While winners Taylor Swift and newlyweds Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton were unable to make it to Nashville Wednesday for the 10th annual CMT Music Awards, there was plenty of star wattage lighting up the stage of the Bridgestone Arena.
Returning host Kid Rock did duets with two songbirds — Wynonna Judd (“Bawitdaba”/”Till My Dying Day”) and Sheryl Crow (“Collide”). Two past two-time Video of the Year champs performed: Toby Keith debuted his new single “Made in the USA” while Keith Urban sang of a “Long Hot Summer.”
Lady Antebellum may have won the group video award for “Hello World” but they performed a mashup of their record-setting single “Just a Kiss” and Prince‘s “Kiss.” Breakthrough winners The Band Perry did a medley of “Love the Way You Lie”/”You Lie” while the Zac Brown Band, which shared the performance prize with Jimmy Buffet for “Margaritaville,” sang “Knee Deep.”
Big & Rich teamed up with Gretchen Wilson for “Fake I.D.” And Jason Aldean, who was shut out despite a leading four nominations, closed the show with a rendition of “Dirt Road Anthem” that included a surprise appearance by rapper Ludacris.