The 2019 edition of ABC’s annual CMA Fest country-music special airs this Sunday, August 4, and features country superstar Carrie Underwood teaming up with an artist many might consider an unlikely duet partner: Joan Jett.
But it turns out the American Idol winner is a huge fan of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.
“I’m a fan on every level,” Underwood explained, “like personally, professionally, musically, and [I’m] honored that she has heard my name before, and agreed to come sing with me.”
Carrie also noted that her admiration for Joan only intensified once she realized “how much of a trailblazer she was for…women in music in general.”
In talking with her, Underwood said she was struck by how much Jett wanted to impress the country audience.
“You can tell that she really wants to do a great job in this crowd,” Carrie said backstage before their performance. “It’s not like nervousness, it’s just wanting to do well. And she’s like, ‘You know, because I know this isn’t my world, and I just hope that they like know the songs.’”
Underwood said she assured Jett that she had nothing to worry about: “I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? Of course they know the songs! I know it’s not your audience, but it is, because they’re like me, they’ve heard your songs. They’re gonna know every word to every song.’”
During the event, Underwood joined the rocker for a medley of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts hits, including “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” “Bad Reputation” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
The CMA Fest special airs at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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