CMA Awards Photos: Red Carpet & Show Highlights
Lady Antebellum, looking pretty happy backstage.

Kenny & Grace's Fateful First Meeting... Blake Tweeks 'Voice' Pals... Lady A on the Road... Taylor's Obsession

So, you watched every second of the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards last night on ABC. Still, there was a lot that you didn't see that went on behind the scenes. Such as…

A Successful First Encounter for Chesney & Potter

Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter's "You And Tequila" took home the video of the year award last night. Backstage, while talking to the media, Chesney said that the recording session where the two cut the tune was actually their very first meeting. "I knew about her music," he said. "But, we had never met before. 'You And Tequila' is such a tortured soul song about being addicted to person who is not very good for you. I needed the female perspective. The chemistry was evident from moment we walked into the studio.'

Blake Shelton: Waiting on a 'Voice' Message

In his comments to the media following his repeat win for male vocalist of the year, Blake Shelton light-heartedly said he was puzzled that none of his "The Voice" pals had called to congratulate him. "They haven't said crap to me," he said with a smile. "Do they broadcast them two hours later in California? That's why Christina hasn't congratulated me yet." On a serious level, he said that the win -- combined with the success he has had this year helps to ease his mind about his career. "This is the first time I feel secure in the music business. The industry can be so fickle."

Taylor Swift Looks Back... And Ahead

For the past year, Taylor Swift has been taking her music here and abroad on the "Speak Now" tour. The Entertainer of the Year, who has also been selected by Billboard as their "Woman of the Year," takes a lot of pride in her live show that her fans have seen this year. "I absolutely am so proud of this tour," she says. "I obsess over how to treat each song. It's very theatrical, and each song has its' own treatment." She has a similar plan for her 2012 project. "With this next album, I'm so excited. We're still in the first year of making it. I can picture some of these songs being played on stage."

No Expectations For Sugarland

After winning five straight years as Vocal Duo of the Year, you might think that Sugarland takes their awards for granted. You would be very wrong. Jennifer Nettles said "You can't expect anything in this industry. If you are, you're setting yourself up." Her partner, Kristian Bush said that it might sound like a cliché, but "To be invited here and sitting in the room is a big deal."

Lady Antebellum on the Road Again

After winning their third straight trophy as vocal group of the year, Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley reflected on the trio's recent success overseas. "We had our first show last year in London, and to drive up three hours early and see the crowd was inspiring. It made us realize that we need to support this a little bit more." Hillary Scott talked about the group's upcoming tour, saying "We actually rehearsed for three weeks -- as much as we ever have." They also were very hands on when it came to the stage. "We drew out the first design on a paper plate, so to go from that to walking in a room and seeing it. We're looking forward to it. It's all about the fans."


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Lionel Richie Reminisces on '86 Performance

One of the highlights of last night's show was Lionel Richie's performance with Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, and Rascal Flatts. The night was one that took the legend down memory lane. In 1986, the singer performed "Deep River Woman" with Alabama. What are the differences that Richie sees in the show today? "Well, it's very simple, I think. For one, it's a bigger building than the Grand Ole Opry House, which allows for a bigger production. Of his upcoming duets album Tuskegee, the singer said "Most of the country artists know them better than I do."

Listen To Your Mother

Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry confessed that she received a key piece of advice about the tune that won single and song of the year last night, "If I Die Young." She said, "It was so organic. I played it for my mother, and was about to take the song and do a co-write on it to finish it. She told me I needed to finish it myself." It turns out her mother knew exactly what she was talking about!

It's A Campbell Family Band!

One of the evening's more emotional moments backstage was when Hall of Famer Glen Campbell made an appearance. He talked about his farewell tour to promote his final CD "Ghost On The Canvas." "We're going all over the world. We've got my kids, who are my musicians now," he said before saying with his tongue planted firmly in-cheek, "That way I can get them cheaper!"

"Crazy" Night for Jason Aldean

After steadily growing his career since 2005's "Hicktown," it was a huge night for Broken Bow's Jason Aldean. Not only did he take home the vocal event of the year prize with Kelly Clarkson, but also the top album award for "My Kinda Party." He says he wasn't expecting either award, but the latter took him completely by surprise. "I felt like with the success of the duet with Kelly, that we had a decent shot, but album of the year wasn't expected at all. The fact that I got a chance to get up with my producer was great." He is currently working on the follow-up. "We've already found some great songs," he said, knowing he's got some big shoes to fill -- his own. "Obviously, this album has been special. I think you just have to make the best album you can."