Timberlake's Southern soul took over when he joined Chris Stapleton

By Nick Maslow
Updated October 05, 2016 06:19 PM
Credit: Terry Wyatt/WireImage

He’s bringing sexy country back.

Justin Timberlake made the CMA Awards feel like a Nashville bar when he hit the stage with Chris Stapleton on Wednesday.

Timberlake, 34, was on to something when he signed on to perform with the country crooner, 37, who swept the awards with three big wins.

The buddies delivered a showstopper, performing Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s “Drink You Away” in an eight-minute set packed with Southern soul.

Read on for all the ways Timberlake stole the show with Stapleton.

1. He embraced his roots.

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Timberlake has country flowing through his veins. Those epic facial expressions prove he let go and let country take over.

2. He traded dancing for strumming.

JT always gets the crowd to dance with him, but this night was all about getting fans to reach for their air guitars. The singer reminded everyone yet again that, yes, he can jam with the best of them.

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3. He was having a blast.

Maybe it was the PDA with his wife Jessica Biel. Maybe it was all that singing about whiskey. Maybe whiskey was really involved. Regardless, anyone watching could tell this guy was having the time of his life with Stapleton. The fun continued backstage, where Timberlake shared how thrilled he was about the collaboration.

It all begs one question: when are you releasing a country album, Timberlake?