Surprise! During a night filled with tributes to the origins of country music, one of pop music’s biggest names teamed up with the Dixie Chicks for a mind-blowing performance at the 50th annual CMA Music Awards.
No one expected Beyonce to appear at the awards, especially with this year’s classic country-oriented lineup. But the addition does come just a year after Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s landmark performance, so it’s no surprise that the CMA’s wanted to create another legendary moment.
The Dixie Chicks, who haven’t been seen at most country music award shows since their George W. Bush controversy in 2003, mixed up their 2002 hit with Beyonce’s energetic track “Daddy Lessons.” It’s not often that you see a pop icon let another artist take over lead vocals, but Beyonce happily swapped verses with Chicks’ lead vocalist Natalie Maines.
“Daddy Lessons” is featured on Beyonce’s highly-acclaimed concept album, Lemonade. The track features Zydeco influences and elements from both country and bluegrass. Earlier this year, the Dixie Chicks added a cover of the track to their DCX MMXVI World Tour setlist. So the surprise pairing didn’t come completely out of the blue.
So far, it seems like country fans are fairly split about the performance. Some applaud the CMA’s for bringing artists and genres together. Others feel like adding Beyonce takes away from the pure country feel of the 50th anniversary. No matter how you slice it, the surprise mashup will definitely be a moment that will go down in CMA history.