Paul Rodgers, Billy Gibbons Lead Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd at CMT Music Awards

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Paul Rodgers signing “Simple Man” during the CMT Music Awards tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, April 2, 2023

Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Paul Rodgers, Slash and Warren Haynes honored Lynyrd Skynyrd and original founding member Gary Rossington, who recently passed away, at the 2023 CMT Music Awards. LeAnn Rimes and Wynonna Judd joined as “The Honkettes.” The performance of “Simple Man” and “Sweet Home Alabama” aired live from the Moody Center in Austin, Tex., during the broadcast on Sunday, April 2, 2023, from 8-11 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. The segment, which closed the show, was introduced by Peter Frampton. Watch the performance below.

The tribute, announced on March 30, came on the 50th anniversary of Skynyrd’s first album. Rodgers and Cody Johnson performed lead vocals with Gibbons, Slash and Warren Haynes on electric guitar.

Slash and Billy Gibbons during the Skynyrd tribute

“More than a friend of 50 years,” said Rodgers, “Gary was a kindred spirit, always was, always will be.” The classic rock singing legend attended a March 17 memorial for Rossington with his Bad Company bandmate, Simon Kirke.

Dale Krantz Rossington, band member and wife of the late guitarist, attended the performance alongside fellow Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlock. Everyone celebrated a night to remember, following the performance.

Related: Lynyrd Skynyrd paid tribute to Rossington in their emotional return to the stage

Other performances on the 2023 CMT Music Awards broadcast included Alanis Morissette with Ingrid Andress, Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani with Carly Pearce, Keith Urban, Lainey Wilson, The Black Crowes and Darius Rucker, and Wynonna Judd with Ashley McBryde.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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