Jaws dropped Wednesday night at the Country Music Association Awards when Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks brought down the house with a surprise performance of “Daddy Lessons,” the Lemonade track the Dixie Chicks have been covering on tour all year. And then, just after they left the stage, their joint version of the song became available as a free download.
The Dixie Chicks wore dark ensembles, while Beyoncé rocked the stage in a nude sparkly gown. Backed by a full brass band, they brought the house down with added banjos, fiddles, and horns. Midway through the song, they mixed “Daddy Lessons” into the Dixie Chicks’ 2002 track “Long Time Gone,” singing the lines, “Now they sound tired but they don’t sound Haggard/ They’ve got money but they don’t have Cash/ They got Junior but they don’t have Hank/ I think, I think, I think.”
Beyoncé’s presence had been rumored about before the CMA Awards, though she never confirmed her attendance or if she would take the stage. This marked the first time she attended the CMA Awards.
But the Dixie Chicks are no strangers at the broadcast. The country music group have won their share of Country Music Awards including two Vocal Group of the Year wins and a 2000 win for Entertainer of the Year. Many country artists have commented on the country influence in Beyoncé’s “Daddy Lessons” and some fans even thought the track should have warranted her first CMA nomination.
Hear “Daddy Lessons” by Beyoncé feat. the Dixie Chicks below.
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For more on the CMA Awards, see People’s special issue, “People: 50 Years of the CMA Awards,” out now.