The 46th annual Country Music Association Awards were held Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., with Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood as hosts.
Most of country’s top stars were on hand for the celebration. 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. Art imitated life as stars from the new ABC drama “Nashville” like Hayden Panetierre mingled with the folks they mimic, drawing just as many screams.
Willie Nelson, 79, walked the carpet before the show with his wife, Annie. One of the most beloved figures in not just country music, but American popular culture, Nelson was stopped several times for hugs. He deflected most questions about the lifetime achievement award he would be receiving with jokes.
“It’s a great honor and I’m glad I achieved something,” he said.