Kenny Chesney’s ‘Knowing You’ Becomes ACM Awards In Memoriam Performance [WATCH]
The blue-shaded performance found Chesney in a black hat, gray slacks and navy polo, singing a song from his Here and Now album. Personal scenes covered the video backdrop behind him before he stepped back and let his band play on for the final minute of the four-and-a-half-minute performance.
Quickly, the names and faces of over more than a dozen country music singers, songwriters, musicians, radio deejays and dignitaries who have died since last September's awards show flashed on the screen. Mac Davis, Jerry Jeff Walker, KT Oslin, Hal Ketchum, Tony Rice, Jason "Rowdy" Cope, JT Gray and Charley Pride were just a few of those recognized.
Pride — a Country Music Hall of Famer who died in late 2020 from complications of COVID-19 — was last. The country music pioneer was not recognized with a formal tribute during the show, but was likely on the mind of singers such as Jimmie Allen, who considered him a major influence.
Chesney's solo performance was his first of two during the 2021 ACM Awards. The singer also teamed with Kelsea Ballerini to sing "Half of My Hometown" during the show; that song is found on Ballerini's latest album, Kelsea (2020).
The 2021 ACM Awards aired live on CBS and stream live on Paramount+. Sign up for Paramount+ here.