On Thursday night (April 6), the Avett Brothers were tasked with performing one of Merle Haggard's most iconic songs in front of their peers and thousands of Haggard fans at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Readers can press play above to watch the band sing "Mama Tried."

Backstage at Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard, Scott Avett told The Boot that "Mama Tried" was a special request for the Avett Brothers' performance during the tribute show.

“We had some other songs that were on tap to play, [but] they requested, special-requested, us to do that song,” the band’s lead singer explains. “We said, ‘We’re in.’ We jumped at the opportunity to play such an important song in his catalog."

In 2016, shortly after Haggard died on April 6, his 79th birthday, the Avett Brothers paid tribute to the country icon in concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden with "Mama Tried." They've used the song in their setlist at a number of shows in the months since as well.

“I keep coming back to this song that was written about something that’s just really tough, in a very personal way, for a human, for Merle,” Avett adds. “We loved the fact that he was that brave, and we look up to that. We idolize it, we admire it, and, in many ways, relate to it, so the song is perfect for us.”

"Mama Tried" is, of course, one of Haggard's most well-known songs. The title track of Haggard's 1968 studio album, the song became the country icon's fifth No. 1 song and spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. "Mama Tried" has been enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame and the National Recording Registry.

Other artists who took the stage to honor Haggard during Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard included Dierks Bentley, John Mellencamp, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefited the TJ Martell Foundation.

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