WATCH: Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers Perform ‘Follow You to Virgie’ at Kentucky Rising Benefit Concert

by Suzanne Halliburton
Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

Chris Stapleton joined Tyler Childers for an uplifting version of “Follow You to Virgie” as several country stars gathered in Kentucky to raise money to help those who lost so much in the summer floods.

The concert was billed as Kentucky Rising. And fans gathered at Rupp Arena on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. Chad Hedrick, a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Lexington, posted a minute-long clip of this incredible version performed by Chris Stapleton and Childers, who wrote the song. One fan described listening to it as “full body chills.”

Chris Stapleton probably was the headliner of Kentucky Rising. He’s a son of Eastern Kentucky, which was ravaged by flooding this summer. Wildcats football coach Mark Stoops introduced Stapleton, the eight-time Grammy award winner.

Plus, fellow Kentuckians Dwight Yoakum, Ricky Skaggs and Tyler Childers also were the main draws of this sold-out concert, which was live streamed for fans at home. Patty Loveless also made a special appearance.

All proceeds go to flooding relief and recovery. The storms were particularly acute in Perry County, with the flooding wiping out infrastructure for phone and electrical services. There were 39 reported deaths in parts of the state, which was devastated by four days of storms.

Like the name suggests, the concert Tuesday night was an uplifting time as folks came together to support each other. Chris Stapleton announced on stage that Kentucky Rising raised more than $2 million.

Tyler Childers, seen here, and Chris Stapleton performed a duet of “Follow You to Virgie” at the Kentucky Rising concert Tuesday night in Lexington. (Gary Miller/Getty Images for Shock Ink)

Stapleton and Childers performed “Follow You to Virgie,” which Childers wrote about the death of a special woman. She was the grandmother of Cody, one of his close childhood friends. Childers never included the song on any of his studio albums, but he sings it at his concerts. It’s basically a song about growing up in Virgie, Kentucky. And it’s about always having the backs of your friends. Cody’s grandmother listened to Childers and his friends play guitars and sing their songs long before any of them made it big.

Childers harkens back to his childhood days in the opening verses:

Yeah, I reckon we were heathens
But in her eyes, we were saints
Now you’re calling all the boys home
‘Cause heaven’s angels carried her away

And then Childers closes the song:

So, I will follow you to Virgie
Although it hurts me so
To lay to rest this mountain beauty
That the Lord’s called home
And I can’t see her up in glory
I can see her through the pines

Chris Stapleton added his soulful voice to the duet. At its essence, the song is perfect for a cause like Kentucky Rising.