RuPauls’ Drag Race alumni Manila Luzon, Jan Sport, Kennedy Davenport, and Olivia Lux joined country music star and CMT Music Awards co-host Kelsea Ballerini on stage Sunday night for a true-hued performance of Ballerini’s “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too).”
It’s worth nothing that RuPauls’ Drag Race airs on MTV, a sister network to CBS which aired the country music extravaganza.
“You feelin’ good, y’all?!” yelled Ballerini as she launched into her hit single. She penned the song about best friends for her latest album.
Cause dirt on you is dirt on me
And we both know our hands ain’t clean.
If it all blows up and we end up on the news
If you go down, I’m goin’ down too
Also featured during the awards show were a performance from out singer Lily Rose, out red carpet host Cody Alan, and a call for inclusivity from country superstar Shania Twain.
Accepting CMT’s Equal Play Award, Twain told the crowd, “I believe in an all-inclusive country music.”
I should mention that last night’s country music celebration was broadcast from Austin, Texas. This marked the first time in the show’s history that it didn’t originate from Nashville.
Some good news (for now) Federal Judge temporarily blocks the Tennessee Law restricting Drag performances . pic.twitter.com/c9eMKRawKu
— Manila Luzon (@manilaluzon) April 1, 2023
Last month, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill severely restricting public drag performances. The legislation also legally re-classified male and female impersonation as a “sexual” performance equating drag to stripping.
Just hours before the law was due to take effect, a U.S. District Court judge in the state temporarily blocked the law.
One wonders if Ballerini’s number could have been cancelled and the queens arrested if the event had taken place in Nashville (and if the law was in effect).
“Just like all these amazing country music artists, we drag queens are also artists,” Manila Luzon told ET following the performance. “And we deserve a space to be ourselves, express ourselves, and create something wonderful for everyone to enjoy.”
if you go down, i’m going down too 🏳️🌈 // thank you to these iconic queens and @manilaluzon @kennedyddoftx @janjanjan @TheOliviaLux and @CMT for celebrating love, self expression, and performance.
📸 John Shearer @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/jZ3JTVI3ny
— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) April 3, 2023