Martina McBride does a pretty fantastic Reba McEntire impersonation, as seen on a 2006 episode of CMT Giants. The Kansas native teamed with fellow vocal powerhouse Kelly Clarkson to honor McEntire by swapping lines on one of the country icon’s most famous duets, “Does He Love You.” With McBride taking McEntire’s devastated wife part and Clarkson in the adulterous role made famous by Linda Davis, the two performed a spine-tingling version of one of the most beloved country collaborations of the Nineties.
McBride and Clarkson’s soaring vocals on the call-and-response tune provided one of the night’s most electrifying highlights. McBride added a little Reba-esque twang to her tone, while Clarkson simulated Davis’ impossibly high vocals on the other woman’s lines.
Among others who paid tribute to the “Fancy” singer on this special episode of CMT Giants were Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Wynona Judd, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Loretta Lynn, Jennifer Nettles, Barbara Mandrell and George H.W. Bush. Acknowledging McEntire with praise and performances, it wasn’t until Hill invited the night’s honoree up to the stage when the audience was brought to tears. “Being in country music has given me a lot of things,” said McEntire during her thank you speech, “but the things that I cherish the most are my friends, my girlfriends, my buddies — the ones who got up and sang tonight for me — that’s priceless.”
Thirteen years before McBride and Clarkson’s tribute performance, McEntire and Davis took the emotional “Does He Love You” to the top of the charts and won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. Written by Sandy Knox and Billy Stritch, the provocative tune was for Davis — a onetime backup vocalist for McEntire— the biggest hit of her career.
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Nine years later, all four duet partners still share close ties. McEntire and McBride were the first two artists signed to the new Nash Icon record label last year. And Clarkson, who is managed by McEntire’s husband, Narvel Blackstock, is married to his son, Brandon — making McEntire a first-time step-grandma last summer.