From Willie Nelson to Reba to Eric Church, A Massive Number of Music City Stars Turn Out to Honor Kris Kristofferson

ABC Radio

Wednesday night at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, a who’s who of country stars turned out to pay tribute to living legend Kris Kristofferson. From current artists like Eric ChurchDarius Rucker and Jennifer Nettles to his contemporaries like Willie Nelson and Jessi Colter, to those who fall somewhere in between like RebaEmmylou HarrisRosanne Cash and Alison Krauss, his musical admirers performed classic hits like “Lovin’ Her Was Easier” and “Why Me, Lord” to lesser-known compositions like “Jesus Was a Capricorn” and “The Pilgrim.” 

“He’s been in classic films, he’s made classic albums, he’s written songs that other people have taken to amazing heights. He’s written songs that he’s taken to amazing heights,” Darius says of the 79-year-old who’s also a Golden Globe Award-winning actor. “All that stuff you want to say — icon, legend, all that — he’s more than that. He’s a true American treasure and should be honored that way. I’m singing a song called ‘Under the Gun.’ You know, it rocks pretty hard, pretty bluesy. I like that,” the Hootie and the Blowfish frontman adds.

Jennifer Nettles, who sang a song called “Worth Fighting For,” believes Kristofferson has a gift for injecting emotions into music and lyrics.

“What I love so much about him is his ability to get to the heart and the soul of a story, and he does that,” she says. “Whether it has been in his acting or… definitely as a songwriter. And I think that’s evident through the number of other artists who’ve been able to take his songs and turn them into their own stories successfully, that have become so renowned. And that’s over and above what he himself has done on his own songs. So he’s a fantastic storyteller and he has a soul!” she reflects.

Details on how you can see the marathon The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson taping are forthcoming.

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