Carrie Underwood was among the many top country artists who took the stage to perform tributes to Vince Gill during a CMT Giants episode devoted to the Country Music Hall of Famer. Underwood delivered a powerhouse rendition of “Go Rest High on That Mountain” that left Gill visibly emotional.
Underwood hits the stage in a long, soft blue gown, with a single spotlight illuminating her as she begins to sing the song of loss, faith and ultimate redemption. She gives an understated, restrained vocal performance in the opening verse, building to a massive emotional payoff as she sweeps into a dramatic vocal reading of the chorus.
She continues to build throughout the song, and she includes the new final verse that Gill introduced in 2019, creating a stunningly cathartic climax that had a moist-eyed Gill bringing his hand to his face.
Underwood’s masterful performance earned a standing ovation from the crowd, led by Gill himself:
Gill began writing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” after Keith Whitley‘s death from alcohol poisoning in 1989. Four years later, Gill’s older brother, Bob, died after suffering a heart attack, and Gill revived the song, writing the chorus and a second verse. The song reached No. 14, and it went on to win CMA and Grammy Awards. It’s since become one of Gill’s most iconic songs.
CMT Giants: Vince Gill taped at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Belmont University in Nashville on Sept. 12. The show aired on CMT on Friday night (Sept. 16). Brad Paisley, Cody Johnson, Sting, Chris Stapleton and more are among the other artists who turned up to honor Gill.