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The theme of the show was changed after Vern passed away, April 28. Originally, Billy was scheduled to pay tribute to Texas legends Johnny Horton, George Jones and Willie Nelson. "I hadn't heard of the news yet when the Opry contacted me to see if I would be willing to honor Vern instead," Billy explains. “I was saddened to hear that we’d lost one of the best singers of our time, but also honored to have been asked to pay tribute to one of the most soulful, heartfelt vocalists ever, in any kind of music.” Billy is set to perform Vern's classic “Chiseled in Stone," the 1989 CMA Song of the Year. Also on the show are Jeannie Seeley, Mel Tillis, Gene Watson and rising stars Emily West and Justin Moore.