Brett Young brought his hit single "Mercy" to the 2018 CMA Awards stage on Wednesday night (Nov. 14). The song comes from the rising star's self-titled debut album.

The former Californian sat on a stage in the middle of the CMA audience. He struggled a bit vocally--and at one point it sounded like his background vocals were not lining up, but his professionalism took over and he stayed calm and present. He took a moment at the end to thank country music for making "Mercy" his fourth consecutive No. 1 hit.

"Mercy" was the fourth single -- and third No. 1 -- from Young's first project, released in 2016; it's also been certified platinum. Young says that he headed into the writing session during which he wrote "Mercy" thinking that he'd be writing something uptempo, at his label's request.

"The reason why I like "Mercy" so much is because, while I haven't lived [that story] exactly, I have lived multiple versions of that," Young shares. "There are so many different versions of heartbreak. I think it's vague enough that it could be anybody's story."

The New Artist of the Year nominee has announced that his sophomore album, Ticket to L.A., will be released on Dec. 7. He and his wife, Taylor Mills, recently returned from their honeymoon, after getting married on Nov. 3.

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