Little Big Town Pays Tribute to Late Kenny Rogers at 2020 CMA Awards with 'Sweet Music Man'
At the annual awards show on Wednesday, the quartet — comprised of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook — delivered big chills with their performance.
The country quartet delivered a heartfelt rendition of Rogers' moving hit song "Sweet Music Man" and were met with a standing ovation.
Ahead of the performance, the band wrote on Twitter, "Tune in to the #CMAawards next Wednesday on ABC as we perform a sweet tribute for our friend and country music legend, Kenny Rogers."
This isn't the first time the band has honored Rogers, who died from natural causes at the age 81 on March 20. In the 2019 A&E documentary Biography: Kenny Rogers, they discussed his impact on country music and their lives.
"He's done everything," Fairchild said in the documentary. "And then to go on and be Entertainer of the Year, be on pop radio ... he really made us all so proud in country music. He was like the shining light of all the things we could become."
They also performed a rendition of Rogers' "Through the Years" at his farewell concert in Nashville in 2017.
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Prior to his death, Rogers had a long history with the CMA Awards, earning the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, winning five total awards throughout his career and serving as host of the show four times.
"I had a wonderful time working with Kenny," she said. "Also, he was the best joke-teller! What a great man, great entertainer, great family man and a great friend."
In addition to Rogers, the show paid tribute to Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels — who died of a hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 83 in July — with an opening performance by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne and Ashley McBryde. Jon Pardi also honored Joe Diffie, who died of coronavirus at the age of 61 earlier this year.
The 54th Annual CMA Awards are airing live from Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on Nov. 11 from 8 to 11 p.m. ET on ABC.