played what is being billed as his on Tuesday night at Music City’s Bridgestone Arena. But before he took the stage, a parade of artists from all genres paid him tribute: , , Elizabeth Cook, Los Lonely Boys, and, at the top of the show, .
The pop superstar kicked off the night with a powerhouse rendition of “It Was Almost Like a Song,” the Hal David and Archie Jordan-written title track to his 1977 album. Backed by the house band Sixwire, Clarkson slowly built the song to a dazzling big-note finish. It wasn’t the first time that Clarkson has performed songs from Milsap’s career either. As part of her regular segment on her talk show, , the vocalist sang “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “Lost in the Fifties Tonight,” and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World” — three of Milsap’s finest.
Urban was a surprise addition to the lineup and appeared to sing “Out Where the Bright Lights Are Glowing,” from Milsap’s tribute album to smooth country vocalist . Prior to his performance, Urban recalled singing Milsap hits during his cover band days and then delivered a solo rendition of the song, backing himself up on guitar before Sixwire joined in.