CMT's celebration of country music's top artists of 2013 was a complete dude fest.
Whether it was saluting Tim McGraw as a more-relevant-than-ever trailblazer, acknowledging the genre's love-hate relationship with Florida Georgia Line, the precociousness of Hunter Hayes or the current dominance of good buddies Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, Tuesday night's live broadcast of "CMT Artists of the Year" had plenty of bro hugs to go around.
"It's really cool to be part of this fraternity and what's going on in Nashville right now, and country music is one of the coolest things in the world," Aldean said as he accepted his fourth artist of the year award - one for each edition of the fourth annual show. I'm glad people like what I do."
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Fraternity was the right word for the night - and the year - in country music.
Men ruled country radio this year, and thus the format, with only Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood making waves in what's considered mainstream country. Tuesday's show reflected that year.
McGraw made something of a comeback this year, releasing his first post-Curb Records album and reclaiming his place as one of country's most bankable stars under a new record deal with Big Machine Records. You're the reason so many people move to Nashville, Tenn., to make country music."
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The duo's "Cruise," featuring Nelly, was the year's biggest country music song, and served as something of a dividing line for the genre's fans. Travis Tritt performed Aldean's "Night Train" with Cassadee Pope, and Bryan topped off the show by choosing to perform duets of "Oh No" and "All Night Long" with Lionel Richie.
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Bryan was the night's final honoree, a tip of the cap to the year he's had. Bryan has the top-selling country album released in 2013, was the Academy of Country Music's top honoree and shook his rear to the top of the genre.
"I never expected my butt to get so much attention," Bryan joked.