Carly Pearce made Friday night’s CMA Fest concert one to remember. Wynonna Judd surprised fans at Nissan Stadium by taking the stage alongside her fellow Kentuckian for a performance of “Why Not Me.”
The moment was incredibly powerful for all 50,000-plus fans in the building. After Pearce introduced performances from Cole Swindell, Lainey Wilson, and Gabby Barrett, she welcomed the country music Hall of Famer to the stage.
After the performance, emcee Storme Warren called it one of the most impressive moments in the history of the 50-year festival, and we have to agree. The crowd was in a frenzy during and after the two combined their powerful voices for The Judds 1984 hit.
Wynonna is gearing up to hit the road on tour later this year. She made the decision to go through with the tour after her mother’s death, saying, “I will continue to sing. I made a decision, and I decided to share it on national television. After a lot of thought, I am gonna have to honor her and do this tour because that is what you [the fans] would want.”
Per CMT, Wynonna Judd continued, “So tonight, as we close I say, ‘the show must go on.’ As hard as it may be, we will show up together. You will carry me, as you carried me for 38 years once again because I honestly didn’t think I should do it. I didn’t know If I could go on without her… oh God. Life is so strange. It is so devastatingly beautiful what happened here tonight. We will continue this spectacle – that is what she would want, right?”
Friday Night’s Performances
After Darius Rucker, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, and Keith Urban set a pretty high musical bar on Thursday, Friday night kept the train rolling. “Strawberry Wine” singer Deana Carter got the night started before kicking it to Kelsea Ballerini.
Then, Thomas Rhett really got the crowd going with a 40+ minute performance of his hits.
After Rhett, Pearce welcomed Cole Swindell to the stage to perform “Never Say Never” with newly-appointed “Yellowstone” actor Lainey Wilson. Barrett followed before Wynonna Judd and Pearce took the stage. Kane Brown closed the night out as the clock approached midnight.