2019 CMA Awards: Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton Open the Show With an Epic Performance

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And that is how you open a show!

To kick off the 2019 CMA Awards, country legends Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton and more teamed up for an epic opening number that had everyone at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, applauding and on their feet.

Underwood, chic in a bright orange fringe dress, joined McEntire, dazzling in blue, to sing Parton's "Those Memories of You" with the country queen herself.

Moments later, Jennifer Nettles took the stage with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman to sing Loretta Lynn's "You're Lookin' at Country." Cameras panned to Lynn, who was seated in the audience, watching the powerhouse ladies pay tribute to her iconic song.

Next up, it was a shining moment for The Highwomen, the all-girl group made up of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires. The ladies sang Tammy Wynette's "Your Good Girl is Gonna Go Bad," giving viewers chills with their vocals.

Tanya Tucker then came out on stage to join the ladies, belting out a beautiful rendition of her classic hit, "Delta Dawn," followed by Gretchen Wilson -- who slayed "Redneck Woman" -- and Crystal Gayle, who sang "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue."

CMA Awards
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But that's not all! Terri Clark reminded us all that she's still "Got Better Things To Do," while Sara Evans proved she's still "Born to Fly."

To wrap up the memorable performance, Martina McBride, dressed in gold, came out solo to sing "Independence Day." All of the ladies then joined in for the chorus, a powerful moment that received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd.

The performance couldn't have been a more perfect fit for this year's awards show, which is all about celebrating the legacy of women in country music. Underwood is serving as the evening's host, with Parton and McEntire as special guest hosts of the event, which, for the first time in history, sees women nominated in every category except Male Vocalist of the Year.

CMA Awards
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The Instagram accounts for ABC and CMA teased via their Instagram Stories that a "show-stopping performance" would be coming just hours before the awards show kicked off, and McEntire echoed that while speaking with ET's Cassie DiLaura on the red carpet.

"I'm thrilled to be doing the show with Carrie and Dolly," said McEntire. "We've had such a good time during rehearsals. ...We've had a blast."

"Women in country music are strong. They're powerful. They love to sing songs that tell stories because it's stories that people can relate to," she continued. "That's what country music is so good at. Dolly and I were talking in between segments about my favorite album of hers -- which is My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy. It's just that the stories touch everybody's heart. Country music is so relatable, and the women are really good at telling those stories."

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