She took the CMA stage for the very first time with Chris Stapleton to honor Aretha Franklin, whom she recently played in the movie Respect.
They kicked it off with “Night Life,” which was originally written by Willie Nelson, but he sold the song and all of the rights to it in 1960 to guitar teacher Paul Buskirk for $15o to get a little cash for his family and babies when he was still a struggling artist. The song has been recorded over 400 times since, including by Aretha herself.
They also traded vocals on a soulful, and completely epic, rendition of “You Are My Sunshine”.
As Jennifer sang to a crowd that gave her a very well deserved standing ovation, she showed off her incredible range and out of the world voice. And the two of them together? Pure magic. I don’t even know how their voices are real.
It was easily the best and most memorable performance of the night. If you only watch one performance from the show, it should hands down be this one: