It was an night filled with duets — Meghan Trainor and John Legend, Britney Spears and Iggy Izalea, Nick Jonas and his high-tech video backdrop — but the 2015 Billboard Music Awards still hit an understated peak with Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” performed with a little help from Faith Hill.
The crush-able singer joined Little Big Town during the song’s second verse, briefly taking over lead vocals from Karen Fairchild before joining the rest of the group during the harmony-heavy chorus. For a song that’s already received a bit of backlash from country music’s more straight-laced patrons, with some claiming that “Girl Crush” skirts too close to lesbianism for comfort, adding another woman to the mix was a bold (and smart) move. Controversy hasn’t hurt Little Big Town so far — “Girl Crush” is the reigning Number One song on the country charts, after all — and Hill’s presence doubled as proof that country’s A-listers support the group’s freedom to push the envelope. Another supporter? Taylor Swift, who sang along in the audience.
Little Big Town will make two upcoming appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, followed by a headlining stint at the 2015 CMA Music Festival, before kicking off the summer leg of their ongoing Pain Killer Tour.