8 of Country Music’s Best GRAMMY Performances

Country singers take pride in performing at the ceremony, almost as much as they cherish the awards they bring home.  Here are eight of Country music's best GRAMMY performances. 

Written by Erin Duvall
8 of Country Music’s Best GRAMMY Performances

The annual Grammy Awards are the biggest event in music. Country singers take pride in performing at the ceremony, almost as much as they cherish the awards they bring home. There’s a long history of country making an impression at the awards show, but unfortunately it’s tough to get your hands on the footage. Here’s a look at the best performances from recent history:

Brandy Clark & Dwight Yoakam in 2015
Last year, Brandy Clark surprised audiences with a simple but stunning performance of “Hold My Hand” from her 12 Stories album. Joined by Dwight Yoakam, the pair showed viewers that an acoustic rendition of a pure country song can stand up to all the glitz and the glamour of a big stage performance.

Emily Robison, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks perform “Not Ready to Make Nice” (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)

Dixie Chicks in 2007
Four years after “the top of the world came crashing down,” the Dixie Chicks swept the Grammys. The won five trophies including the all-genre Album of the Year for Taking the Long Way, their first release since Natalie Maines controversial 2003 comments about President Bush. They made quite the statement with their performance as well, making it clear that they were “Not Ready to Make Nice.”

Miley Cyrus & Taylor Swift in 2009
Remember that time, Miley Cyrus joined Taylor Swift for “Fifteen?” Before Miley found herself a “Wrecking Ball” and Taylor made her way to New York, the pair were teenagers singing about the stresses and experiences that come at that time in a girl’s life. Forgive the audio and video quality of this clip to give yourself a refresher.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: (L-R) Musicians Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Blake Shelton perform “Highwaymen” onstage during the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Highwaymen in 2014
Though Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, two of the original Highwaymen have passed away, that didn’t stop the remaining members Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson from performing their hit “Highwayman” at the 2014 Grammys. They were then joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton for “Okie from Muskogee” before launching into “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”

Keith Urban & Faith Hill in 2006
Keith Urban left the frills at home for his 2006 performance of “You’ll Think of Me.” He had a backup band, but the singer-songwriter conveyed the loneliness of the song as he atop the raised stage with just his guitar. Then, without missing a beat, Faith Hill approaches from the beneath and completely changes the tone with “The Lucky One.”

Singers Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform onstage during The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Lady Antebellum in 2011
Country music was center stage during the 2011 Grammy awards as Lady Antebellum took home five awards, including the all-genre Record and Song of the Year titles. To top it off, the threesome performed a stirring rendition of their hit “Need You Now.”

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant in 2009
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, need we say more? Oh, all right. The pair performed “Rich Woman” from their Raising Sand album and a cover of the Everly Brothers’ “Gone, Gone, Gone,” which also appeared on the project.

Zac Brown Band & Leon Russell in 2010
Musicianship at its best is the focus on this performance. Zac Brown Band was joined by iconic musician Leon Russell for a patriotic mashup of “America the Beautiful” and “Chicken Fried.” With Russell and Brown share vocals to create this stunning performance.