Powerhouse Vocalists Wynonna Judd And Kelly Clarkson Deliver A Dazzling Duet To Kick Off ‘Christmas at the Opry’

“I was like a child on that stage with her,” Clarkson said.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

December 8, 2023


10:01 am

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Kelly Clarkson, Wynonna Judd; Photo by: Mickey Bernal/NBC

Vocal powerhouses Wynonna Judd and Kelly Clarkson joined forces to open Christmas at the Opry to perform a rollicking rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” 

Coming together on Country music’s most famous stage, the pair of superstars were backed by a full band and backup singers, adding to the excitement of the festive song. Judd took the lead on the first verse while Clarkson joined in adding harmonies to the chorus. For the second verse, Clarkson took the lead as fans clapped and sang along from inside the Opry House. As the song came to an end, Clarkson showcased her vocal range with an extended high note then Judd incorporated her signature growl. This prompted Clarkson to bow down to Judd as she appeared to be in awe of her presence. 

“Give it up for Wynonna,” she exclaimed from the stage as the artists embraced in a hug. 

Watch Their Duet

YouTube video

For this performance, Judd donned a black pantsuit with gold accents, while Clarkson sported a sparkly long-sleeve hunter green midi dress.   

“I was like a child on that stage with her,” Clarkson said following the performance (quote via Yahoo). “So, yeah, she probably had to tell me to calm down a couple of times.”

Fans Loved It

It appears that fans thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative performance as the YouTube comments section is filled with praise for Clarkson and Judd. 

“These two powerhouses sound amazing together,” one user wrote, while another shared, “OMG can’t get no better than this !!! What a way to open a show !!! They sound amazing together !! Great job ladies! Love them both!!!” 

Wynonna Judd; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC
Wynonna Judd; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Wynonna Also Hosted The Show

In addition to performing during the show, Wynonna Judd also took on duties as the host of the show. The country music icon, who was honored with the Country Champion Award at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards in the fall, admitted she was feeling some pressure heading into the show.   

“It’s a little nerve-wracking because I’ve got like five changes, my hair is good, my eyebrows are perfect and I’m feeling really sparkly and festive,” she explained. 

Christmas at the Opry was the first-ever two-hour holiday TV special from the Opry. It featured a star-studded lineup of artists performing Christmas classics and originals from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee. 

“Get ready for a good old-fashioned country sing-along Opry style. It’s time to celebrate the season, and it’s all about food, fellowship and your faith, and we become family,” Wynonna teased in a promotional clip that was released ahead of the festive event.

"Christmas at the Opry" Key Art; Photo by: NBCUniversal
“Christmas at the Opry” Key Art; Photo by: NBCUniversal

With this TV special, Wynonna hoped to bring people together and put aside any disagreements so that the community can bring a bit of light to the days and continue to “show up for each other no matter what’s going on.”

“It’s been a tough year for a lot of people. I hope that somebody feels better after watching the show than they did before,” she said.

Who Performed During Christmas at the Opry?

Christmas at the Opry featured performances from Clarkson and Judd as well as Adam Doleac, BRELAND, Brenda Lee, Opry member Chris Janson, Chrissy Metz, Opry member Lauren Alaina, Meghan Patrick, Mickey Guyton, Mitchell Tenpenny and Opry member Trace Adkins.

The Show Will Re-Air

The show aired on NBC on Thursday, December 7. According to NBC, the program will re-air on December 20 at 9/8c and is now streaming on Peacock. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.