Two voices synonymous with 1990s rock music will unite Sunday at the CMT Music Awards.
Darius Rucker — Hootie & The Blowfish frontman and solo country hitmaker — teams with brotherly band the Black Crowes for a rendition of the latter's signature song, "She Talks To Angels." They'll perform the familiar roots ballad live at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, the new home of the fan-voted CMT Music Awards.
The performance teases an upcoming "CMT Crossroads" special Rucker and the Crowes filmed last week in Austin.
"The song's so iconic, everybody knows it," Rucker said backstage. "In Hootie lore, that's the song that inspired me to write 'Let Her Cry.' For me to get to play with those guys - and to get to do it in tv in front of the world - it's pretty awesome."
2023 CMT Music Awards: Darius Rucker and Black Crowes, Wynonna and Ashley McBryde to pair
After meeting in the '90s, Rucker and the Crowes reunited last year for a REM tribute in Athens, Georgia. That one-off show snowballed into a "Crossroads" taping and Sunday night's CMT Music Awards collaboration.
For Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson, singing with Rucker reunites two artists from "the same Southern indie-rock music scene," he said.
"[Darius is] very sincere," Robinson said this weekend. "When it comes to singers, there's lots of people [who] can hit all the notes and lots of people who can do all the technical stuff, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're communicating a soulful thing with people. I think Darius is sincere that way."
As for bringing a rock hit to a country awards show?
"The country brought that song back to us, so many people cover it," Robinson said. "The rock 'n' roll is still a little more rough-and-tumble than pop-country, but it feels good that these young country artists namecheck our band and wear our logo and they sing our songs ... that we're an influence in that world is really cool."
The CMT Music Awards airs Sunday at 7 p.m. CST on CBS and online via Paramount+.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: CMT Music Awards 2023: Darius Rucker and Black Crowes to sing together