Cole Swindell transported the 2022 CMA Awards back to the '90s with an energetic performance of his nostalgic track "She Had Me at Heads Carolina," which included a very special guest appearance.

Dressed in a suede fringe jacket and his signature Georgia Southern University hat, the Georgia native rolled through the love song, which was heavily inspired by Jo Dee Messina's 1996 tune, "Heads Carolina, Tails California."

In the midst of an electrifying guitar solo, the crowd let out a joyful cheer as Messina joined Swindell to power through the infectious chorus of her beloved 90s hit.

Swindell teamed up with Thomas Rhett, Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure, Mark D. Sanders and Tim Nichols to write an ode to Jo Dee Messina's 1996 hit debut single, "Heads Carolina, Tails California." The playful love song is the third single from Swindell's fourth studio album, Stereotype, which he released on April 8. Messina makes a cameo appearance in the song's music video, fittingly filmed in one of downtown Nashville's popular karaoke bars. 

Swindell says he chose "Heads Carolina, Tails California" as his inspiration because he's been a longtime fan of Messina and formally sought her blessing before releasing the track to country radio.

"I just reached out to Jo Dee Messina this past weekend, making sure she was all good and knowing that I'm a huge fan and would not even have this without her," Swindell told Taste of Country Nights shortly after the song's release. "I told her, too, that I want her to be a part of it, as much of it or as little of it as she wants to, because she's the original."

Swindell's collaboration with Lainey Wilson, "Never Say Never" was nominated for Music Video of the Year and Musical Event of the Year at this year's awards. The Georgia native was nominated for New Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2016 but has yet to win his first CMA Awards trophy.

The Country Music Association held the 2022 CMA Awards on Nov. 9 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, aired live on ABC.

Country Stars Walk the Red Carpet at the 2022 CMA Awards

Country stars flocked to Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 9 for the 2022 CMA Awards. The artists also brought their best looks to the red carpet. Carrie Underwood brought the drama with a long blue gown, top-nominated Lainey Wilson opted for a velvet version of her classic bell bottoms and hosts Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning looked snazzy in suits. Here are some of best dressed, and biggest stars, that graced the CMA Awards red carpet.

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