Remember Who Sang Chris Stapleton’s ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ First?

The song’s been around for decades.

Chris Stapleton shot to fame after his performance of “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away” with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards went viral, but “Tennessee Whiskey” had been around for decades prior to that.

Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove wrote “Tennessee Whiskey,” and it was first pitched to George Strait, who turned it downDavid Allan Coe became the first country singer to cut the song, making it the title song of an album he released in 1981. His version peaked at No. 77 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart, but George Jones‘ rendition fared better in 1983, reaching all the way to No. 2.

Stapleton cut the song in a bluesier, grittier version for his 2015 debut solo album, Traveller, and after the once-in-a-lifetime viral moment from the CMA Awards, his recording reached No. 1 within two days, helping catapult him to superstardom despite the fact that he never formally released “Tennessee 

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