Kelsea Ballerini is using fashion to pay homage to her hero and collaborator Shania Twain. The country music star took Twain’s exact 1999 Grammys dress for a spin at the 15th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
The shimmering form-fitting white Marc Bouwer turtleneck long-sleeve gown was worn by Twain at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, where she took home wins for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song for “You’re Still the One.” The gown was loaned to Ballerini, 28, from the Grammy Museum for 24 hours, as it’s currently featured in its Power of Women in Country Music exhibition.
Before hitting the carpet, Ballerini posted a Story on Instagram revealing a peek of the archival gown sitting in the museum and writing, “Sisterhood of the traveling dress…guess where @shaniatwain’s #GRAMMYs dress is off too next.” The institution wrote on its Instagram Stories, “We’re so honored to help make this moment happen.”
Ballerini later shared photos in the dress — while posing with Twain — writing,” if your hero is shania twain, meet your hero. you may become friends and she may even let you wear THE dress. 🤍 (ps thank you @grammymuseum for letting me borrow it for 24 hours !!! pss tune in to see the whole acm honors sept 13).”
Twain was honored Wednesday evening with the ACM Honors “Poet’s Award” and told Entertainment Tonight, she was “so blown away” to see Ballerini in her gown.
“She looks stunning. She looks like an absolute angel. It’s flattering to see her in the dress, and that she even wanted to wear it. I said, ‘I hope it’s not too dusty after being in the [Grammy Museum],'” Twain said. “It was an incredible night for me at the Grammys. That dress represented that experience, so I’m just happy to see it alive again. Now it has a new life, and it has new memories, and it’s really great to be able to share that with other people, with another women. Obviously it’s a huge compliment to be admired enough that someone would want to step into my dress.”
Ballerini told the outlet she believed Twain’s personal style deserves recognition. “One of the things that I think she’s an icon because of is her fashion, and the way she’s always pushing boundaries. I wanted to honor that part of her too.”
Unable to alter the gown, Ballerini was worried the dress might not fit properly. (No one wants another fiasco that ensued after Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 gown to the 2022 Met Gala.) But thankfully, Ballerini made it work! Since she’s a bit taller than Twain, she simply decided to wear a shorter heel.
There was another Twain twinning moment that came later in the night. During Ballerini’s performance, she mirrored Twain’s on-stage look from the 1999 Grammy Awards. The star stripped down to a black strapless corseted dress with fishnet stockings and beaded fringe opera gloves, just as Twain did 23 years ago.
The pair met back in 2017 and collaborated in 2020 on Ballerini’s hit track “Hole in a Bottle” on the album kelsea. The performer was even included in Twain’s new Netflix documentary Not Just a Girl, gushing about the immeasurable influence Twain has had on her career in country music.
While the event took place last night, the AMC Honors will air on Tuesday, September 13 on FOX.