Ellen: Kellie Pickler ‘Tough’ Performance & 100 Proof Album

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Ellen: Kellie Pickler 100 Proof Album

After cleaning up from her bizarre s’more themed spa treatment Kellie Pickler performed her hit new song “Tough” from her album 100 Proof.

These days, radio-friendly country songs seem pretty interchangeable. Most of the songs use similar chords and progressions. The lyrics are very similar. The melodies and lyrical hooks have become less thoughtful or gripping as they were a few decades ago (circa Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard).

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Ellen: Kellie Pickler Tough Performance

Kellie Pickler gave Ellen a "Tough" performance, the song off her new album, 100 Proof. (pasphotography / Shutterstock.com)

As much as Kellie Pickler is definitely radio-friendly country, she seemed to break up the monotony a little bit. Her song sounded somewhat unique. It wasn’t amazing, but it was decent.

The first thing that stood out was the way the drummer rode his toms. It gave the song a surprising energy without sounding like George Of The Jungle.

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Ellen: Kellie Pickler ‘Tough’ Performance

It was unfortunate that the electric guitar was so overwhelmingly present in the mix. The acoustic guitar and the banjo were definitely more interesting and more suited to the song. Furthermore, in the studio recording of the song, the mix is much more balanced.

The live performance lacked the fiddle playing that’s heard on the studio recording. That was surprisingly refreshing. It made the mix feel a little less cluttered.

Another surprise was that Kellie‘s vocal performance was more engaging live than on the studio recording. Her voice seemed stronger and less like a country cliche.

The song’s message was admirable as well. Lines like, “There ain’t nothing wrong with a woman who got a little backbone” were clearly intended to be empowering to women. In a community that tends to be dominated by damsels in distress like Taylor Swift, Kellie‘s attitude seems refreshing.

Kellie also had a lot of swagger and stage presence. She didn’t dance or bother much with any sort of excessive showmanship. But she strutted through the audience with her wireless mic and seemed to exude confidence. It was a little sexy.

Ellen & Kellie Pickler Awkward Moment

After walking through the audience, Kellie made her way to the small enclave where Ellen was watching the performance. Adding even more to the already confusing and awkward dynamic between Ellen and Kellie, Ellen stood staring at Kellie looking as though she either didn’t know what to do or she didn’t care to do anything.

This was especially strange because Ellen usually takes every opportunity she can to dance, and dance emphatically at that. Though she was swaying with the song, it seemed forced like she was doing it because she knew it’d seem rude not to.

Kellie even raised her arm as though she were a cat and started pawing at Ellen. Ellen neither reciprocated nor did much of anything to react to Kellie. It was a rather odd moment.

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