Jason Aldean got the rock 'n' roll treatment from Lenny Kravitz at the top of the CMT Music Awards, then went through a little therapy in a pre-recorded comedy segment featuring fictional psychiatrists Kelsey Grammer, Lorraine Bracco and a who's who of musicians-turned-award show hosts.
"Aldean, are you getting all this?" Carrie Underwood shouted as co-host Kristen Bell led an advice session for Aldean, in his first hosting gig. "My mind's a steel trap," Aldean retorted. "Nothing gets in here."
Duo Florida Georgia Line won the show's first award, breakthrough video of the year, for its omnipresent crossover hit Cruise. The duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley were scheduled to perform a remix of that song with rapper Nelly later in the show, perfectly matching the CMT ethos of unusual pairings.
The hit song further blurs the imaginary, but once impenetrable, lines between American music genres. Nelly's happy to serve as eraser.
"The Internet has brought so many people together around the world in the same place at the same time," Nelly said. "Music was only in line to be integrated like that. It's a beautiful thing because you want your kids to be multifaceted. You want your kids to experience a lot more than you did as a child. So I welcome it. My kids are Taylor Swift fans. They love Florida Georgia Line. But they also love Lil Wayne."
Swift and FGL are up for the night's top award, video of the year, after fans narrowed down the field of finalists. Aldean, Underwood, Bryan and Miranda Lambert join them on the list and fans will vote for the winner during the show.
Lambert, Bryan and Eric Church lead with four nominations apiece. Aldean and Kenny Chesney are among the acts with three nominations.
Presenters will include Sheryl Crow, Ed Sheeran, "Dancing With the Stars" winner Kellie Pickler, brothers Kevin and Michael Bacon and Lisa Marie Presley.
In picture: Taylor Swift
Text and images: AP