Kelsea Ballerini kicked off the 15th Annual ACM Honors with a show-stopping performance in honor of the one and only, Shania Twain.
For her performance, Ballerini recreated the vibes of Twain’s iconic “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” music video as she sported a tuxedo with a train over a tight black mini dress and knee-high boots with a top hat.
Surrounded by a group of choreographed shirtless male dancers (who appeared with Twain during her recent Las Vegas residency), the East Tennessee native confidently powered through Twain’s biggest hit.
Midway through her performance, the dancers removed Ballerini’s jacket to reveal the tiny black dress underneath.
Ballerini took her Shania Twain tribute to the next level at the show when she arrived wearing Twain’s dress from the 1999 GRAMMY Awards.
The dress was on loan from the GRAMMY Museum and fit Ballerini perfectly.
“I am so blown away,” Twain told Entertainment Tonight. “She looks stunning. She looks like an absolute angel. It’s very flattering to see her in the dress, and that she even wanted to wear it. I said, ‘I hope it’s not too dusty after being in the (Grammy Museum).’”
She added, “That dress represented that experience, so I’m just happy to see it alive again. Now it has a new life, and it has new memories, and it’s really great to be able to share that with other people, with another women. Obviously, it’s a huge compliment to be admired enough that someone would want to step into my dress.”
Ballerini documented her ACM Honors experience on TikTok, calling it a “fairytale moment.”
Twain was one of several honorees of the evening and was on hand to receive the Poet’s Award for her lyrical contributions throughout her career.
“It feels wonderful to be accepted and recognized for something that I’ve been doing practically my whole life,” Twain shared ahead of the show. “I started writing songs at the age of ten years old and so many of my songwriting heroes have been here at the Ryman performing through all my childhood and have also been honored for this award, so I’m kind of like ‘I can’t believe this is really happening,’ but at the same time it’s an incredibly rewarding feeling to have that acceptance.”
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, 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.