The CMA Awards had a legendary start. The 53rd annual CMA's started off with a medley from some of your favorite, legendary female country music stars, including Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Gretchen Wilson, Terri Clark, and many others. And, naturally, fans were absolutely loving the instantly iconic start to the show.
"Currently SHRIEKING at my TV watching all these female country legends sing together," one fan wrote. Another fan said that it was the "Best opening performance @CountryMusic ever!! So many powerful, strong, amazing women in Country Music!!"
Fans were feeling so many emotions while watching the catchy medley, including this fan, who wrote, "Is anyone else crying while watching this opening act? So many amazing women in country music!"
Even Today host Hoda Kotb couldn't help but take to Twitter to laud the performance, writing, "Loving this girl power at the #CMAawards Tanya tucker! Crystal gayle.. can’t take it!!!!! Amazing."
In case you missed the performance live, you missed what many are considering to be the greatest opening in the show's history. The show's hosts (longtime host Underwood with special co-hosts, Parton and McEntire) started things off with a rendition of "Those Memories of You," before passing the torch to Jennifer Nettles, Kimberly Schlapman, and Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild, who honored Loretta Lynch by singing her classic, "You're Lookin' at Country."
The camera then transitioned to The Highwomen (Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby), who sang Tammy Wynette's "Your Girl's Gonna Go Bad." The iconic moments kept on coming, as Tanya Tucker arrived to sing her song, "Delta Dawn" and Gretchen Wilson joined to sing her own "Redneck Woman."
Terri Clark and Sara Evans popped up next, singing "Better Things to Do" and "Born to Fly," respectively," before Martina McBride, with some help of everyone else, brought it home with a rousing rendition of "Independence Day." In other words, the whole opening medley was absolute perfection.
When asked about the epic collaboration, Morris told Billboard that it went without saying that she and the rest of The Highwomen would be totally down to do it.
“It’s really what we made our record around, this theme and mentality, and us being included as the modern era of what country music is is such an honor,” she said. “This performance -- with it being a celebration of women and country from decades past to present -- it really sets the tone for the rest of the night.”