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2017 CMT Music Awards Open With Soulful Gregg Allman Tribute [Watch]

The 2017 CMT Music Awards opened with a bang, with Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum coming together to pay tribute to the late Gregg Allman.

The soulful tribute opened with the three country stars taking it a cappella on Allman’s signature track, “Midnight Rider,” sounding stellar together as they harmonized. Kelley’s vocals shone solo, showing off the husky, gritty side of his voice.

“This is for the one and only Gregg Allman,” Jason Aldean said before they kicked the performance up a notch, with Aldean rocking out on guitar while singing his heart out as images of Allman flashed behind them on screens. Rucker also gave it his all, taking it solo after their duet before Kelley took on the second verse. Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman were clearly feeling it as they watched from the audience, along with Kelley’s Lady A bandmate Dave Haywood.

The rocking performance earned the three country superstars a standing ovation from the jam-packed live crowd. CMT announced ahead of the show that they would be paying tribute to the Southern rocker — Allman died in May after struggling with illnesses over the past few years. He was 69.

Aldean is up for two of the night’s awards, those being Male Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year for “Lights Come On” and Hicktown” (CMT Concert of the Summer), respectively. Lady A was up for Group Video of the Year for their hit, “You Look Good,” losing out to Little Big Town‘s “Better Man.”

See Pictures From Inside the 2017 CMT Music Awards

Next: See a Full List of CMT Awards Winners

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