Pink and Kelly Clarkson opened the 2017 American Music Awards with a show-stopping collaboration on R.E.M.'s classic

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Kelly Clarkson and Pink‘s opening performance at the AMAs made it hard to catch our breath.

The global superstars took the stage for their very first collaboration to open the 2017 American Music Awards on Sunday night.

After a heartfelt introduction from Jamie Foxx, during which he paid tribute to first responders from the numerous tragedies and natural disasters that occurred throughout the year, the opening guitar chordsof R.E.M.’s cathartic classic “Everybody Hurts” was heard.

Pink began the first verse before being joined by Clarkson. Together they strolled to a smaller stage among the crowd and traded vocal gymnastics over Michael Stipe’s lyrics of compassion.

2017 American Music Awards - Show
Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage

Before the show, the pop divas gushed about each other on social media.

“I’m a huge fan of Pink,” Clarkson told EW editor-in-chief Henry Goldblatt at the magazine’s A-List event in New York City in November. “I haven’t had the chance yet to work with her. I think if you project it enough, it might happen, right?”

Clarkson continued, gushing over Pink’s album Beautiful Trauma: “I love her because she has done the whole singer-songwriter record she recently did, she does pop, she loves rock. She is who she is, and that’s cool if you like her, and it’s cool if you don’t. I relate to that, so I think that’s why I like her a lot.”

Ahead of the show, Clarkson — who walked the red carpet with her daughters River and Savannah — also tweeted her excitement about sharing a stage with the “What About Us” singer. “Gonna play it super cool whilst singing with @Pink this Sunday at the #AMAs,” she wrote. “But know on the inside I will be freaking the &$@! out.”

Pink responded to the tweet — and compliment — Tweeting back, “You’re joking! I am humbly prepared to be outsung 🙂 I adore you and I cannot wait.”

In addition to the duet, the pair will later take the stage for their own solo performances. Last week, it was announced that Pink was set to return to the AMA stage with a show-stopping rendition of the title track from her most recent album, Beautiful Trauma, which debuted in the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart in October and marked a career high for first-week sales.

Pink first performed at the awards show in 2001 with her hit “Most Girls,” and returned again in 2003 and 2008.