Last month, Little Big Town released its highly anticipated eighth album, The Breaker. Buoyed by the strength of Taylor Swift-penned lead single “Better Man,” the album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
The four-piece has become a mainstay of popular country since releasing its self-titled debut in 2002, thanks to thoughtful songs and a constantly evolving sound. More than anything, though, Little Big Town is known for its out-of-this-world vocal harmonies, with all four members contributing to richly layered walls of sound on all their recordings.
Those four-part harmonies have earned the band widespread acclaim, including eight CMA Awards and two Grammys, as well as a 2017 residency at none other than Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Below, check out six stellar live performances from Little Big Town that show off just how big those harmonies are.
“Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry cover) at the 2017 Grammy Awards
Little Big Town participated in the tribute to the Bee Gees at the 2017 Grammys, but it was the group’s introduction to Katy Perry‘s performance of “Chained to the Rhythm” that let them truly shine. Before handing the stage over to Perry, they performed an abbreviated version of her 2010 smash “Teenage Dream,” giving the love song a bit of gravitas by layering lush harmonies over a single acoustic guitar.
“Better Man” at the 2016 CMA Awards
“Better Man” may be written by Taylor Swift, but Little Big Town makes the heartbreaking ballad all its own with giant vocal harmonies that swell at the song’s most emotional points. Karen Fairchild holds her own on the verses, her sturdy alto the perfect foundation for the other vocalists to add sonic depth.
“Tennessee Whiskey” with Chris Stapleton at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium
What’s better than four stellar vocalists? How about four stellar vocalists performing with the singular Chris Stapleton? That’s exactly what happened during the first weekend of Little Big Town’s residency at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, when the group backed Stapleton on his version of “Tennessee Whiskey.”
“Smokin’ and Drinkin'” with Miranda Lambert at the 2014 CMA Awards
Little Big Town joined Miranda Lambert on this standout track from her 2014 album Platinum, reprising their appearance during a live performance at that year’s CMA Awards. Lambert sounds right at home harmonizing with the group, and we wouldn’t be mad if they tapped her as a fifth member.
“Fallin'” (Alicia Keys cover) on ABC’s Greatest Hits
Alicia Keys has been no stranger to the country community over the last year, performing on both CMT’s Crossroads and the Grammy Awards with Maren Morris. So it’s not too surprising, then, that Little Big Town would be asked to honor Keys on an episode of ABC’s Greatest Hits, performing her breakout single, 2001’s “Fallin’.” It’s an excellent performance all the way through, but Jimi Westbrook’s falsetto on the second verse takes the cake.
“Jolene” (Dolly Parton cover) at the Grand Ole Opry
Sorry Pentatonix, Little Big Town did it better. The group’s a capella performance of the legendary Dolly Parton song at a 2016 Grand Ole Opry show is proof that country doesn’t need beatboxing, and that Little Big Town could kick some serious ass in a sing-off.