Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton Perform Rockstar Opening at the 2019 CMA Awards
The 53rd Annual CMA Awards aired live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC
Country’s biggest night is here!
The 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards kicked off Wednesday night with a show-stopping performance from all-stars and this year’s co-hosts Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. The trio began the show with a rendition of Parton’s 1987 song, “Those Memories of You,” which she originally recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris for their Trio album.
Soon after, the three women were joined by an all-female group of performers including Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson and The Highwomen’s Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires to perform a medley in homage to the legendary women of country music.
After “Those Memories of You,” Nettles and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman performed Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Lookin’ at Country.”
The Highwomen and Parton then took it away with a performance of Tammy Wynette’s “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad.” Tucker followed with a performance of her hit, “Delta Dawn.”
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Wilson then came out to perform her hit “Redneck Woman” with the women on the stage, and Gale followed with a performance of her hit, “Don’t Make My Brown Eyes Blue.”
Clark then performed her song “Better Things to Do” and Evans performed “Born to Fly” before the medley came to a close with McBride’s “Independence Day.”
In addition to opening the awards show, Underwood is hosting the CMAs for the 12th year in a row. She is joined by co-hosts McEntire, 64, and Parton, 73, a notable difference from past years.
Check out PEOPLE’s full CMA Awards coverage to get the latest news on country music’s biggest night.
For the last 11 years, Underwood has teamed up with Brad Paisley to co-host the show. In August, Paisley announced that he wouldn’t be hosting the event this year.
But, with a new team of co-hosts, Underwood assured that the show will be filled with plenty of great laughs. “I feel like Dolly and Reba are both so good at those one-liners that just kill,” she said. “I can’t imagine there not being some of those in there.”
Underwood will hit the stage once more for her single “Drinking Alone” from her latest album, Cry Pretty. McEntire will sing her hit song “Fancy,” while Parton will perform a gospel medley with KING & Country and Zach Williams. The trio will get together again to sing “God Only Knows.”
Miranda Lambert and Morris will also show off their vocal prowess. Morris, who is expecting her first child with husband Ryan Hurd, will perform her hit “GIRL” while Lambert will sing her single “It All Comes Out in the Wash.”
The 53rd Annual CMA Awards aired live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8pm EST on ABC.