Chris Stapleton, H.E.R.’s 2021 CMT Music Awards Performance Is Understated, But So Good [Watch]
Chris Stapleton isn't a particularly flashy live performer; instead, he wows you with his vocals and guitarwork. But at the 2021 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night (June 9), he was the perfect match for Grammy-winning R&B vocalist and guitarist H.E.R.
Together, the two performed H.E.R.'s song "Hold On" for the awards show crowd, a smaller-than-normal group gathered at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. She led much of the performance, with Stapleton leaning into his soul-influenced side to sing lead on a few lines and harmonize with H.E.R. throughout their collaboration.
Before concluding their performance with a final few lines, Stapleton and H.E.R. traded guitar solos. Like the rest of their duet, the moment was understated, yet proved their immense talents.
H.E.R. first debuted "Hold On" in October of 2020, during her turn as the musical guest on the late-night sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. She released her debut EP in 2016, but her most recent album is 2019's I Used to Know Her. She's earned a slew of Grammy, BET Awards and Soul Train Music Awards nominations throughout her relatively brief career, and has won three times at the Grammys.
Prior to her major-label career, H.E.R. (given name: Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson) made appearances on Today, Good Morning America and The View, and starred in a Nickelodeon movie, as a child. The San Francisco Bay Area native will turn 24 later this month.
Earlier in the evening at the 2021 CMT Music Awards, Stapleton performed his song "Arkansas." It comes from his most recent album, 2020's Starting Over.