CMT Music Awards 2017: Jason Aldean Leads Gregg Allman Tribute as Opening Performance

The 40-year-old country singer, along with three other artists, performed a rendition of iconic bluesy southern-rock jam 'Midnight Rider' as a tribute to the late singer.

AceShowbiz - It was very unlikely to open the biggest night of country music with a rock song. But there was no better way to honor a legend like Gregg Allman. Following the death of the southern-rock pioneer last month, a group of artists teamed up to honor the late singer at the 2017 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night, June 7.

A notable fan of Allman, Jason Aldean, was joined by Darius Rucker, Derek Trucks and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum onstage to deliver a tribute performance to the late musician. "This is for the one and only Mr. Gregg Allman," Aldean said, before kicking off the event with an electrifying performance of The Allman Brothers Band's classic song "Midnight Rider".

"Gregg Allman and The Allman Brothers Band helped create the bedrock foundation of modern southern music. Over the weekend following his death, CMT's most important artists reached out to see how we might honor Gregg at our Awards," CMT President Brian Philips said. "This tribute will celebrate Gregg Allman's soul, charisma and enduring artistry. 'The Road Goes on Forever,' indeed."

Prior to this, the event's host Charles Esten claimed that he was anticipating the tribute performance. "I think it's going to be something very special and he certainly deserves it. The impact that he has had on the artists in country music- there's really no overstating it," he shared. "I know how much this community felt that loss. I did not get to know him but like everybody else, I was just astonished by his music. That's the thing about music, you don't need to know somebody to have it be personal."

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