Kelsea Ballerini Brings Down the ACM Honors House With Shania Twain Cover, Fans Can’t Get Enough

by Suzanne Halliburton

Watch Kelsea Ballerini give some 2022 sass to Shania Twain’s original “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.” And the audience at the ACM Honors loved the cover.

ACM Honors held its ceremony last month, handing out awards to special country music artists. Twain earned the Poet’s Award for her lyrical contributions to country music. However, Fox showed the awards show to a national audience, Tuesday night.

Although Shania Twain was honored for her lyrics, she also was all about the visual in her music videos. In “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” which she released in 1999, Twain paid homage to the slick Robert Palmer video style. She appeared wearing a long whitecoat over a black tuxedo mini. Her top hat featured netting over her eyes. Plus, she finished off the look with thigh-high boots. And there were male models wearing tight red shirts as they played guitars. If Palmer could do this in the 1980s, well, Twain could flip the look for the 1990s.

Then Kelsea Ballerini tweaked it a bit, although it still was very Shania. She wore a similar tuxedo mini, with the top hat, except her coat was black and her boots stopped at the calf. But when Ballerini leaned over to sing part of the verse with Shania, you knew this song still was very Twain. The dancers were a bit different, too. Gone were the tight shirts from the late 1990s. These guys went shirtless underneath their formal top coats.

Have a look at this brief intro to Kelsea Ballerini going very Shania Twain.

‘Let’s Go Girls!’ Fans Loved This Kelsea Ballerini Cover

How’d the fans react to one country star honoring another? How do you think? Big applause.

“Awesome job! What a way to honor Shania!” wrote one fan in response to the ACM Awards clip.

Another tweeted: “Kelsea Ballerini slayed that Shania Twain performance though!”

Kelsea Ballerini, like Shania Twain, loves fashion. And she channeled Shania during the ACM Honors red carpet. The Grammy Museum loaned Ballerini the sleek, form-fitting white dress that Shania Twain wore to the 1999 Grammy Awards. It’s safe to say, both women rocked the dress, then and now.

Twain approved of the visual.

“I am so blown away,” Twain told Entertainment Tonight. “She looks stunning. She looks like an absolute angel. It’s very flattering to see her in the dress, and that she even wanted to wear it. I said, ‘I hope it’s not too dusty after being in the (Grammy Museum).’”

Shania Twain loved the dress Kelsea Ballerini wore and her song was perfection. (Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM)

As for the whole experience, Twain said:

“It feels wonderful to be accepted and recognized for something that I’ve been doing practically my whole life. I started writing songs at the age of 10 years old and so many of my songwriting heroes have been here at the Ryman performing through all my childhood and have also been honored for this award, so I’m kind of like ‘I can’t believe this is really happening,’ but at the same time it’s an incredibly rewarding feeling to have that acceptance.”

And Kelsea Ballerini made the honor even more special. Because as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.