As music’s greatest live mixtape, the annual Grammy Awards wouldn’t be complete without some country in the mix.
Sunday’s (Feb. 12) 59th annual telecast in Los Angeles featured Grammy performance debuts by Sturgill Simpson, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris, plus a live collaboration by Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood and an all-star salute to Saturday Night Fever featuring Little Big Town.
Simpson was backed by one of the night’s biggest bands for a performance of “All Around You” from his Grammy-winning album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Behind him, a seven-piece horn section from soul outfit the Dap-Kings blew their instruments in a guest appearance honoring their late front woman Sharon Jones.
Urban and Underwood were the first country artists onstage to deliver an electric performance of “The Fighter” from Urban’s Grammy-nominated album Ripcord. Actor John Travolta introduced them onstage as the most dynamic duo since Grease‘s Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson.
Ballerini shared the stage with Lukas Graham in a musical mashup of “Peter Pan” and Graham’s “7 Years.”
Morris and Alicia Keys revisited their CMT Crossroads concert with a powerful performance of “Once,” from Morris’ Hero.
After Morris accepted the Grammy for best country solo performance for “My Church,” host James Corden got Urban, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to join him in a car cut-out with Neil Diamond, John Legend, Jason Derulo and Jennifer Lopez for a live carpool karaoke session to Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”
Little Big Town welcomed Katy Perry onstage for her performance with an abbreviated a capella version of “Teenage Dream.” They later appeared onstage to cover the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love” in the Saturday Night Fever salute. They were joined onstage by Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly and Andra Day.
John Legend and Broadway star Cynthia Erivo performed the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” in a tribute honoring artists who passed within the last year, including Leonard Cohen, Ralph Stanley, Merle Haggard, Sonny James, Scotty Moore, Joey Feek, Guy Clark, John D. Loudermilk and Leon Russell.
Beyoncé and Adele arguably delivered some of the show’s most talked-about performances. Beyoncé hit the stage dressed from head-to-toe in gold and wore a crown that made her look like the saints in medieval Christian art to sing “Love Drought” and “Sandcastle” from Lemonade.
Adele kicked off the night with “Hello” from the 2017 album of the year 25. Later on in the show, she asked to restart her performance of “Fastlove” during the George Michael tribute after flubbing the beginning of his 1996 hit.