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Hank Williams Jr. Abruptly Leaves Stage During Performance With Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean, Hank Williams Jr.
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

During last night’s taping of CMT’s ‘Artist of the Year’ celebration, Hank Williams Jr. walked off the stage without explanation during a live performance of ‘Tattoos on This Town’ with one of the night’s honorees, Jason Aldean. Later, he tried to explain through his management team that he didn’t feel he was doing the song justice.

According to the Associated Press, Williams’ spokesman said the legend wanted to honor his friend, and that his poor performance would only tarnish Aldean’s achievements.

Aldean went on to record the song a second time on his own. It’s this version that viewers will likely see when the ceremony airs on CMT on Dec. 13.

Before the show, Aldean talked about hanging around with Bocephus backstage. They’d discussed the performance, with Williams Jr. saying he was going to do it his way. “And you go, ‘It’s Hank,’ you know. ‘Make it sound like you want it to sound, bro,’” Aldean said. “But he’s awesome. I don’t know what else to say about the guy. He’s the real deal as far as country singers go.”

Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley were also honored during the event, which featured numerous cameos from in and out of country music. Williams Jr. also presented Paisley with a necktie before the taping began. It had his famous eagle logo on the front and the words ‘Thanks Brad’ on the back.

“I’m honored to be friends with him,” Paisley said.

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