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When Country Meets Rock & Rockstars Gone Country ... CMT Awards 2013

Im a little bit country... and a little bit Rock and Roll......


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Martina McBride with Pat Monahan of Train...

At the American Country Music 2012 Awards

Lionel Richie Makes It Look Easy in Las Vegas
ACM Special Features Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles and More
Kenny Chesney and Lionel Richie
Kenny Chesney and Lionel Richie
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS -- With a smile on his face and a swagger in his step, Lionel Richie truly enjoyed himself at the all-star tribute concert in his honor Monday night (April 2) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. And for older music fans who grew up listening to his pop hits, the show could've gone on all night long.

Titled ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert, the special airs April 13 on CBS. The mutual admiration between Richie and his duet partners was evident throughout the three-hour taping. There was almost a visible glow emanating from the stage. To paraphrase a famous lyric, that's why it's easy to just sit back and enjoy the music.

Without giving too much away, it's fair to say the show didn't follow a rigid structure. Sometimes Richie delivered his hits without a singing partner, which satisfied his longtime fans. At other times, country stars like Jason Aldean, The Band Perry and Martina McBride serenaded Richie, who was occasionally seated in the audience, with their own versions of his hits.

Still, the collaborations brought out the best in everyone. Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles, Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker offered memorable duets with Richie, and nobody could keep their hands off of each other. Although none of them have known Richie for long, there's an obvious chemistry there. Those five artists are among the country stars appearing on Richie's Tuskegee, which debuted on the country albums charts at No. 1 this week.

In addition to paying musical tribute, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Rogers shared their own amusing anecdotes about Richie's music, which brought a lighthearted element to the show. In addition, his daughter Nicole Richie spoke highly of her father in a short speech while Richie himself said he was tickled to finally sing live for his family.

"Now they get to see what I do for a living!" he teased.

Shania Twain did not make a surprise appearance to sing "Endless Love" with Richie, although they have released a music video for the romantic song. However, for this show, Sara Evans and pop star Marc Anthony stepped in for a compelling duet of the enduring ballad.

Meanwhile, Big & Rich couldn't resist their own rendition of Richie's signature party anthem, even though the duo decided to inject a little bit of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" into the mix.

Richie didn't seem to mind. By then he was running with the night, and everyone in the brick house was cheering him on.


Maybe 'overrated' by now . . . but . . . what the heck . . . this is THE real Country Meets Rock!



A Rocker

Gone Country



Another Rockstar gone COuntry


Hottie and the Blowfish Frontman Darius Rucker.. Gone Country


Remember the Pop star Michelle Branch? also Gone Country



Jewel....... Gone Country


Steve Martin Joins Rascal Flatts During ACM Award Performance of ‘Banjo’

Steve Martin and Rascal Flatts

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Instead of shedding more tears to honor the passing of Earl Scruggs, Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton led a celebration of the bluegrass legend’s life during Sunday night’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas. After the crowd stood to applaud Scruggs, McEntire introduced Rascal Flatts and comedian turned banjo player Steve Martin to sing ‘Banjo.’

The trio once again had to overcome sound issues during a nationally televised award show, but after a few seconds of struggling to hear Gary LeVox sing, fans could fall right into the jam with his bandmates. Martin mostly stayed in one place, happy to be picking along with the famous group from Nashville. Audience members like Taylor Swift couldn’t help but dance along.

When it came time for the song’s solo, it wasn’t Martin who was featured however. Instead Flatts’ regular banjo player got the camera time, as the comic stood in back with his hands on his hips. It was a curious way to bring in a star for a cameo. If he hadn’t been introduced or if cameras hadn’t spent so much time following him, fans could have missed his participation.

‘Banjo’ is the lead single of Rascal Flatts’ new studio album ‘Changed,’ which hits stores on Tuesday. Martin is not featured on the recorded version of the song.

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