Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Last night, the 57th CMT Music Awards took place at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Along with honoring today’s top country artists, the award ceremony also included an epic surprise.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was honored for their 50th anniversary with an all-star performance of legendary musicians. The performance also paid tribute to Skynyrd’s late Gary Rossington, who passed away on March 5th. Rossington was the last original member of the Southern rock band.
Peter Frampton introduced the segment by honoring Gary:
“Gary not only helped define the band’s sound, he inspired millions of fans and musicians.” He added, “He’s now joined his fellow Skynyrd bandmates in rock and roll heaven, but we will all enjoy their music forever.”
Bad Company/Free’s Paul Rodgers took the lead vocals for Simple Man while photos of Rossington appeared on the giant screen behind the stage. Country singer Cody Johnson also joined in on vocals with Rodgers. The medley continued with an energetic performance of Skynyrd’s classic hit Sweet Home Alabama when ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Guns N’ Roses’ Slash joined in with their electric guitars and provided their own stirring solos.
The Allman Brothers Band’s Chuck Leavell and Warren Haynes also took part in the show along with LeeAnn Rimes and Wynonna Judd who sang backup.
What an incredible 50 years of music! Watch the electrifying Skynyrd tribute here: