Alicia Keys and Maren Morris might seem like a strange pairing to some — let’s call those people “folks who didn’t see their incredible performance on CMT’s genre-smashing series Crossroads last year” — but they wiped away any doubts that that group might have had with an astounding rendition of Morris’ slow-burner “Once.”
The R&B singer and former Best New Artist winner joined the Best New Artist runner-up to tear through a standout track from the up-and-coming songstress that somehow wasn’t nominated this year. The album version of the track already had quite a bit of Quiet Storm DNA but the full band excised the twang from the track and brought it into Keys’ territory. Both Morris and Keys gave stellar performances and the singer who won her first Grammy early in the night managed to hold her own against a powerhouse who has Grammy wins in the teens.
While she didn’t pick up the Best New Artist award that was Chance The Rapper’s destiny, Morris did snag a Best Country Solo Performance award for her single “My Church.” Her guilt-free pop-country album Hero is up against Brandy Clark, Sturgill Simpson, Keith Urban and Loretta Lynn. While Keys’ released one of the standout albums of 2016 in Here, it wasn’t eligible for any awards at this year’s ceremony due to its November release date. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy her performance in the here and no, though. Give it a watch up top.