The 2022 CMA Awards opened with a star-studded tribute to Loretta Lynn on Wednesday night, but the ceremony also included another heartfelt nod to the late country legend. Carly Pearce took the stage to perform "Dear Miss Loretta," a heartfelt ode to her fellow Kentucky native that she penned for her 2021 album 29: Written in Stone. 

Dazzling in a long yellow gown, Pearce opened with a short speech about the similarities she shared with Lynn. Both are Kentucky-born women, and Pearce's grandmother, whom she calls "mamaw," was also a coal miner's daughter. Pearce concluded by explaining how she never had the chance to meet Lynn in person but sincerely wished she had.

"This one's for you, Loretta," she said, looking to the heavens before beginning the song, accompanied by Ricky Skaggs on mandolin.

Pearce has been vocal about her deep love and admiration for Lynn, who died on Oct. 4 at the age of 90. Just hours after news of Lynn's death broke, Pearce took the Grand Ole Opry stage for an already-scheduled performance. Before kicking off her set, which included a rendition of "Dear Miss Loretta," Pearce played fans a charming voicemail recording that Lynn previously left on her phone.

"Hi, Carly, this is Loretta, honey," Lynn said. "I'm laying in bed, taking it easy. I'm fixing to get up and wash my face maybe, comb my hair. I ain't got no place to go, have I? But anyway, I love your song," she continued. "Thank you, sweetheart. I love you, honey. Come and see me sometime."

Carly Pearce is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2022 CMA Awards, an honor she won for the first time last year. Her hit collaboration with Ashley McBryde, "Never Wanted to Be That Girl," is also up for Song of the Year, Single of the Year, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year.

Country Stars Walk the Red Carpet at the 2022 CMA Awards

Country stars flocked to Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 9 for the 2022 CMA Awards. The artists also brought their best looks to the red carpet. Carrie Underwood brought the drama with a long blue gown, top-nominated Lainey Wilson opted for a velvet version of her classic bell bottoms and hosts Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning looked snazzy in suits. Here are some of best dressed, and biggest stars, that graced the CMA Awards red carpet.

Carly Pearce at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

Carly Pearce invited a trio of guest artists to join her on stage in Nashville. Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs and Gary LeVox all performed with Pearce at Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 26, 2022. Opening act Jackson Dean helped her close the show with "I Hope You're Happy Now."

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