Wednesday night wasn’t just about breaking curses and ties: It was also a time for country music luminaries to shine and reward each other at their very own awards ceremony. Dolly Parton picked up the CMAs’ Lifetime Achievement Award and Garth Brooks was dubbed Entertainer Of The Year, but a not-so-surprise performance by Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks stole the spotlight even before the first bar was strummed.
The Dixie Chicks joined Beyoncé for a live rendition of “Daddy Lessons,” off the latter’s Lemonade. The song is all about Beyoncé’s Texas roots—she’s a Houston native, and the song has a distinct country vibe, which is why the Dixie Chicks have been covering it on tour. That’s what led to an energetic, albeit unconventional, CMAs performance, which was of course disparaged before it even unfolded. After rumors of the collaboration began to swirl earlier this week, some country music fans expressed their displeasure at the notion of Beyoncé performing at the CMAs. Even though she wasn’t being awarded anything, some folks just couldn’t get their heads around the idea that one of the most popular artists of the moment might team up with one very successful crossover act. There’s no word on whether they were also disturbed by Taylor Swift—who’s long since ditched the genre for pop—presenting the Entertainer Of The Year award.