As far as country music award galas go, Chris Stapleton kept a low profile at Wednesday night's CMT Awards in Nashville. The serial award winner was up for only two categories, but left his mark with a heartfelt performance of "Millionaire," off his From A Room: Volume 2 album, outside on Broadway.
While the awards ceremony itself took place nearby inside Bridgestone Arena, a large stage in the middle of the street played host to several performers, including Sam Hunt's inventive honky-tonk bar crawl for "Downtown's Dead." Stapleton took a more static approach, sticking to the stage with the neon signs of Music City's iconic strip serving as his colorful backdrop. In the open air of the city at night, with a throng of fans wedged in between the buildings, the song's rumination on love and gratitude took on a wistful tone.
Stapleton already has a CMT Award on his mantel, to go along with his brace of Grammy, CMA and ACM trophies, so missing out on the goods last night — where he was nominated for Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year, both for his duet with Justin Timberlake, "Say Something" — are likely relative losses.
The Kentucky native is set to perform at Nissan Stadium on June 9th as part of CMA Music Fest.