Why Carrie Underwood’s ACM performance has everyone talking

From over-the-top live performances to stunning red carpet looks, awards shows have it all — and country music’s biggest night was no exception.  As the genre’s biggest names gathered at three of Nashville’s most iconic venues, the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards offered fans an intimate (albeit virtual) evening with their favorite acts. Yet, while the event will surely go down in history for its socially distanced approach amid the COVID-19 safety guidelines, fans won’t soon forget country superstar Carrie Underwood’s captivating performance, either. The “Before He Cheats” singer helped open the show, setting the tone for the night, but it was her solo performance upon the Grand Ole Opry stage that left viewers mesmerized.

Although the event was an unusual one, with the show being held in Nashville instead of its usual Las Vegas (sans live audience, of course), the performances were nothing short of impressive. With Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, and countless other artists taking the stage, this year’s awards show might have had the greatest number of artists performing, according to ACMs CEO Damon Whiteside, who spoke to The Tennessean. But out of all the performances, it was Underwood’s tribute to country music’s greatest female performers that fans couldn’t stop talking about.

Carrie Underwood honored country music's greatest female performers

Carrie Underwood, who was the ACM Awards’ only female nominee for Entertainer of the Year, kicked off the night with a stunning tribute that wasn’t to be missed. Dressed in a maroon gown, the singer performed a medley honoring country music’s greatest female performers, including singers Patsy Cline, Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton. Underwood added that those singers and “all the other female artists who stand on their shoulders” are  “some of my heroes.” As members of the Grand Ole Opry, which celebrated its 95th anniversary in 2020, these singers inspired Underwood’s striking combination of songs, including Lynn’s You Ain’t Woman Enough, Parton’s Why’d You Come in Here, McEntire’s The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, and more, per People.

Not only were her vocals stunning, but the concept behind the medley struck a note with many country fans. Taking to Twitter, fans and other artists couldn’t stop talking about how heartfelt Underwood’s performance was. “Ummm @carrieunderwood you are GOALS,” singer Carly Pearce posted on Twitter. “That last note, the whole entire tribute… thank you for always being so true to country music.”

“THIS reminds me of why I LOVE Country Music so much,” another user tweeted in response to Pearce. “THAT was a beautiful tribute to the legendary greats.” Fans continued to describe her beautiful delivery as everything from “a gift” to “awesome” and, quite frankly, we’ve still got chills, too. 

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