Yesterday, midway through opening night of Taylor Swift’s two-show residency in Kansas City, Bentley walked onstage to perform a surprise version of his 2006 single, “Every Mile a Memory.” Swift joined him, singing harmonies during the first chorus before taking the lead during the second verse. Sandwiched between live versions of the 1989 tracks “Style” and “Bad Blood,” “Every Mile a Memory” — which topped the country charts back in November 2006, two weeks after Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut first hit stores — is the latest curveball in a tour whose sets have included unannounced appearances by Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez and Friends vet Lisa Kudrow. In a gesture of goodwill toward her old country comrades, Swift has also duetted with Natalie Maines, the Band Perry and Sam Hunt.
Bentley, who celebrates the tenth anniversary of his Grand Ole Opry induction at the end of this month, is in the running for Male Vocalist of the Year at the upcoming CMA Awards. Meanwhile, Swift — whose increasing emphasis on pop music has taken her out of the running at country awards shows — will remain on the road for the rest of the year, with upcoming shows ranging from St. Louis to Shanghai.