Opening the show with a medley of Lynn’s music, Underwood, 39, sang “You Ain’t Woman Enough” while Lambert, 39, and McEntire, 67, performed “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’” and “You’re Looking At Country,” respectively. The trio closed with the songwriter’s 1971 song “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Lynn — who became the first woman to win the CMA for Entertainer of the Year in 1972 — died at age 90 in October.
All three women were close to the Kentucky native, with McEntire and Underwood collaborating with Lynn on her March 2021 song “Still Woman Enough.” Lambert, for her part, recorded a version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 2010 with Lynn and Sheryl Crow.
“I’m so heartbroken to hear about Loretta’s passing,” the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend musician wrote via Instagram last month. “She was so kind to me and she blazed so many trails for all of us girls in country music. Thank you for all the songs. Miss you. Fly high.”
Underwood also mourned the Grammy award winner’s passing via social media and shared a fond memory of her.
“The first time I met Loretta Lynn was at the Grand Ole Opry at the beginning of my career. I was chatting in the corner with another artist and someone walked behind me and smacked me on the rear end! I turned around and there she was … in a big sparkly dress … laughing as she continued to walk down the hall at what she had just done,” she wrote via Instagram.
The American Idol alum continued: “This is one of my most favorite stories to tell. I think it sums up her personality pretty well. She was a cantankerous little pistol … friendly and sweet … never afraid to be herself and speak her mind. She is irreplaceable. She will be incredibly missed … but her legacy lives on in those of us whom she has influenced. I am truly grateful to have known such an amazing woman and artist. Thank you, Loretta, for showing us how it’s done.”
McEntire shared a selfie with the “Fist City” singer after learning the news. “I always did and I always will love Loretta. She was always so nice to me. I sure appreciate her paving the rough and rocky road for all us girl singers,” she wrote in the caption.
The Oklahoma native added that Lynn reminded her of her own mother, Jacqueline McEntire, who died in March 2020 after a battle with cancer.
“Now they’re both in Heaven getting to visit and talk about how they were raised, how different country music is now from what it was when they were young. Sure makes me feel good that Mama went first so she could welcome Loretta into the hollers of heaven!” the Reba alum wrote.