Harry Styles Is Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Space Cowboy’ in Duet at Nashville Arena

Kacey MusgravesAustin City Limits Music Festival, Weekend 2, Day 3, Texas, USA - 13 Oct 2019
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Kacey Musgraves used to sing a duet with Harry Styles every night when she was opening for him on tour. Friday night, now that Musgraves is an arena headliner, Styles returned the favor — not by being an opening act, but the duet part, at least. At her sold-out hometown show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, he emerged as a surprise guest for one of the final numbers of the night, “Space Cowboy.”

And although Musgraves has taken a more pop turn of late and is not the most down-home country artist in the world, that didn’t stop the former One Direction-er from letting out an enthusiastically British-accented “Hee haw!”

“As a peer, and someone I like to call a friend, it’s always a pleasure, an honor to share the stage with this lady,” Styles told the 18,000-strong crowd, according to the Tennessean. “She’s made a couple of my favorite albums, and it’s an honor to be here tonight with all of you to say congratulations and round off this wonderful tour, and a wonderful year.”

This compliment begged the question of which of Musgraves’ three excellent albums is not one of Styles’ favorites, but nonetheless, it was a well received gesture of solidarity that reunited the two at the Bridgestone Arena 16 months after Styles headlined there with Musgraves as opener. On that tour, they eventually came to join forces on a cover of Shania Twain’s “Still the One.”

It was one of two duets Musgraves did Friday night. She had two opening acts, Yola and Maggie Rogers, and the latter joined her on stage for a duet of the Whitney Houston classic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which Musgraves has being doing without a partner at earlier tour stops.

Interestingly, Rogers has also covered the Houston song at her own concerts, but transformed into an ironically slow ballad version (see video, below). Not surprisingly, in joining forces here, Musgraves and Rogers stuck with the former’s peppier and more faithful arrangement of the song.

Musgraves has not lacked for illustrious guests on the road. On the first evening of a two-night stand at Radio City Music Hall in New York earlier in October, she brought out Gloria Gaynor as a guest for a cover of that singer’s disco classic “I Will Survive.”