Throwback CMA performances are just an archive of greatness.
From new breakout singles, to live covers, and in this case a one-of-a-kind collaboration, these older award shows really categorize some of country’s greatest hits.
And you can’t have great hits without great vocals; that’s something that Reba McEntire and LeAnn Rimes have never ran short on.
Arguably, their stripped-down vocals are some of the rawest we have ever seen from female country artists, and it definitely shines through on their performance of duet, “When You Love Someone Like That” at the 2007 CMA Awards.
The heart-wrenching single opens with LeAnn singing solo on the first verse. In an almost internal-conversation, the lyrics paint a picture of a girl trying to convince herself that a romantic falling-out wasn’t her fault:
“Girl it ain’t right, it just ain’t right, don’t tell yourself that it was you.
You followed your heart, you gave it your best, there’s nothing more you can do…”
This is definitely a must-have on any teenage girl’s breakup playlist.
And LeAnn’s lonely single-sided conversation leaves you feeling nothing but empathy for her and her narration of the events. But as the verse winds to a close, Reba’s easily identifiable voice shines through, joining LeAnn for the power-punch chorus.
The collaboration gives the song a whole new structure, now making it less lonely and more of a mother-daughter conversational feel, as Reba repeats the identical verse back to LeAnn, giving her some seasoned advice from someone who’s been there before and sharing: “there’s nothing more you can do.”
Before opening up her CMA performance on stage that night, LeAnn shared with the crowd that Reba was her idol in the country music industry.
“I grew up studying every move this woman made. She is a strong, fearless, class act who is more powerful than ever 30 years into her career.
A lifelong dream of mine was fulfilled recently for an album of duets. The woman I’m speaking of is Reba”
LeAnn then kicked off the powerful performance with Reba joining in, and if this isn’t first-class harmony, I don’t know what is… absolutely stunning.