ this, now let’s play music.'”
Willie Nelson is one of the realest to ever do it…
Chris also honored Willie with a stunning and breathtaking rendition of “Always On My Mind” at Willie’ s90th birthday party celebration earlier this year, which you absolutely have to check out if you haven’t already: