Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum Sing for Reba at Kennedy Center Honors - Rolling Stone
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See Kelly Clarkson’s Reba Tribute at Kennedy Center Honors

Lady Antebellum and Brooks & Dunn also honor McEntire at Washington, D.C. gala

Reba McEntire represented country music in this year’s Kennedy Center Honors class. The Oklahoma native was in attendance as Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum and Brooks & Dunn performed her songs at the December 2nd Washington, D.C., ceremony, which aired on CBS on Wednesday night.

Clarkson, resplendent in a red dress (a subtle nod to McEntire’s infamous 1993 CMAs dress), delivered a majestic take of “Fancy,” the Bobbie Gentry tale of a young girl persuaded by her mother to “be nice to the gentlemen.” A staple of McEntire’s own live show, Clarkson turns the song into a barn-burner on the Kennedy Honors stage.

Lady Antebellum, who will follow in McEntire’s footsteps by launching their own Las Vegas residency in February, offered a medley of “Is There Life Out There” and “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.” Both songs were hits for McEntire in the early Nineties, with “Is There Life Out There” topping the charts.

The duo Brooks & Dunn also mined McEntire’s Nineties catalog, retooling her 1994 single “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” into a bluesy number with both Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn trading vocals. McEntire and Brooks & Dunn have been longtime friends collaborators. They’ll resume their “Together in Vegas” residency at Caesars Palace in June.

Cher, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, jazz musician Wayne Shorter, composer Philip Glass and music director Alex Lacamoire rounded out the Kennedy honorees.


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