2022 CMA Red Carpet: Country Stars Arrive in Style
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Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert + Reba McEntire Open CMA Awards With Loretta Lynn Tribute

The first CMA Awards broadcast since the Oct. 4 death of country music icon Loretta Lynn began with a tribute by three artists who've followed the path Lynn blazed: Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Reba McEntire.

Underwood opened the rapid-fire medley with a portion of "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" that sounded almost as twangy as the real McCoy from 1965. Lambert incorporated part of 1968's "Fist City" with her usual air of defiance. Lastly, McEntire set the fashion standard for the night, wearing a green-fringed black suit while closing the performance with the 1971 identity song "You're Lookin' at Country."

All three stuck around afterwards for a verse-swapping rendition of Lynn's autobiographical "Coal Miner's Daughter" in its entirety.

Overall, the trio set the stage for an evening that should acknowledge country music's past while celebrating its present and future.

At least one other tribute is in the works for a Country Music Hall of Fame member who's died in 2022: Elle King and the Black Key's celebration of rock pioneer and country hit-maker Jerry Lee Lewis. Hall of Famers Jeff Cook of Alabama, Naomi Judd of The Judds and radio and TV personality Ralph Emery also died earlier this year,

Among her many impacts on country music and pop culture were two CMA Awards firsts. She was the first woman to be nominated for (1971) and win (1972) Entertainer of the Year. She was also the first nominee (1971) and winner (1975) of the ACM's top prize.

In all, only seven women artists or acts have ever won the award: Lynn (1972), Dolly Parton (1978), Barbara Mandrell (1980, 1981), McEntire (1986), Shania Twain (1999), The Chicks (2000) and Taylor Swift (2009, 2011). Lambert and Underwood vie this year to be the first woman to win the CMA's biggest honor in over a decade.

READ MORE: 2022 CMA Red Carpet: Country Stars Arrive in Style