Thompson Square’s Keifer and Shawna Thompson looked picture perfect as they smiled at me Tuesday night (Sept. 10) while I was on the red carpet for CMT Radio at the seventh annual ACM Honors event in Nashville.
I couldn’t help but notice Shawna positively glowing. Yes, it was hot and crowded in the upper hallway of the Ryman Auditorium, but this was more than a graceful glisten of sweat. She was just glowing and giddy to get up onstage and perform a tribute that night to one of her biggest musical influences — The Judds.
The mother-daughter duo of Naomi and Wynonna Judd were being honored with the prestigious Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award for, well, being pioneers in country music. And Wynonna Judd would be there to witness it all, including Thompson Square’s medley of the Judds’ Grammy-winning “Why Not Me,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ’Bout the Good Ole Days)” and “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
Because Shawna learned to sing harmonies from listening to the Judds’ records, the opportunity to perform at the ACM Honors became even more special after learning Wynonna specifically requested her to do the job.
“When we heard that, I got a little bit emotional,” she confessed. “It’s wild.”
“She’s an emotional wreck,” Keifer jokingly chimed in.
“I am, I am,” she said. “I can’t help it!”
The angelic Kree Harrison, who also grew up on the Judds’ music, also heeded the call of the Wy, taking part in the tribute by performing a version of “Love Is Alive” that had everyone’s jaw resting on the floor of the Mother Church of Country Music.
When I caught up with Harrison on the carpet, I asked about her budding friendship with Wynonna, who’s been a big advocate and cheerleader for the newcomer since her involvement with American Idol.
“We befriended each other recently,” she said. “I love her. First of all she’s hilarious, and she’s so sweet and talented. This [award] is well-deserved, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.”
It was one of the musical highlights of the evening. And you know Wynonna was just thrilled. She and her husband Cactus Moser walked the carpet together and couldn’t have appeared happier or more in love.