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Chris Young’s performance of “Drowning” just won Performance of the Year at the CMT Music Awards tonight (10/21). The performance had special resonance, because Young was a last minute replacement for Kane Brown at the CMT Artists of the Year event on Oct 16, 2019; Brown had to cancel his performance,  as his drummer Kenny Dixon had just died in a tragic car accident a few days prior.

Kane Brown presented Chris Young with the award in one of the most emotional moments of the night. Young said, “It was a really difficult moment for me to get up there and play that knowing that he (Kane) was watching, knowing everything that he was going through. And Kane, you and I have been friends for a long time I can’t imagine even still what his passing does to you and what that means to you man. I was honored to step in your place and perform the song.”

Brown responded, “Yeah man, I just wanna say thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. My fans love that performance. His family his friends everyone that works for us. It meant the world to us that you stood up there and sang that song and you sang it beautifully as always.”