Little Big Town Offer Loving Tribute to Kenny Rogers at 2020 CMA Awards
Little Big Town took the stage in remembrance of the "Sweet Music Man" himself during the 2020 CMA Awards on Wednesday night (Nov. 11). Indeed, the country quartet sang a touching version of "Sweet Music Man," one of the signature numbers penned and originally performed by the late Kenny Rogers, who died in March at the age of 81.
"The great Kenny Rogers did so much in his long career, including hosting this show four times," CMAs co-host Darius Rucker said as he introduced the performance. "In all he did, Kenny influenced me and countless others in country music and way, way beyond. Here to honor the "Sweet Music Man," who we lost this year, nominees for Vocal Group with truly heavenly voices, Little Big Town."
Rogers recorded "Sweet Music Man" for his 1977 set Daytime Friends, and the song subsequently hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Reba McEntire has since recorded her own version.
The late singer and Hall of Fame inductee, best known for hits such as "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County" as well as his many collaborations with Dolly Parton, died at his home after entering hospice care shortly beforehand. He'd retired from the road after a 2016 tour, and his final show was an all-star tribute concert in Nashville the following year.
Little Big Town's tribute was one of three in memoriam performances to take place during Wednesday night's broadcast. Jon Pardi performed in honor of '90s great Joe Diffie, who died of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, while Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde, Brothers Osborne and Jenee Fleenor joined forces at the top of the 2020 CMAs show with a tribute to Southern rock and country legend Charlie Daniels.
In addition to giving a performance at the 2020 CMAs, Little Big Town are also nominated for Vocal Group of the Year, alongside Lady A, Midland, Old Dominion and Rascal Flatts.