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“You’ve made me feel so special right now, thank you,” Swift said.

Voters also cast an eye to the future, handing trophies to young stars Florida Georgia Line and Kacey Musgraves, who was a top nominee with Swift.

Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley scored single and vocal duo of the year. Their quick wins early in the show was more proof the so-called bro country movement is the sound of the moment in mainstream country. Florida Georgia Line kicked off the show performing a fist-pumping medley with Luke Bryan, and quickly returned to the stage to take the trophy for single of the year for their “Cruise” remix featuring Nelly. They also played the new song “Round Here.”

“It’s been a constant thing all year — we’ve been trying to wrap our minds around what’s going on,” Hubbard said backstage of the band’s platinum success. “It’s been a dream come true for us and a huge blessing for us and something we could have never imagined.”

Musgraves won the new artist trophy, besting a field that included Florida Georgia Line.

“It’s amazing what 52 weeks can do to a person,” Musgraves said backstage. “… Last year I had really crappy seats. You know, I was just sitting back with my roommate just as a fan. And here I am holding this thing.”

Lee Brice’s “I’d Drive Your Truck,” about a fallen soldier whose father still drives his truck, won song of the year, and Little Big Town took its second straight vocal group of the year.

Collaboration was the theme of the night as Strait and Alan Jackson joined together to salute the late George Jones with a rendition of “She Stopped Loving Him Today.” Hunter Hayes and Jason Mraz took a tour of the Bridgestone Arena while performing “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me.” And in one of the night’s most anticipated moments, Kenny Rogers received the CMA’s Willie Nelson lifetime achievement award.

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Online:

http://www.cmaawards.com