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Kacey Musgraves Really Did Perform Nude On SNL As A Tribute To An Iconic Movie Moment

Saturday Night Live returned for its 47th season this past weekend, with Owen Wilson on hosting duty and musical guest Kacey Musgraves dropping jaws with a history-making performance that gave a nod to a classic scene from Forrest Gump. The country singer took the stage for a stripped-down version of her song “Justified.” It wasn’t the song that was stripped down, but Musgraves herself, as she sat cross-legged on a stool wearing nothing but her cowboy boots, an acoustic guitar covering most of her body from view. 

The mood lighting and mostly close camera work didn’t make it blatantly obvious that she was on stage in her birthday suit — at least until a soft spotlight shone on her at the end of the performance — and fans were left wondering if they could believe their eyes. Kacey Musgraves’ publicist confirmed to Variety that the nude performance was legit, and, according to the official, it was a historic event for the longtime sketch show:

She was nude. Precautions were taken, and this was the first time it’s happened on the show.

Many fans quickly picked up on the iconic imagery, as the cross-legged performer paid homage to a similar-looking scene in Forrest Gump, in which Jenny (played by Robin Wright) shows her folk-singing skills on stage in nothing but a pair of heels. Thank goodness the SNL live audience was more well-behaved than Jenny’s rowdy bar patrons. The "Butterflies" confirmed the inspiration behind her performance with a simple screenshot showing Jenny on stage from behind:

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For her second song of the night, Kacey Musgraves performed another single from her album, Star-Crossed. “Camera Roll,” like “Justified,” takes a nostalgic look back at a failed relationship but, while the subject matter had the same vulnerable feel as her first song, Musgraves did not repeat her nude performance. This time she donned a plaid crop-top and jeans. Take a look at Musgraves’ performance of “Justified” below:

In its Season 47 premiere, Saturday Night Live featured a tribute to Norm Macdonald, the beloved comedian and master of the show's Weekend Update segment, who passed away from cancer in September. Pete Davidson returned for the new season, even after seemingly saying goodbye in the Season 46 finale. Kate McKinnon, whose fate was also unknown at the end of last season, was absent for the premiere, as she was reportedly away filming the upcoming Peacock series Joe Exotic.

Kim Kardashian will take up the SNL hosting duties next week, drawing the ire of some. Halsey will be the musical guest for the October 9 episode. Rami Malek with Young Thug will follow on October 16, and Jason Sudeikis and Brandi Carlile are scheduled for the show on October 23. Saturday Night Live airs on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET on Saturdays. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule to stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming premieres.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.