Country guitarist Chris Stapleton joins H.E.R. for a spellbinding performance of Hold On at the CMT Music Awards 2021

[L-R] H.E.R. and Chris Stapleton at the CMT Music Awards 2021
(Image credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT)

The CMT Music Awards was held on Wednesday night (June 9), and one of the most standout performances of the night was delivered by H.E.R. and country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. 

Teaming up for a rendition of H.E.R.'s emotional 2020 epic Hold On, the pair – wielding her fresh signature Stratocaster and a Gibson ES-335, respectively – appeared on the gloriously purple-lit stage, trading gorgeous vocal harmonies and stunning guitar licks throughout.

Taking to Instagram after news of the performance broke earlier this week, Stapleton posted a monochrome photo of the pair practicing, and wrote, “H.E.R. is without a doubt one of the greatest singer-songwriter/guitar players on the planet Earth. Fact.” 

A post shared by Chris Stapleton (@chrisstapleton) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Stapleton's wife Morgane echoed Chris's words in a post of her own, writing, “Died and gone to heaven listening to these actual real life angels.”

Other artists to perform at the fan-voted country music award show included Kane Brown – who also hosted the event – Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina and more.

While H.E.R. was not up for any awards herself, she has had a pretty successful year so far. At the Grammys back in March, the singer-songwriter bagged the Song of the Year award for her track I Can't Breathe, and the Oscars saw her win Best Original Song for Fight For You, taken from the 2021 drama film Judas and the Black Messiah.

The guitarist also performed a mesmerizing solo rendition of America the Beautiful at the Super Bowl 2021, following which searches for her signature Fender Strat doubled on Reverb.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).