NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country music's fastest rising stars Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Luke Bryan kicked off the Country Music Association Awards by joining forces.
Playing with a large American flag behind them, the trio of performers teamed up on Aldean's new single "The Only Way I Know" from his new album "Night Train" and earned a standing ovation.
Most of country's top stars were on hand Thursday night at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena for the celebration, with many slated to perform. Taylor Swift arrived in a detailed red lace dress to some of the night's loudest cheers and mingled with fans who had made signs to draw her attention.
Still to come were a tribute to Willie Nelson featuring Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum and performances by most of the night's top nominees.