The 2023 CMT Awards closed out their three-hour show in an unforgettable way. The show concluded with a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original founding member Gary Rossington.
Peter Frampton spoke prior to the star-studded performance saying we’ll all enjoy Skynyrd’s music – forever. There were family members of the band in the audience, making it even more special as Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Cody Johnson, Paul Rodgers, Slash, Warren Haynes, LeAnn Rimes and Wynonna Judd came together for a two-song tribute. Frampton introduced them saying, “They are all here to pay tribute to Gary and the kings of southern rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd!”
The tribute started with “Simple Man,” and we were instantly impressed. But with so many iconic artists onstage, it was hard to figure out where to look! That being said, Johnson impressed us with his vocals fitting the track perfectly. Meanwhile, Rimes and Judd took on the role of “The Honkettes,” harmonizing beautifully.
“Sweet Home Alabama” was the second song in the performance, turning the award show into a full-blown party with Johnson as the hype man. He engaged the crowd, reminding us that he is a superstar.
This performance could be a guidebook for future tributes. It will be remembered for years to come.