Gretchen Wilson & Lynyrd Skynyrd Team Up For “Free Bird” At 2005 Grammys

AP Photo/Pollstar

What happens when you pair up two of the hardest-rocking Southern music acts and put them on stage for the Grammys? An iconic masterpiece that shook the roof on the Staples Center is what happened!

This almost undiscovered gem of country and Southern rock music has stood the test of time but remains one of the fewest viewed performances of the song on the internet. Luckily for you, we are bringing it back to the top of the stack – because it’s that great!

Gretchen Wilson is known for her buck-the-trend “redneck woman” attitude and gravelly, soaring vocals that she lays down on every beautiful track she records. When producers were picking out acts to collaborate together, their choice to put this country icon with one of the best Southern rock bands in the world was obviously a great decision.

The crowd went hog wild when they heard Wilson and Lynyrd Skynyrd were taking the stage for a jaw-dropping performance of Skynyrd’s 1973 legendary single “Free Bird”, but that wasn’t the only surprise that they were in store for!

“Free Bird”, an incredible power ballad that was crafted by the original group of Skynyrd band members, and became the band’s second Top 40 hit, soaring to the 19th spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The song, which is usually a near-fifteen minute live performance, has become a staple at both country and rock stations nationwide and still gets plenty of airplay today. In 1994 country crooner Wynonna Judd even recorded a cover version of this iconic hit for the tribute album, Skynyrd Friends.

Getty Images/Michael Caulfield Archive

Skynyrd, who has remained one of the biggest musical acts in country and Southern rock, wasn’t done with just one dazzling performance, nope – they were amped up and ready to go for what would come to be an unforgettable mash-up show with even more big-name artists.

On top of bringing in powerhouse country rocker, Gretchen Wilson, the killer show saw folks like Tim McGraw dropping vocals, Keith Urban singing and slaying the guitar, and more pop out of thin air to finish out the set.

Getty Images / KMazur

Truly one of the biggest, baddest and most memorable Grammy performances we’ve ever seen, this earth-shaking mashup with some of the best artists in the business is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Check out the entire performance from the 47th Annual Grammy Awards in the video below and let us know what you think in the comments!