The pair of superstars brought their collaboration to life with a confident performance in front of the star-studded audience at the 56th Annual CMA Awards while also bringing the visuals of their reflective music video to the stage.
Rhett, who wore an all black ensemble, and Perry, donning a black cowboy hat and a denim dress, flawlessly harmonized throughout their performance.
Just weeks ahead of their CMA Awards performance, Rhett and Perry teamed up to release a music video for the track.
The clip, directed by Patrick Tracy, finds the superstars singing the song separately in rooms adorned with colorful draping. As the music video continues, the artists get up to make their way together and see younger versions of themselves reflected in the mirrors, signifying their respective journeys as artists.
The video appears to have a deep, underlying meaning as it showcases Rhett and Perry getting back to their roots and staying grounded as their careers reach new heights.
“Working with Katy has been a really collaborative process,” Rhett previously shared in a statement. “From tracking the song in the studio, to performing on it American Idol, to this video – her input has made this whole experience really special for me.”
Perry added, “I loved being able to create a dreamy world for ‘Where We Started,’ going back to the Nashville singer-songwriter roots of where I started.”
“Where We Started” is the title track off Rhett’s new album of the same name, released on April 1, 2022. The country/pop track finds Rhett and Perry recalling the early days of a relationship in an effort to remind themselves of better times.
“Those days when you’re brokenhearted/ And you’re gettin’ knocked down/ And you say you don’t know how far we’re gonna go/ Just look at that road and think about where we started/ Keep your eyes on me ’cause talk is cheap/ We’re all we need, yeah/ Darlin’, I know how far we’re gonna go/ Just look at that road and think about where we started,” they sing on the chorus.
Earlier this year, Rhett shared the story behind the song with Music Mayhem and other media outlets and revealed that a duet was “never a plan,” it just sort of happened that way.
It all started when a member of his team asked for his permission to send it to Perry to see if she’d be interested in collaborating on the song.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, but they’re not gonna respond.’… And literally within 24 hours Katy responded and said, ‘I love this. I resonate with this so well,’” Rhett explained. “When she put her vocal on it, it took her, like, two weeks. She really put a lot of time and effort into this vocal… This reminded me of how amazing a vocalist she is, and I feel like it really came to life.”
Where We Started features 15 tracks, including Rhett’s latest chart-topping hit, “Slow Down Summer” as well as his current single, “Half Of Me,” a duet that features Riley Green.
The 56th Annual CMA Awards featured performances from Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Cody Johnson, and Carly Pearce.
The show opened with an all-star tribute to the late Loretta Lynn from Underwood, Reba McEntire and Lambert.
Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, and Lainey Wilson joined together to honor the 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Alan Jackson.
Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations from Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce, HARDY and Lainey Wilson, Elle King with The Black Keys, Brothers featuring The War and Treaty, Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry, Chris Stapleton with Patty Loveless, Zac Brown Band, and Marcus King as well as Ashley McBryde with Pillbox Patti, Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack and John Osborne.
Mookie Betts, BRELAND, Jessica Chastain, Jordan Davis, Sarah Drew, Cole Hauser, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Rex Linn, Little Big Town, Parker McCollum, Reba McEntire, Ben and Erin Napier, Jeannie Seely, Michael Shannon, and Lainey Wilson were on hand to present during the ceremony.
Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 2022 CMA Awards broadcasted live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and aired on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/ET).
The CMA Awards will also be available for viewing on Hulu beginning Thursday, Nov. 10.
The 56th Annual CMA Awards was a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton served as the Executive Producer, Alan Carter as the Director, and Jon Macks as the Head Writer.