Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood backstage
04/03/2011 at 08:00 PM EDT
At Sunday night's 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, some of the music industry's finest cowgirls, rock stars and pop hit makers pushed genres to the side to make duet magic.
Unexpected mashups aside – who knew Rihanna
had twang? – whose performance was the perfect balance?
Brad Paisley and Alabama Brad Paisley
and rockers Alabama brought the spirit of the south – and a gritty guitar jam – to Vegas with their duet, "Old Alabama." Cowboy hats in place, the kings of country kicked off the show on a high note.
Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler
It was a match made in American Idol
heaven! Season four Idol
winner Carrie Underwood rocked the stage
with judge Steven Tyler to her hit "Undo It" and Aerosmith classic "Walk This Way." They each belted into microphones adorned with Tyler's signature scarves and nearly shared a tender smooch – which was, of course, a joke.
Rihanna and Jennifer Nettles
We're not in Nashville anymore: Sugarland's leading lady, Nettles, and Rihanna
teamed up to sing "California King Bed," an R&B ballad that showed off both of the starlets' powerhouse vocals.
Zac Brown Band and James Taylor
The powerhouses partnered up for a medley of their hits "Colder Weather" and "Sweet Baby James."