Lady A, Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell Open the 2021 CMT Music Awards

Check out the night's colorful first performance!

Lady A, Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell Open the 2021 CMT Music Awards
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 09: (L-R) Charles Kelley of musical group Lady A, Carly Pearce, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of musical group Lady A and Lindsay Ell perform onstage the 2021 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 09, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT)

Lady A, Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell kicked off the 2021 CMT Music Awards in colorful, strutting style on Wednesday night (June 9), delivering a high-energy performance of “Like a Lady.”

Full of female empowerment and featuring a ’80s-rocking stomp, the track served as the opening number for a night full of big name collaborations — and it didn’t disappoint. Lady A’s Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood started into the up-tempo anthem, but they were soon joined by their friends. Carly Pearce took over on the dressed-down jam, while Ell ripped through a groovy guitar solo and The Shindellas added harmony. Meanwhile, the stage was decked out in psychedelic patterns and confetti fell from rafters onto a live audience — the first live awards-show crowd since the pandemic struck over one year and ago.

Ahead of tonight’s awards, Lady A revealed plans for a multi-part album release. Dubbed What A Song Can Do (Chapter One), the project will feature seven new songs, including the high-energy, empowering “Like A Lady.”

The performance on the CMT Awards gives fans a preview of what to expect from Lady A’s upcoming What A Song Can Do Tour. Pearce will be on the trek as a supporting act, as well as Niko Moon and Tenille Arts. Ell was a last minute addition to the live performance after Gabby Barrett had to back out due to “personal reasons.”

Tonight’s performance marks Ell’s first since breaking her foot. On June 5, the guitaress posted a photo to Instagram from a doctor’s office and a copy of her x-ray. In the x-ray, Ell’s foot has a clear break in her pinky toe.

Other performances from country music’s only fan-voted awards show include Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and more.

The 2021 CMT Awards, hosted by Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini, will air live on Wednesday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land. Voting is open for Video of the Year from now through Wednesday, June 9. Check out a full list of the nominees here.

Sounds Like Nashville will have all of your coverage for the 2021 CMT Music Awards right here.