The fast-rising country star paid tribute to the ACM Poet’s award recipient with a beautiful rendition of “From This Moment On,” a track solely penned by Twain that appears on the Canadian singer’s third studio album, Come On Over (1997).
Donning a gold dress handpicked by Twain and a pair of Twain’s earrings, Kennedy sparkled in the spotlight as she belted out the lyrics to the iconic hit over a piano-driven melody as she took to The Ryman stage for the first time ever.
Twain watched from the audience in awe of Kennedy’s impressive performance.
“I had a serious ‘pinch me’ moment when I was getting ready for my performance and she asked me if I wanted to wear her earrings,” Kennedy, who shared a dressing room with Twain, told Taste Of Country before her performance. “I couldn’t believe it! They were like my little good luck charms up on that stage.”
Prior to performing the tune, Kennedy shared a heartfelt message with the audience.
“The funny thing about being a trailblazer is that in the beginning not everybody is ready for your trail or your blazing. That was so true for Shania Twain, but thankfully she had fearless belief that kept pushing her vision forward,” Kennedy said, ”As a storyteller Shania continues to inspire me and so many others with her view from a woman’s heart. So, Shania for my first on The Ryman it’s an honor to share one of your most beautiful songs.”
The performance served as a full-circle moment for Kennedy as she competed on Real Country, a country music singing competition show that Twain acted as a judge on, which allowed Kennedy to get to know Twain after she joined her team on the show.
“So, a couple of years ago I got to be a part of this music competition show called Real Country and I was a part of her team,” Kennedy explained while walking the ACM Honors red carpet. ”And, you know, ever since that show, she’s just been really supportive of me and my career and I mean, she’s so busy, so the fact that she keeps up with what I’m doing is really, really awesome. I’m so glad that she asked me to sing for her tonight!”
During the coveted awards ceremony, Twain was honored with the ACM Poet’s Award in recognition of “outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions… with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of Country Music.”
Past recipients of the ACM Poet’s Award include Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams and more.
Hosted by reigning ACM Female Artist of the Year, Carly Pearce, the 15th Annual ACM Honors took place on Wednesday, August 24 at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dubbed “Country Music industry’s favorite night,” ACM Honors recognized several special honorees, including ACM Triple Crown Award recipient Miranda Lambert, ACM Spirit Award recipient Chris Stapleton, ACM Poet’s Award recipient Shania Twain, ACM Milestone Award recipient Morgan Wallen and ACM Film Award recipient Yellowstone.
Performers and presenters included Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, The Warren Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Dan + Shay, Eric Church, Jordan Davis, ERNEST, Jesse Frasure, Vince Gill, Ashley Gorley, Mickey Guyton, HARDY, Wynonna Judd, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Carly Pearce, Morgan Wallen, Lainey Wilson and more.
ACM Award winner and Grammy nominee Trace Adkins was also on hand to perform his cover of “A Country Boy Can Survive,” from the brand-new FOX country music drama MONARCH, in which he stars alongside Susan Sarandon and Anna Friel.
ACM Honors premiered on Tuesday, September 13 at 8/7c on FOX. The show will be available to stream the following day on Hulu.