Flashback: Taylor Swift Brings Alison Krauss On Stage For “When You Say Nothing At All” Duet
John Shearer/LP5/Getty Images for TAS
On September 25, 2015, Taylor Swift performed at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena as part of her 1989 World Tour.
During this particular tour, it was extremely common for Swift to bring out surprise guests at each tour stop. During her five month tour, her special guests included Little Big Town, Nick Jonas, Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, and so many more! For her two Nashville concerts, she brought out some heavy hitters.
On September 25, 2015, she brought out Kelsea Ballerini to perform “Love Me Like You Mean It” together. The legendary Steven Tyler made an appearance to sing “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” with Swift, and Alison Krauss dropped by to perform a duet to “When You Say Nothing At All.”
On the following night, Leona Lewis came out to perform her hit song “Bleeding Love” and the legendary Mick Jagger performed “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction!”
The highlight, as a country music fan, was when Krauss and Swift sang “When You Say Nothing At All.”
“When You Say Nothing at All” was written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz and was released by Keith Whitley in 1988. The songwriters came up with the lyrics after they were trying to write a song, but couldn’t come up with anything. Overstreet once said, “As we tried to find another way to say nothing, we came up with the song.”
Alison Krauss released her own version in 1994 for the tribute album Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album. She and her band, Union Station, won the 1995 CMA Award for Single of the Year.
Swift sat at her keyboard and began playing the intro to the Keith Whitley hit “When You Say Nothing At All.” Being a Nashville crowd, fans knew exactly what song she was playing before she sang a single lyric. Swift performed the first verse solo, with fans waiting with baited breath wondering who would be emerging from backstage.
Then she introduced Krauss and the crowd went wild. And then all of a sudden, Swift essentially became Krauss’ backup singer, letting the bluegrass legend’s angelic soprano voice lead the way.
Watch their full performance below.