Chris Stapleton performed his Grammy-winning song “Cold” at the 2022 ceremonies in Las Vegas, earning a standing ovation in the process.
“Why you got to be so cold/Why you got to go and cut me with a knife, put our love on ice?” the country singer bellowed, bathed in blueish light and backed by a string section and his longtime band. Everyone onstage was playing live too: Stapleton refuses to perform to a pre-taped track at awards shows.
“Cold,” which won Best Country Song earlier in the day, appears on Stapleton’s latest album starting-over, this year’s Grammy winner for Best Country Album. Written by Stapleton with producer Dave Cobb and his bandmates JT Cure and Derek Mixon, the song is framed by an angular minor-key piano part that evokes the moodiness of Radiohead. (The Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench played keys on the recording.)
“We wrote it on the road,” Stapleton said in the Grammys press room. “That song came from a backstage jam. We hope they pop up sometimes. We didn’t sit it out and map it that way, it just happened.”
Stapleton also performed “Cold” with a string section at last November’s CMA Awards and, a month earlier, watched from the audience at the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony as Boyz II Men offered their own vocal-based rendition.
Stapleton was one of the top country nominees at this year’s Grammy Awards. Along with Best Country Album, he was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for “You Should Probably Leave” and for Best Country Song for “Cold.”
Additional reporting by Ethan Millman.