Unlikely duo Gwen Stefani and Carly Pearce teamed up for a genre-bending, audience-loving cover of No Doubt’s 1995 hit, “Just a Girl” for the CMT Awards.
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Gwen Stefani sang the first verse and chorus of her No Doubt hit, wearing a punk-chique dress and space buns as if paying tribute to her past. She seemed to embrace the Country world and even adjusted her voice to add a bit more depth and space than her previous vocal styles. Country singer-songwriter Carly Pearce then walked out and joined in for the next verse and chorus, with the two ultimately duetting over the cheering crowd.
While the cover was met with mixed reviews when considering it as Country, “Just A Girl” remains its own style of female-power fun regardless of genre.
“Every time you bring in Pop or Rock artists from outside, it makes some people question why we're doing it," Pearce told CMT. "But to me, it's bringing more and more awareness to country music. I think it gives us a chance to do something a little bit different. I think that music is music, and I'm a very big fan of Gwen… We're just two people that are artists that really have a true admiration for each other, want to sing a song together and have a girl anthem."
The girl anthem has proved its staying power, with the audience singing along nearly three decades after its creation. In its ‘95 hey-day, “Just a Girl” peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. And for the band No Doubt, its album Tragic Kingdom became the number one top selling album for nine weeks straight. Tragic Kingdom was GRAMMY nominated for Best Rock Album, and even became the best-selling albums of the mid-90s.
"I am looking forward to performing in a room that I never thought I’d perform this song in," Stefani said before her CMT debut. "It’s an honor to have a song that was written so innocently many years ago and to be here today at the CMT Awards."
Whether it’s Punk, Rock, Pop or Country, “Just a Girl” is clearly not just a song.