Kelsea Ballerini paid the ultimate tribute to country icon Shania Twain at the Academy of County Music Honors on Wednesday (Aug. 24) by wearing the sequined, white Marc Bouwer gown that the latter wore to the 1999 Grammys. And Twain couldn’t be more delighted.
“I’m so blown away. She looks stunning, she looks like an absolute angel. It’s very flattering to see her in the dress and that she even wanted to wear it,” the “That Don’t Impress Me Much” singer told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet of the dress seeing the light of day again after 23 years, thanks to Ballerini. “Obviously it was an incredible night for me at the Grammys, so that dress represented that experience and I’m just happy to see it alive again. Now it has a new life, and it has new memories, and it’s really great to be able to share that with other people, with another women.”
The “From This Moment On” singer won best female country vocal performance and best country song for her Billboard Hot 100 No. 2 hit “You’re Still the One” at the 1999 Grammys.
Ballerini, with permission from Twain and the Grammy Museum, had the dress for 48 hours and wore it as a way of paying tribute to her hero, who was being honored with the ACM Poets Award later in the evening.
“When I was asked to be a part of it to honor [Twain], we were just thinking about every possible way where we could highlight every stage of her career, and one of the things — I think she’s an icon because of this — is her fashion and how she’s always push boundaries,” the 28-year-old explained on the red carpet. “We have her blessing fully.”
Of wearing the sentimental gown, Ballerini added, “You grow up finding people that you’re like, ‘If I ever get the opportunity to be an artist, I wanna be like that.’ Shania’s … she’s that for me. So to be able to honor her is one thing, but to be able to honor her and have her blessing … this feels like she’s continuing to be like, ‘I like what you’re doing enough to let you wear my dress that I won my Grammys in.’ It’s also very affirming and reassuring.”
The 2022 ACM Honors will air Sept. 13 on Fox. Carly Pearce is hosting the event. Ballerini will be performing, in addition to Mickey Guyton, Wynonna Judd, Avril Lavigne, Morgan Wallen and more.