The 56th annual CMA Awards took over Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (Nov. 9), and the country music celebration kicked off with a special tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who died Oct. 4 at age 90.
The commemoration began with video footage of Lynn at the Ryman Auditorium in 1972, where she accepted her CMA entertainer of the year award, becoming the first woman to take home the Country Music Association’s highest honor.
Carrie Underwood then stepped onstage to honor the Country Music Hall of Fame member with a performance of her 1966 hit “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” before Miranda Lambert sang “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’.” Reba McEntire then took over by performing Lynn’s 1971 track “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” sweetly switching up the lyrics at one point to sing, “If you’re looking at Loretta, you’re looking at country.”
The superstar trio then came together to wrap up the tribute with a powerful performance of one of Lynn’s most beloved hits, 1971’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” as photos of Lynn with a variety of artists, including Dolly Parton, Lambert, Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson flashed across the screen.
The 2022 CMA Awards will feature a number of other major collaborations, including Elle King joining the Black Keys to perform “Great Balls of Fire” in honor of the late Country Music Hall of Fame member Jerry Lee Lewis. Thomas Rhett will pair with Katy Perry for their collaboration “Where We Started,” while Chris Stapleton will share the stage with Patty Loveless for a rendition of “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.”
See our list of CMA winners here.