The Real Meaning Behind Chris Stapleton's Emotional Performance At The 2022 ACMs

Year after year, Chris Stapleton makes a massive impact at the annual Academy of Country Music Awards — and 2022 was no exception.

Last year, Stapleton joined forces with Miranda Lambert to perform a rendition of his hit, "Maggie's Song," which is a heartwarming ode he wrote for his family dog of 14 years, per Rolling Stone. Lambert happens to be a supporter of the MuttNation Foundation charity, making the collaboration all the more meaningful. In 2019, the country superstar performed "A Simple Song" at the award show, a track which he revealed to be dedicated to his father-in-law, Darrell Hayes, who was in the audience. "One day, we were just talking about life and different things we've done, and all the stuff in that song," the singer told The Tennessean. "It's all true stuff for one of us so it's an interesting song that way."

This time around, Stapleton took to the stage once again and delivered a noteworthy performance of a song he dedicated to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

Chris Stapleton dedicated his 2022 ACM performance to the Route 91 victims

This year's Academy of Country Music Awards was held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the same city where a tragic Route 91 shooting happened, which left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured. The tragedy took place at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in 2017, making it an unforgettable event for country fans everywhere.

Chris Stapleton decided to dedicate his performance at the 2022 ACMs to the victims of the shooting. "Tomorrow we'll be performing 'Watch You Burn,' which is a song that I wrote with Mike Campbell about the shooting that happened here during the country music festival," he shared with People prior to taking the stage. "So yeah, that's what we're doing." He was backed by a 16-person choir, and the performance was introduced by none other than Jason Aldean, who was performing at the festival when the shooting happened all those years ago.

Stapleton once revealed that writing the song was therapeutic for him. And while he was not there at the time, a lot of people dear to him were. "It's a self-therapy session sometimes. Sometimes that's all [a song's] for," he told The Tennessean. "Mike listened and ... really got it to a place where he made me feel like it was not a song that was meant to be in my pocket."