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Miss Underwood kicked off the night with a hard-charging blast of rock ‘n’ roll and a sexy black-and-magenta minidress for hew new single, “Good Girl,” a warning shot to those looking for a lot of twang out of the show.

From Miss Underwood’s rockin’ new single to U2 singer Bono’s introduction of Dierks Bentley via video from Ireland to Kiss in full makeup awarding Lady Antebellum with yet another trophy, the ACMs showed off the modern flavor of country with all sorts of multigenre mash-ups.

LL Cool J and Keith Urban banded together to salute veterans, and Toby Keith walked through the crowd as he sang “Red Solo Cup” with the help of Carrot Top. Actor-comedian-banjo-player Steve Martin joined Rascal Flatts on “Banjo” after a brief tribute to country pioneer Earl Scruggs, who died last week.

And in one of the night’s oddest juxtapositions, “Two and a Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher in cowboy hat sang part of George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart” before awarding Miss Lambert female vocalist of the year.

For Miss Swift , though, the night will be remembered as the bow on top of the “Speak Now” portion of her career. That multiplatinum album was the second-best-selling LP of 2011. She filled stadiums and arenas around the world, and Billboard recently named her its top moneymaker last year, with an estimated $35 million earned. She also won two Grammys earlier this year.

“It was an amazing thing, and for me, I am always looking forward, I am always looking at what’s next,” Miss Swift said. “And I’m writing my next record right now, as I have been for the past two years, but intensely writing my next record right now. I hope it’s good. Keep your fingers crossed. I would love it if it was good.”

AP writer Cristina Silva in Las Vegas contributed to this report.