“Sing it,” you could hear someone shout from the bandstand urging Chris Stapleton on during “Tennessee Whiskey.”
“Break it down one more time,” Justin Timberlake commanded the rhythm section during “Drink You Away.”
It was the night Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake took Nashville to church at the Country Music Association Awards. The two pretty much upended the formula of country pop and made Jason Aldean with his pyrotechnics and Florida Georgia Line, trying hard to be coiffed, seem downright silly. As Nashville producer Buddy Cannon said later on Facebook, “the pendulum swings.” It only took about eight minutes for it happen.