It was like a country music award show with royalty as Nashville celebrated Loretta Lynn’s 87th birthday with performances from Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood and even George Strait.
The show included performances from country music’s finest singing the songs of Country Music Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn as she sat side stage surrounded by her family as each artist came to kiss her and wish her a happy birthday.
The set list for the more than three-hour show included these performances:
Keith Urban singing Loretta’s “Blue Kentucky Boy” – he later popped out of Lynn’s giant birthday cake at her request and gave her a big hug and kiss. Cam, who hosted the event told the country icon, ‘If you want him to sit on your lap that’s okay, it’s your birthday.”
To hear how it went down listen to the audio clip below.
He wrote on Instagram, “Miss Loretta- you asked me to jump out of a cake for you- and I would do it again every time! Thank you for a truly surreal and gorgeous night of music, heart, stories, magic, and LOVE!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!” Love ALWAYS. – KU
Miranda Lambert and the Pistol Annies sang the classic “Fist City.”
Grammy winner Brandi Carlile brought the crowd to their feet with an amazing version of Party Cline’s “She Got You.” Cline and Lynn were girlfriends before Patsy died in a plane crash in 1964.
Tanya Tucker sang “Bring ‘Em On” then went to sit and hug her friend who she told the crowd and Lynn she wouldn’t be in country music if it wasn’t for Loretta’s influence.
Cam sang “Rated X.”
An 8-month pregnant Margo Price sang the Loretta classic “One’s On The Way.”
Darius Rucker told the crowd that he was nervous to be in country music and felt he may not fit in until he heard Loretta Lynn in an interview say that “Darius Rucker was country.” He sang Lynn’s ‘The Pill.”
Those artists that couldn’t be there for Lynn’s big night sent in video messages like Luke Bryan, Dolly Parton and Reba who told the crowd the story of meeting Loretta as a kid getting emotional. Reba shared, “Me along with about fifteen other little kids and just attacked you and I whipped off my cowboy belt and I handed it off to you and you signed your name. I wish with all my heart I still had that belt but I’ve got the memory of how gracious you were to a bunch of little old kids. I love you with all my heart and I always have and I always will.”
Carrie Underwood also sent in a video wishing Lynn a Happy Birthday saying, “Thank you for being you and doing what you do because it is amazing, wonderful, strong, talented women like yourself who followed their dreams and in turn paved the way for us. So, Thank you so much.”
And Maren Morris joined by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires made The Highway Women’s debut stage performance singing “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.”
Then it was time for the duets of Loretta’s career with Conway Twitty. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood sang “The Fire Is Gone,” George Strait and Martina McBride sang “Lead Me On” and Alan Jackson joined by Lee Ann Womack sang “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.”
Jackson then performed his touching song that he wrote after 9/11 at Loretta’s request “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning.” He also presented Lynn with a yellow Rose in a Jack Daniels whiskey bottle saying it summed up country music pretty well.
Little Big Town sang “Making Believe” and Alison Krauss and Lee Ann Womack sang a few gospel hymns.
Toward the end of the show, Loretta’s sisters Peggy Sue and Crystal Gayle sang a song their sister wrote for Crystal when she first started out in Nashville and then her 1970’s Grammy winning classic “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.”
The event was packed with a sold-out crowd of more than 20,000 people and when it was all over, all the performers joined Lynn on stage.