Chris Stapleton, a rising star in country music and close, personal friend of Justin Timberlake, led a powerful tribute to the late B.B. King Monday night at the 2016 Grammys. Joined by Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt, they played a blistering tribute to King, who passed away in May of 2015 at the age of 88.
King, a blues legend who was nicknamed The King of the Blues, was nominated for 21 Grammys over the course of his long and storied career, taking home 15 of them. His most recent Grammy was for his album One Kind Favor, which won Best Traditional Blues Album in 2009, nearly 40 years since he won his first Grammy, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his song “The Thrill is Gone.” The trio fittingly chose the tune for their tribute, trading off verses and solos.
While Clark and Raitt have won Grammys in past years, Stapleton is a first-timer who was nominated for four Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Country Album, which he won, beating out Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves. His song “Traveler,” off of the album of the same name, is up for Best Country Song. He won a Grammy earlier in the night for Best Country Solo Performance.