Mickey Guyton, Clint Black, The War and Treaty, Chris Janson and Ledisi are among the stars who lend their voices in tribute to the legendary women in "Smashing Glass," airing Wednesday
Mickey Guyton already proved her Tina Turner-esque chops with a high-voltage tribute at Turner's 2021 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. So of course Guyton got the call again to honor Turner for a new CMT special. Still, Guyton confesses, it’s a nerve-wracking assignment.
How does she channel the rock queen?
“I don’t know,” the 40-year-old artist admitted, chatting last week with PEOPLE on the CMA Awards red carpet. “I’m just like, ‘Lord, take me, Tina! Take me away, spirit of Tina!”
No doubt Guyton was seized by the spirit, turning in an electric performance of Turner’s 1989 classic, “The Best.” You’ll get to see it — as well as many more standout star turns — on CMT’s inaugural special, Smashing Glass. premiering Wednesday night. The 90-minute show, planned as an annual event, is the network’s salute to iconic female artists who have contributed to shattering the glass ceiling for their musical descendants.
The spotlight especially shines on the decades-long careers of newly inducted Country Music Hall of Fame member Tanya Tucker and pop-and-soul legend Patti LaBelle. Both are there to lap up the celebration, as well as to take the stage. Besides Turner, other idols who receive posthumous tributes include queen of soul Aretha Franklin and Irish firebrand Sinead O’Connor.
Tennis great Billie Jean King, herself another illustrious glass smasher, is on hand to host the show, which was filmed last month before a live audience at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Nashville’s Belmont University.
Then the 65-year-old country legend takes her turn for a transcendent rendition of "Bring My Flowers Now," the 2019 Grammy-winning single from her 2019 Grammy-winning album While I'm Livin'.
LaBelle enjoys a blazing “New Attitude” from Grammy-winning R&B artist Ledisi, and country duo sensation The War and Treaty torch their way through LaBelle's “On My Own.” (Husband and wife Michael and Tanya Trotter just received their first Grammy nominations, including for all-genre best new artists.)
LaBelle, 79, shows off her agelessness with a powerhouse performance of "2 Steps Away," a single from her popular 2004 album, Timeless Journey.
Aretha Franklin is honored by Amber Riley, the Glee alum who’s gone on to a stage and recording career; she delivers a barnburner “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” And Sinead O'Connor is given her props by Nashville singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas, who offers a soul-stirring performance of O'Connor's signature song, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
Offstage, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sheryl Crow sits down with LeBelle and Tucker in front of cameras to discuss the challenges and rewards of their boundary-breaking careers.
CMT Smashing Glass airs at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST Wednesday. Encore broadcasts on CMT will be at 8:40 EST/9:40 CST Friday and at noon EST/11 a.m. CST Saturday. CMT Music will re-air the special at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST Nov. 25 and at 7 a.m. EST/6 a.m. CST and 5 p.m. EST/4 p.m. CST on Nov. 27. In keeping with the theme, the show is notably helmed by an all-female production team.
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