Ledisi, Billie Jean King, Amber Riley, Chris Janson, Fancy Hagood and Lucie Silvas have been added to CMT Smashing Glass, a salute to genre-defying women artists that premieres Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Clint Black, Mickey Guyton, Sheryl Crow and The War & Treaty were already announced for the special, which will celebrate Patti LaBelle and Tanya Tucker, who will both also perform on the show. Both of these veteran artists have already gotten at least some of their flowers. LaBelle received a BET Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Tucker was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year, alongside Patty Loveless and songwriter Bob McDill.
The special will also pay posthumous tribute to three giants: Aretha Franklin (who died in 2018 at age 76), Tina Turner (who died in May at age 83) and Sinead O’Connor (who died in July at age 56).
CMT’s press statement suggests that they hope this special becomes a perennial: “CMT Smashing Glass is an all-new, genre-defying musical salute to the incomparable women who smashed stereotypes, broke records and defiantly blazed trails for future generations of female artists. The inaugural genre-blending music event will honor the exceptional careers of icons Patti LaBelle and Tanya Tucker and honor the late women of music with once-in-a-lifetime performances, surprise appearances and ‘Moments of Respect’ tributes to Aretha Franklin, Sinead O’Connor, Tina Turner and more.”
As previously reported, CMT Smashing Glass is helmed by an all-female production team.
Here’s how the special is taking shape.
Sheryl Crow moderates a conversation with the honorees
Nine-time Grammy winner and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sheryl Crow will moderate a conversation with LaBelle and Tucker, discussing their careers, challenging the status quo and paving the foundation for fellow women in music.
Patti LaBelle tribute
Ledisi will perform LaBelle’s sassy 1985 hit “New Attitude” (from Beverly Hills Cop). The War and Treaty will perform LaBelle’s soulful 1986 ballad “On My Own,” which was a collab with Michael McDonald. (The Burt Bacharach/Carole Bayer Sager song, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, includes the line “Now we’re up to talking divorce/And we weren’t even married” which may sound odd coming from the happily married duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter.)
Fancy Hagood, one of Nashville’s most prominent LGBTQ artists, will introduce LaBelle.
Tanya Tucker tribute
Sports icon and women’s and LGBTQ equality champion Billie Jean King kicks off the celebration and presents to Tucker. Clint Black will honor his fellow Texan with a rendition of Tucker’s 1978 hit “Texas (When I Die).” Grand Ole Opry member Chris Janson will take the stage to perform Tucker’s 1993 hit “It’s a Little Too Late.”
Remembering three late legends
Glee veteran Amber Riley will salute Aretha Franklin with a performance of the Queen of Soul’s Otis Redding-penned classic “Respect.” Franklin’s version reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1967.
Singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas will pay tribute to Sinead O’Connor with a rendition of the Irish singer’s Prince-penned smash “Nothing Compares 2 U.” O’Connor’s version reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1990.
Four-time Grammy-nominee Mickey Guyton will perform Tina Turner’s 1989 hit “The Best” (co-written by Mike Chapman and Holly Knight). The song peaked at No. 15 on the Hot 100, but is as famous as many No. 1 hits. It ranks with “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” as one of Turner’s signature songs. Guyton previously performed in tribute to Turner at the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony – alongside Christina Aguilera, H.E.R. and Bryan Adams.