ABC/Image Group LA; Gary Miller/ Getty ImagesCountry music superstar Chris Stapleton teamed up with country-folk legend Emmylou Harris for a moving rendition of Tom Petty‘s “Wildflowers” to honor the late Rock & Roll Hall of Famer at the 60th Grammy Awards on Sunday in New York City. But Chris’ connection to Petty, who died unexpectedly in October, goes even deeper than you might have realized.

Wildflowers is my favorite album of all time, sonically and songwise,” Stapleton told reporters backstage at the Grammy Awards Sunday night, where he won three trophies. “I kind of judge all other things by that. I got to be on tour with him this past year, on what turned out to be their last tour as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.”

The country hitmaker even got to spend some time with his musical hero.

“[I] only got to have a brief conversation with Tom,” Chris explained to reporters backstage. “We spent about maybe 15 minutes together. He was very kind, and the last thing he said to me was ‘I hope we get to do this again, and do more of this.’ And, boy, that was such a thrill to me, because I’m such a huge fan of all of his work.”

Regarding his performance of “Wildflowers,” which kicked off the In Memoriam segment of the ceremony, Chris said, “I was tearing up a little bit before I had to walk up there and do that.”

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