Carrie Underwood Vince Gill How Great Thou Art Review Essay

We saw shining performances from Blake Shelton, Sara Evans, Reba and Rascal Flatts on last night's 'Girls Night Out' special, but perhaps the biggest song of the evening was Carrie Underwood's duet with Vince Gill on the classic tune, 'How Great Thou Art.'

You would have been pressed to find a dry eye in the room after Underwood and Gill delivered their duet, which silenced the crowd and shook the hearts of viewers everywhere. Gill stayed mostly quiet and accompanied on guitar, while the former 'Idol' winner held back tears and dropped a larger-than-life rendition of the Christian hymn.

'ACM Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country' honored great female artists who have helped to shape the industry for those that followed -- namely Loretta Lynn -- who was unable to attend, but still received a musical tribute by Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Miranda Lambert, and the Judds at the close of the two-hour special.

"Thank god for all of these gorgeous women that I get to share this night with tonight," Underwood said as she joined Gill at center stage for their performance. "I don't know what country music would do without them, I don't know what the world would do without them, but I know we're all sure lucky to have all of us doing what we love to do the most."

Watch Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill Duet on 'How Great Thou Art' at 'Girls Night Out'

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly series showcasing an album, single, music video or performance of a bygone era and its personal and/or cultural significance.

It’s rare to see the face of God, but when Carrie Underwood took the stage at the 2011 ACM Girls Night Out ceremony, little did we know that we would witness such a personal, raw and moving conversation between the country superstar and the Heavenly Father. She’s never been afraid or ashamed to wear her faith on her sleeve, especially in her music (see: “Jesus Take the Wheel,” “Temporary Home,” “Something in the Water”), and her rendition of “How Great Thou Art” is one of country music’s most stunning moments and as close as you’ll ever get to experiencing true bliss on earth.

Vince Gill supplies supple background vocals and delicate guitar licks like only he can. Underwood takes your hand and beckons you to follow, as she delivers her greatest live performance to-date. When the song crescendos and she hits each and every power note with ease, your soul shakes, rattles and rolls from the waves of uncontrollable emotion falling from her mouth. “Take me home / What joy shall fill my heart,” she prayers. Even if you don’t have a faith or belief system of your own, you can’t help but be transfixed by Underwood’s willingness to lay it all out on the line.

Due to popular demand, the live performance, which became a viral hit at the time, was included on Underwood’s Greatest Hits: Decade #1 compilation, released back in 2014.

Sometimes, you just need to let the music do the talking. Relive the performance below:

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