There’s an acoustic segment during Sam Hunt’s concerts where he performs hits by Nineties country divas. On Wednesday night, he revisited one of the biggest crowd-pleasers, Bobbie Gentry’s “Fancy,” in front of the artist who made it popular in the Nineties, Reba McEntire.
Reba was among the honorees at the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year ceremonies in Nashville, receiving the Artist of a Lifetime Award. Introduced by Vince Gill, who went off-script to speak about his friendship with the entertainer, Reba accepted the award by nodding to fellow honoree Thomas Rhett’s moment of prayer earlier in the evening. “That took guts,” she said. “We’ve got to give this world back to God.”
Then Hunt took the stage, closing out an evening that also honored Ashley McBryde, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, and Dan + Shay, with his gender-bending rendition of “Fancy,” which Reba released to country radio in 1991. It’s since become one of her signature songs.
Other highlights of the CMT Artists of the Year show included McBryde performing her new single “One Night Standards,” Chris Young singing his ballad “Drowning” in honor of Kane Brown’s drummer Kenny Dixon, who died earlier this week, and Dan + Shay opening the awards with their ubiquitous smash “Tequila.”