The Story Behind Kris Kristofferson's Biggest Hit, "Why Me Lord"
Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images

The Story Behind Kris Kristofferson’s Biggest Hit “Why Me Lord”

In 1973, Kris Kristofferson achieved a major breakthrough in the country music scene with his chart-topping hit “Why Me Lord.” This song not only secured the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart but also earned a notable position at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The soulful track, featured on the album “Jesus Was a Capricorn,” stands out for its gospel influence and the backing vocals by his then-wife, Rita Coolidge, along with contributions from country artist Larry Gatlin. The emotional depth of “Why Me Lord” has resonated with many, leading to numerous interpretations by other artists. Renowned musicians such as Elvis Presley, George Jones, David Allan Coe, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and more have all put their unique spins on this timeless song.

>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”

The Story Behind “Why Me Lord” by Kris Kristofferson

During the early 1970s, while Kris Kristofferson was gaining popularity, he was also grappling with personal struggles. Despite his success, Kristofferson found himself in a period of emotional difficulty.

After performing with other country singers, Kristofferson joined friends at Jimmie Snow’s church, where he experienced a profound spiritual awakening. This visit marked a significant turning point in his life. During Pastor Jimmie’s call for those feeling lost, Kristofferson, though not a regular churchgoer, hesitantly raised his hand. He was invited to embrace Jesus, and Kristofferson walked to the front of the church, experiencing a transformative moment filled with tears and a newfound sense of forgiveness.

This deeply moving experience inspired Kristofferson to write “Why Me Lord,” a song that powerfully captures the emotions he felt during that pivotal moment.

If you’re curious to hear the song, check out the video below. Kris Kristofferson has made it a tradition to end his concerts with this heartfelt gospel tune, cementing its place in his legacy.

>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

For those interested in the lyrics for “Why Me Lord”, they reflect the heartfelt plea and emotional depth of the song. The lyrics for “Why Me Lord” can be found in various resources online, providing a glimpse into the powerful message conveyed through the Kris Kristofferson song “Why Me Lord”.

>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty’s Classic Duet “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”

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