Women in Music 2016

Miranda Lambert Plays Role of 'My Girl' as Boyfriend Anderson East Duets With Chris Stapleton in L.A.

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Chris Stapleton performs at Ryman Auditorium on October 26, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn.

Cute double-couple alert: What country fan wouldn’t like to be a fly on the wall when the Stapletons and the East-Lamberts play bridge?

Miranda Lambert may have intended to stay strictly behind the scenes when her boyfriend, Anderson East, opened for Chris Stapleton at a sold-out show at L.A.’s Greek Theatre Wednesday (April 27) night. But when a loose-lipped Stapleton wondered aloud whether “Ran” would be joining him and East on their planned duet of the Temptations’ “My Girl,” the cat was out of the bag, even as the headliner apologized for outing her.

“She’s gonna kill me,” Stapleton said, as Lambert dutifully made her way on stage. Whether her appearance was dutiful or not, East’s girlfriend enthusiastically joined in on some spontaneous backup singer choreography, as well as chiming in with the headliner’s wife, Morgane Stapleton, when it came time to echo the “My Girl” of the chorus.

Lambert, of course, has been publicly identified as East’s girlfriend since late last year, when they started being seen together following her divorce from Blake Shelton. The Greek show wasn’t the first time they’ve shared a stage together, as East and Lambert performed a surprise duet of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” at one of his shows on Valentine’s Day.

"My Girl" might have counted as the highlight of the show if not for the fact that Stapleton reprised his purple-bathed cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” as previewed a few nights earlier on the tour. The extreme vocal demands of Stapleton’s arrangement of the tune (made famous by Sinead O’Connor) did not go un-remarked upon.

“We’re gonna try this, [even though] two nights ago I couldn’t speak,” said Stapleton, who’d postponed a show in Santa Barbara the previous evening. (“I am torn up... I've lost my voice and am headed to the doctor first thing in the morning,” he wrote on Instagram Monday night.) At the outset of the Greek performance, Morgane Stapleton told the crowd that “we almost didn’t make it,” suggesting that keeping the L.A. date had been touch-and-go, though there was hardly any evidence of the seemingly iron-lunged singer holding anything back after the previous day’s date with the doctor.

Stapleton has a couple of days to put himself back on vocal rest before playing for what’s expected to be his biggest audience yet out in the desert at the Stagecoach Festival on Saturday night.