On Dec. 8, 1980, John Lennon was killed outside of his New York City apartment. Thirty-five years later, the world is still a frightening, hate-filled place -- which makes the message of his Christmas song, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" as appropriate now as it was when it was released in 1972. LeAnn Rimes more than did the tune justice when she performed it as part of Thursday night's (Dec. 3) CMA Country Christmas event.

Dressed in a white, lacy dress and standing on a simply lit stage, Rimes delivered the song while accompanied by a piano: "A very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year," she sang. "Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear."

Earlier in the evening, Rimes performed "Joy," from her new holiday album, Today Is Christmas. The song is a medley of three classic Christmas tunes: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

The 2015 CMA Country Christmas special featured a total of 20 performances packed into the two-hour event. Charles Kelley, Dan + Shay and Mickey Guyton were among the other artists who participated.

Watch LeAnn Rimes Sing "Simply Joy":

See Pictures From CMA Country Christmas 2015