Carrie Underwood is the only female nominee in the entertainer of the year category at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards

By Karen Mizoguchi
September 16, 2020 09:29 PM
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Carrie Underwood
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Carrie Underwood honored trailblazing female country stars with a special performance during the 2020 ACM Awards.

On Wednesday, Underwood marked the 95th anniversary of the iconic Grand Ole Opry by singing a medley of songs by fellow Opry members Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.

The American Idol alum, 37, took the Opry stage in a maroon gown and addressed the remote audience ahead of her set.

"Patsy and Loretta, Martina and Barbara, Reba and Dolly. These strong voices mean so much to me and to all the other female artists who stand on their shoulders," Underwood said. "They are some of my heroes, and I am so honored to stand alongside them as a fellow member of the Grand Ole Opry. It's my pleasure to pay tribute to these legendary ladies as we celebrate the Opry's 95th anniversary."

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Underwood then unleashed her stunning vocals on a slew of hits by the aforementioned queens of country, including: Cline's "Crazy," Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough," Mandrell's "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," Parton's "Why'd You Come in Here," McEntire's "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" and McBride's "A Broken Wing."

For this year's show, which was postponed from its original April date due to the coronavirus pandemic, Underwood is nominated for female artist of the year and entertainer of the year, an award she won in 2009 and 2010.

Check out PEOPLE's full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on one of country music's biggest nights. 

The mother of two, who is the only female nominee in the entertainer of the year category this year, is competing for the trophy against Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett.

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards show pivoted from its originally planned date and aired ACM Presents: Our Country in April, featuring country stars performing from their homes and honoring frontline workers. Underwood was among those to participate and she belted out her hit "Drinking Alone" from her couch, where she held a glass of red wine.

Along with Underwood on Wednesday, Church, Bryan, Combs, Rhett Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini and Dan + Shay are among those scheduled to hit the stage.

The show, hosted by Keith Urban, is broadcasting from three iconic venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe.

The 2020 ACM Awards are airing live from Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.