The trio of Eric Church, Alan Jackson, and Shooter Jennings honored Hank Williams Jr., in what could be the most apropos trio of modern country vocalists to fete the legend whose rowdy friends once all settled down. Notably, Church -- while singing "A Country Boy Can Survive" -- added an autobiographical intro verse, singing: "I remember where I was and when, first time I heard 'Whiskey Bent' / With a brother I ain't got no more, now he plays guitar on that heavenly shore." Emmylou Harris and Charlie Worsham performed "Tempted," Marty Stuart's 1991-released solo single. As well, Ashley McBryde wowed the audience with her rendition of "The Observations of a Crow," from Stuart's 1999 release The Pilgrim.
Moreover, Kenny Chesney took the stage to perform his 2002 hit "A Lot of Things Different," which Dean Dillon co-wrote with another Hall of Fame- inducted songwriter, Bill Anderson. This, alongside Brittney Spencer, bringing the crowd to a standing ovation with a stirring rendition of Dillon-penned hit "Tennessee Whiskey," which has seen three lives in the canon of hits for David Allan Coe, George Jones, and Chris Stapleton. Notably, when the 2021 CMT Next Women of Country Class member finished singing, Brenda Lee -- there to induct Hank Williams Jr. -- jokingly shouted, "Let's all go home. I give up. I quit!"