Slash, Billy Gibbons and Warren Haynes to perform in all-star tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gary Rossington at the CMT Awards

Slash, Billy Gibbons and Warren Haynes are set to perform together as part of the CMT Awards tribute to Gary Rossington
(Image credit: SOPA Images / Olly Curtis / Future / Jamie McCarthy / Getty)

The forthcoming CMT Awards will pay tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington with a live performance featuring Billy Gibbons, Slash and Warren Haynes, among a host of other rock and country music talent. 

The last of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s founding members, Rossington passed away earlier this month (March 5). The 2023 CMT Awards show will take place on April 2 and will take time to celebrate the life of the guitarist in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of ’Skynyrd’s first album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd).

As you’d hope, Gibbons, Slash and Haynes will handle electric guitar duties for the tribute. Vocals will be provided by former Free vocalist Paul Rodgers and country star Cody Wilson. 

Elsewhere, the lineup features Rolling Stones (and former Allman Brothers Band) touring member Chuck Leavell sitting in on keys, while backing vocals will come from the somewhat over-qualified pairing of LeAnn Rimes and Wynonna Judd –performing here as ‘The Honkettes’.

Other members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd family will be attending the show, including Rossington’s wife and band backing singer Dale Krantz Rossington, plus vocalist Johnny Van Zant and guitarist Rickey Medlocke.

Rossington passed away aged 71 on March 5 and his death drew tributes from a huge range of guitarists and other musicians, many of whom had crossed paths with the ’Skynyrd legend across his 50 year career. 

His cause of death has not been revealed but the guitarist had suffered with ill health and recurring heart problems across recent years. On March 12, Lynyrd Skynyrd paid their own tribute to Rossington during a performance of Tuesday’s Gone at their first show since his passing,

The 2023 CMT Awards will be hosted in Austin, TX and broadcast live via CBS at 8pm ET / 11pm PT. For more information, head over to CMT.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.