Luke Bryan provided a long-lasting memory for viewers of the 2017 CMA Country Christmas television special, singing a simple, orchestral version of "O Holy Night."

Bryan's performance was understated, even if a dozen (ish) string instruments were playing behind him. Rarely has the "Light It Up" singer stopped to sing in this way — he's usually bouncing across the stage or doing his best to get his audience to feel every emotion of a love ballad. To get into the spirit, Bryan closed his eyes and did his best to emulate the man that inspired his recording of the classic.

"I've always loved that song," Bryan said backstage during the November 14 taping of the CMA Country Christmas show. "I remember being a kid always loving John Berry's version of that ... it's pretty incredible. I'd always try to sing along with him and I told my self one day if my voice ever gets there I'd try it."

The performance was one of 19 Christmas songs performed for the ABC broadcast. Host Reba McEntire did some heavy lifting, but highlight performances came via acts like Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood and Lady Antebellum.

Bryan's Christmas carol history is limited, including only a version of "Run, Run Rudolph" prior to his 2017 release of "O Holy Night." Speaking to Taste of Country and other media prior to his performance he said he wouldn't necessarily spoil his kids at Christmas this year, although they could expect a large number of presents. Some maybe trivial trinkets or games, sure, but he likes to see a bounty.

See More Photos from CMA Country Christmas