Co-hosts Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton led off the 2019 Country Music Association awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday Night (Nov. 13), performing the first part of an extended tribute to some of the signature numbers by many of the great women in country history.
Underwood, McEntire and Parton sang a lovely rendition of “Those Memories of You,” most famously recorded by Parton (along with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt) on their classic 1987 Trio album. From there, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town took on “You’re Looking at Country,” by the legendary Loretta Lynn — watching from the audience — and then supergroup The Highwomen ran through Tammy Wynette’s “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad.”
From there, a number of country’s living legends came out to perform some of their most famous hits. Tanya Tucker belted “Delta Dawn,” Gretchen Wilson yee-hawed through “Redneck Woman,” Crystal Gayle crooned “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” Terri Clark rocked out on “Better Things to Do” and Sara Evans soared through “Born to Fly.” Then the medley was capped with Martina McBride joining the rest of the night’s early performers for a rousing rendition of her classic “Independence Day.”
Underwood, McEntire and Parton are co-hosting the CMA Awards together for the first time, though all three have hosted separately before. Parton first hosted in 1988, while McEntire hosted from 1990 to 1992 — once with Randy Travis, once with Vince Gill and once solo — and Underwood has co-hosted with Brad Paisley for the 11 previous ceremonies, from 2008-2018.
Watch video of the performance below.