Country Throwback: Chris Stapleton Belts ‘Amanda’ at ASCAP Awards in 2012

by Emily Morgan

At the 2012 ASCAP Awards, a ceremony to celebrate songwriters across the entire musical spectrum, Chris Stapleton and his wife performed the heartbreaking Waylon Jennings’ tune “Amanda.”

Before Chris Stapleton dominated the country music charts and airwaves, he was a relatively unknown singer-songwriter back in 2012. 

Bob McDill wrote the somber tune in 1973, and the following year Jennings released it on his album, The Ramblin’ Man

The country classic was Jennings’ eighth No. 1 hit on the hot country singles charts.

However, Jennings didn’t release it as a single until near the end of the decade in 1979. He included a new rendition of the song on his first greatest hits album. It quickly became one of the year’s biggest country hits.

Thirty-three years later, Chris Stapleton and his talented wife, Morgane, performed the song to pay tribute to McDill. That year, McDill was awarded the ASCAP Golden Note Award. 

McDill’s lyrics about an unbearable heartbreak are absolutely chilling and still relatable to this day.

The couple gave the heart-wrenching song new life with soul-crushing harmonies that earned them a standing ovation when they finished. 

Chris Stapleton & Morgane Perform The Hit Again At Different Venue

The following year, Chris Stapleton and his wife would perform the same song but at a different venue. In 2013, the dynamic couple stepped on the historic Grand Ol’ Opry to perform “Amanda” once again.

Only backed up with a bass and his guitar, Stapleton performed while Morgane performed background vocal during Chris’ performance. 

Once again, the couple lit the stage up with their stripped-down version of the outlaw’s timeless classic. 

Two years later, Stapleton would be awarded at the same ceremony when they awarded Stapelton with the “Vanguard Award” in 2016. 

“Every so often, someone comes along with songwriting so masterful, a voice so powerful and a presence so captivating, that it stops you in your tracks,” said ASCAP President Paul Williams.

 “Chris Stapleton does just that. By distilling Southern sounds and themes into potent songs, he has brought raw soul back to the country charts and established himself as one of the most respected and original artists in American music today. We are thrilled to honor him with the ASCAP Vanguard Award.”