Shortly after a segment showing Bryan’s remarkable achievements in 2014, ranging from massive ticket sales to multiple awards, Lady A’s Charles Kelley remarked, “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. But family comes first and sadly Luke’s family faced a tragic loss this weekend with the death of his brother-in-law, Lee.”
The performance proved to be one of the most emotional moments of the night. Fellow honorees Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban were shown quietly singing along in the audience. Lady A’s Hillary Scott provided a lovely counterpoint to Stapleton’s sandpaper vocal, giving the song the bittersweet feeling it deserved.
As the final notes rang out, the band and Stapleton sent out love to Bryan as the audience offered a sincere standing ovation.
A few minutes after the performance concluded, Bryan tweeted, “That was amazing. Truly. Thank you Charles, Dave, Hillary and Chris! Beautiful!!! Thank you fans for your love.”
That was amazing. Truly. Thank you Charles, Dave, Hillary and Chris! Beautiful!!! Thank you fans for your love.
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) December 3, 2014