Tim McGraw’s “I Called Mama” is one of the most touching country singles of the year, and you’d be forgiven if you had to bust out the handkerchief during the country great’s performance of the track during the 2020 ACM Awards on Wednesday night (Sept. 16).

Seeing McGraw perform at the Bluebird Cafe was always going to be an intimate treat, and with an unobtrusive arrangement and poignant sentiments, the singer-songwriter invited the viewer to cozy up next to the tiny stage. Donning his black cowboy hat, McGraw offered a feeling of calm wisdom during an ACMs ceremony taking place during a tumultuous year.

As an added bonus, McGraw introduced the following performance, Mickey Guyton’s rendition of “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” with Keith Urban, with some words about the power of women, from the perspective of a son, husband and father. “Their strength changes me for the better,” said McGraw.

McGraw — a country music stalwart who has won 18 ACM awards, was named male vocalist of the year 20 years ago at the ceremony — selected “I Called Mama” as the lead single to Here on Earth, his first solo album in five years, which was released last month. The song has reached No. 13 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

The ACM Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC Media, the parent company of Billboard.


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