Carrie Underwood honors decades of female country icons with stunning medley

“These strong voices mean so much to me and all the other female artists who stand on their shoulders," she said.
Underwood performs at the American Country Music Awards on Sept. 16, 2020.
Underwood performs at the American Country Music Awards on Sept. 16, 2020.Jason Kempin/ACMA2020 / Getty Images for ACM
/ Source: TODAY

Carrie Underwood performed a medley of hits by iconic female country artists who paved the way for her at the 2020 Academy of Country Music awards on Wednesday night.

The medley included songs by Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire and Martina McBride.

“These strong voices mean so much to me and all the other female artists who stand on their shoulders,” Underwood, 37, said before belting a mash-up of the women’s hits to mark the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry.

The Entertainer of the Year nominee took the stage at the iconic venue in Nashville, Tennessee, for her energetic medley that began with Cline’s classic hit “Crazy.” As she sang, photos of each of the legendary musicians were shown behind her on a huge screen.

One highlight was a theatrical performance of “Why’d You Come in Here” by Dolly Parton that was shared to Twitter by the ACMs official account. Her medley closed out with a stunning performance of Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing,” that concluded with a show-stopping final note that brought the house down. (Well, it would have brought the house down, had there been an audience.)

Earlier in the night, Underwood and other nominees for Entertainer of the Year kicked off the awards ceremony with a medley of their hits. Underwood, the only woman nominated in the category, belted "Before He Cheats," her huge breakup hit from 2005.