Carrie Underwood may have won the top award – “Video of the Year” for “Good Girl” – at this years CMT Music Awards – but it was Willie Nelson that brought the house down.
A star-studded Nashville ceremony last night watched a Willie Nelson-led supergroup that included Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band, James Johnson and Darius Rucker turn up the heat performing “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” – a cut off Nelson’s new album “Heroes.”
The audience that included the best and brightest in country music’s firmament, as well as Matthew McConaughey, Kathy Gifford , Jon Bon Jovi, Robin Meade, Jordin Sparks, Ashley Greene, Hayden Panettiere, Kellie Pickler, Denise Richards and Dax Shepard – were noticeably appreciative.
Nelson’s support for the decriminalization of marjiuana is, of course, well known. At a Billboards’ Country Music Summit Q and A with Ray Ray Waddell held the day before the awards, Nelson called the drug “the best stress medicine there is.”
The big loser of the night was Taylor Swift, a previous winner at the CMT’s. The Eyes Open singer received three nominations but missed out an award this year.
Other highights included performances by Lady Antebellum, Underwood and Lambert, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town. Outdoor performances beamed from downtown Nashville also saw appearances from Hank Williams Jr and Eric Church.
A skit featuring President Barack Obama and Republican opponent Mitt Romney ‘mediating’ between a mock election between the show’s hosts – Toby Keith and Kristen Bell raised laughs on the night.
Rascal Flatts closed the ceremony performing their hit “Banjo” and were joined by surprise guests Journey in a rendition of “‘Don’t Stop Believin‘ “.
Voting for the 8 nominees was announced during the live telecast with final votes held online during the show.
As well as picking up the top award, Underwood also shared the “Collaborative Video of the Year” with Brad Paisley for “Remind Me.”
“Male video of the Year”: Luke Bryan for “I Don’t Want This Night to End”
“Female Video of the Year”: Miranda Lambert for “Over You”
“Group Video of the Year”: Lady Antebellum for “We Owned The Night”
“Duo Video of the Year”: Thompson Square for “I Got You”
“USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year”: Scott McCreery for “The Trouble With Girls”
“CMT Performance of the Year”: Jason Aldean for “Tattoos On This Town”