WATCH: Chris Stapleton Pays Tribute to Vince Gill with ‘Whenever You Come Around’ Cover

by Clayton Edwards

Recently, CMT assembled some of the biggest names in country music to pay tribute to Vince Gill. The 90-minute special titled CMT Giants: Vince Gill gave us a look at the country and bluegrass legend’s career. With a decades-long career of unmatched musicianship, stellar songwriting, and a voice that just won’t quit, Gill has been an inspiration to many younger artists. During the special, some of those musicians were able to tell the “I Still Believe in You” singer he means to them. Chris Stapleton was one of them.

Over the years, we’ve learned that Chris Stapleton is a man of few words. It seems like if he’s on a stage he’d much rather let his music do all the talking. As a result, when the Kentucky native decides to say a few words, they carry a little more weight. The words he had for Vince Gill were pretty heavy. It turns out that we may not have Stapleton without Vince.

Chris Stapleton Tributes Vince Gill

Stapleton did an amazing cover of “Whenever You Come Around” on the show. However, what he said before he started playing makes the cover even better.

Addressing Vince Gill, Chris Stapleton said, “You talked earlier about having courage to start writing songs and courage to be an artist and all those kinds of things. I think the greatest impact that you’ve had on me – besides the obvious things of your music, I came here wanting to be you – you’ve had the courage to encourage me.”

Chris Stapleton went on to elaborate on how Vince Gill encouraged him over the years. “You’ve always had time to come watch me play or invite me on a songwriter round when I had no business bein’ in it. It really has made a difference for me to get to be able to do that. I really, really appreciate that, Vince. And I love you, from the bottom of my heart.”

Then, Chris Stapleton showed everyone just how far Vince Gill’s encouragement and friendship went. He kicked off a cover of Gill’s 1994 hit “Whenever You Come Around” that will give you chills. The house band lays the perfect backdrop for Stapleton’s gritty and soulful vocal delivery. He’s able to wring every ounce of longing out of the lyrics and make us feel it all.

“Whenever You Come Around”

Vice Gill co-penned “Whenever You Come Around” with Pete Wasner. Gill released the track as the lead single from his 1994 album When Love Finds You. Both the single and the album it came from peaked at number 2 on the Billboard charts.

In the video below, Vince Gill explains that it’s one of his favorite songs to sing. “I wrote this song after my first time of meeting Amy – my wife, Amy Grant,” he said. “She walked in the room and we were going to do a TV show together. She smiled at me and I have not been the same since.”