×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Halsey Puts the Extra Lady in Lady Antebellum in Elegant CMA Awards Medley

Halsey is increasingly proving herself a woman for all seasons in her varied TV appearances and awards show collaborations, and Wednesday’s CMA Awards telecast was no exception, as she ingratiated herself into the country vocal trio Lady Antebellum for some flawless four-part harmony on a medley of two of their respective hits.

She and Lady A’s two lead singers, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, first traded lines on the group’s recent “What If I Never Get Over You” — a lovelorn ballad in the tradition of their Grammy-winning “Need You Now” — before segueing into the gravity of Halsey’s own “Graveyard.” Lady A’s rhetorical question “What if time doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?” proved an apt cross-genre match for Halsey’s declaration that “it’s crazy when the thing you love the most is the detriment.”

Going for glam is no detriment to Halsey’s sometimes scrappier persona, as the re-coiffed pop singer went for a full ’50s screen siren look in a glamorous pantsuit as she plucked an electric guitar in the otherwise rootsy and acoustic instrumental setting.

Putting Halsey and Scott together fit with the theme of this year’s CMAs show, which was largely devoted to matching up women, although usually in much larger congregations. The opening medley celebrated the veteran women of the genre. Some sang their own songs (Tanya Tucker, Crystal Gayle, Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Terri Clark, and host Dolly Parton reprising her “Trio” performance of “Those Memories of You” with Reba and Carrie Underwood); others paid homage to their elders (Little Big Town and Jennifer Nettles doing Loretta Lynn, the Highwomen covering Tammy Wynette).

Another all-female medley had Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” covered by a succession of younger performers, including Kelsea Ballerina, best new artist winner Ashley McBryde, Lindsay Ell, Runaway June, Maddie and Tae, and Carly Pearce.

Pink teamed up with Chris Stapleton for what turned out to be a reprise of her album version of “Love Me Anyway,” with Stapleton essentially singing a featured backup vocal part, sans any song of his own.

Underwood, Ballerini and Highwoman (and album of the year winner) Maren Morris each earned her own solo number on the show, as well, while Sheryl Crow joined Dierks Bentley for a hard-rocking duet version of the Janis Joplin classic “Me and Bobby McGee” in tribute to Kris Kristofferson.

 

More Music

  • Who album cover

    Album Review: The Who's 'Who'

    Not only did the death wish expressed 55 years ago in “My Generation” not come true, but the Who have now become the first major rock act of their generation to come up with a whole album that’s actually about getting old. And this from an outfit that pretty much entirely skipped its own middle age, [...]

  • Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut

    Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut With ‘Xanny’ Video (Watch)

    In a week with lots of other Billie Eilish things going on — including Variety’s two cover stories, her acoustic performance at Apple’s headquarters and, not least, reports of a multi-million-dollar documentary deal with Apple — a new video from the 17-year-old singer has also arrived. The clip — for the song “Xanny,” from her [...]

  • CMJ Music Marathon to Relaunch in

    CMJ Music Marathon to Relaunch in 2020

    CMJ Music Marathon, the New York-based music festival and conference ran from 1978 until 2016, is apparently relaunching next year. Details are scant, but a tweet from the company’s official account said that the festival is under “new management” — which means that its most-recent CEO, Adam Klein, who was ordered by a judge to [...]

  • Megan Thee Stallion Swae Lee Victoria

    Variety's 2019 Hitmakers and Hitbreakers Revealed

    It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2019 and the horse it rode in on — or the horse that dominated the conversation: Lil Nas X’s. The year in pop has been largely defined by a gay black man peddling country tropes, an all-shapes-and-sizes-glorifying soul shouter and a waif who felt like Kate Bush reincarnated [...]

  • Ryan Tedder Hitmakers

    Ryan Tedder on the Secrets of Leading Pop Fans Into Songland

    Despite his band’s name, Ryan Tedder is a man of many, many republics. He’s the songwriter of the year in Variety‘s Hitmakers issue largely for his work as a producer-writer in ensuring, with “Sucker,” that the Jonas Brothers had the smoothest possible runway for their comeback to make a safe landing. But eclipsing even that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content