Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile teamed up for a memorable performance during the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year event on Wednesday night (Oct. 17). This year, the show celebrated the females of country music and Maren’s tribute to the late Aretha Franklin was one of the evening’s highlights.
Performing Aretha’s iconic 1967 hit “Natural Woman,” Maren kicked off the song by herself while donning a two-piece pastel pink suit. Brandi then joined in on the chorus and had the entire venue screaming along. The two singers were naturals together, trading lines effortlessly while showcasing their soulful vocals.
The collaborators had the audience entranced throughout their time on stage. During their performance, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman looked on intently and sang along. Watch their standout performance below.
Maren shared on Instagram that her ensemble was made specifically for the event as it was Aretha’s favorite color.
“Tonight made my heart swell,” she captions several photos on Instagram. “Singing the Queen with my new love @brandicarlile. Thank you for sharing your soul with country music tonight. I’ve been wanting to sing with you for over a decade and Nashville LOVES YOU. And thank you @csiriano for making this custom suit for me in Aretha’s favorite color.”
[MORE: Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild Slay Performance with Gladys Knight]
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Tonight made my heart swell. Singing the Queen with my new love @brandicarlile . Thank you for sharing your soul with country music tonight. I’ve been wanting to sing with you for over a decade and Nashville LOVES YOU. And thank you @csiriano for making this custom suit for me in Aretha’s favorite color. 🎀// 📷: @jasonkempin
Brandi shared Maren’s post on her personal Instagram page, also raving about the event CMT hosted.
“I was given the distinct honor of tributing Aretha Franklin tonight with @marenmorris @cmt’s Artist Of The Year Ceremony tonight,” she writes. “Not only did @cmt do a revolutionary thing in honoring ALL women 2018 artists of the year – but Maren chose to sing this particularly celebratory song in support of ALL women. What a rock star she is! I’m blown away. Thank you for including me Maren!”
Maren was one of several female artists honored at the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year. Other acts recognized included Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott.