Gabby Barrett, Charlie Puth Give First-Ever Duet Performance of ‘I Hope’ at 2020 CMA Awards
Gabby Barrett took the 2020 CMA Awards stage to perform her hit single, "I Hope," on Wednesday night (Nov. 11), and she wasn't alone: The singer enlisted her duet partner, pop superstar Charlie Puth, who remixed the song earlier this year.
Barrett began the song solo, seated on a stool and wearing a black bodysuit with dramatic gold shoulder decorations. She is very visibly pregnant, but that didn't hamper her from delivering a strong vocal performance of a song that tests the upper range.
Puth was clad entirely in white and delivered his vocals from behind a keyboard, blending his more melodic, less dramatic vocal style with Barrett's scorching delivery in a seamless blend.
Barrett's performance marked a first for the rising star, in more ways than one. Not only was it her first-ever time performing at a CMA Awards show, but it was also the first time that she and Puth performed their duet live -- and the first time they ever met in person!
Ahead of the show, Barrett told media that she and Puth had never met in real life until rehearsals for the CMAs. They struck up a friendship over Instagram, after Puth posted that he was a fan of "I Hope" and slid into Barrett's DMs to ask her to collaborate on a remix.
She also mentioned another big "first" leading up to the show: Her first pregnancy. Barrett and her husband, Cade Foehner, are expecting to welcome a baby girl in early 2021, who will be the couple's first child. In some ways, being so far along in her pregnancy wasn't ideal for giving a big performance, the singer admitted.
"Hopefully it all goes well. I'm having a hard time breathing, being in the third trimester, and baby just crushing your diaphragm — you know, all the good things!" she said of her CMAs performance. "But I'm really excited and I think it's gonna come together really well."
Barrett walked into Wednesday's awards show with big firsts under her belt as a nominee, too. She got her first two CMA mentions this year, in the categories of New Artist of the Year and Single of the Year (for "I Hope").