On November 8, 2017, The Country Music Association aired their 51st Annual CMA Award show in Nashville, Tennessee. Hundreds and hundreds of the greats gathered together to celebrate the beauty, fun, and excitement that is country music.
Hosts, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, entertained the audience and 14.3 million viewers. There were jokes told, awards presented, and of course, epic live performances from some of Country Music’s greats such as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and Alan Jackson. With a total of 28 performances, there was one that stood above the rest.
Host and vocalist extraordinaire, Carrie Underwood, delivered one of the most incredible performances by singing the hymn, “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling.” Carrie, who is known for her pure yet powerful singing voice, took the stage in an all-white, jewel-covered gown. With the room dark and thousands of lanterns handed out to the audience members, Carrie began her song.
Within the first few seconds of her song, tears were shed. Carrie has always had a natural ability to stir emotions, but that night her voice truly carried a heartfelt melody. About 30 seconds into the song, a photograph of a country music legend appeared on the screen, and it became clear that Carrie’s performance was so much more than a performance; it was a tribute to those country music greats who had lost their lives in the past year.
Carrie’s tribute was beautiful and heavenly. While the first part of the song recognized major influencers in the music industry, it was the last 30 seconds of the song that brought everyone - including Carrie Underwood - to tears.
On the large screen, 58 faces and names appeared. That’s when the crowd realized that the final recognition was in honor of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Almost instantly, Carrie Underwood became choked-up with tears. As the names and faces of those lost came on the screen and Carrie’s honest voice sang the melody to “Softly and Tenderly,” hearts were filled with so much emotion.
Carrie was so taken aback that she could barely finish the song. Her performance was truly beautiful and it was one that will be remembered forever. We are so thankful for her sweet and powerful vocal tribute, given in recognition of those we lost. Check out the astounding performance, below.