08:19 AM EDT 12/22/2014
Originally posted 10/16/2013 12:00PM
What a difference a year makes.
In 2012, country music newcomer Hunter Hayes was thrilled to introduce Carrie Underwood as one of CMT's Artists of the Year – now he's been given the same honor himself.
The 22-year-old is one of five country music stars who've been named CMT's 2013 Artists of the Year.
"This year has been amazing, and I thought it couldn't get any better, and then they told me this," the "Wanted" singer tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Originally posted 06/06/2013 12:35PM
All the scoop on the country queen's sequin CMT Music Awards gown
Originally posted 06/05/2013 09:30PM
Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz? Well, that looks familiar!
While attending the CMT Music Awards in Nashville on Wednesday, Kidman and husband Keith Urban looked thrilled to run into the rocker backstage.
The couple and Kravitz exchanged hugs, and posed for a group photo.
Although it wasn't exactly a country tune, Kravitz, 49, kicked off the awards show with his smash hit, "American Woman." Urban, 45, is also scheduled to perform during the show.
Originally posted 06/05/2013 08:30PM
Kristen Bell may be a first-time mom, but she's a second-time host at this year's CMT Music Awards.
Walking the red carpet in a form-fitting black Zuhair Murad dress with her long blonde hair worn down on Wednesday, Bell, 32, looked glamorous but had mommy duties on the brain.
Prior to the show's start Bell – whose cohost is Jason Aldean – shared her "backstage beauty routine."
Originally posted 06/05/2013 06:30PM
George Strait is in mourning.
The music legend, 61, announced in a statement that his 91-year-old father, John Byron Strait – a former Texas junior high school teacher – died Tuesday after battling a lengthy illness.
"We are grateful for the time over the last few weeks we were able to spend with Daddy before he passed away," the country singer said in a statement posted on his website. "I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this difficult time as we mourn our family's loss."
Originally posted 06/05/2013 05:45PM
The Bacon Brothers are Nashville bound!
Kevin Bacon and his older brother, Michael, are heading to the country music destination Wednesday, just in time to present at the CMT Awards.
"It's gonna be fun," Kevin tells PEOPLE.
Although The Bacon Brothers have been playing together for more than 15 years, they still relish the quality time they spend together on the road.
Originally posted 05/06/2013 12:00PM
It's quite the power trio at the head of this year's nominations for the CMT Music Awards.
Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan and Eric Church each picked up four nominations Monday, PEOPLE can reveal exclusively. They are followed by country veterans Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts, as well as first-time nominees Florida Georgia Line, with three nominations each.
Carrie Underwood, who led last year's nominations with five (and won video of the year), has two nods this year. She is joined by Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, Jana Kramer, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town and the rock group Journey.
Originally posted 04/30/2013 09:35AM
It's back to work for new mom Kristen Bell.
The House of Lies star Tweeted on Monday that she'll be hosting the CMT Awards on June 5.
"Yay! Heading back to Nashville to host the #CMTawards, June 5 on @CMT!" she wrote. "This year I have an awesome, new co-host! Who do u think it'll b?"
Originally posted 12/05/2012 06:00AM
Hayden Panettiere is the host with the most.
The Nashville actress – who is co-hosting CMT's Artists of the Year – had a blast taping the awards show in Franklin, Tenn., on Monday night.
When Panettiere crossed paths with a red Solo cup-wielding Toby Keith on the red carpet, she had to find out what the country singer was drinking!
Originally posted 06/06/2012 10:25PM
The third time was the charm for Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert.
The Nashville-based Lady Antebellum – Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – accepted honors for group video of the year at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards – an award they took home in 2010 and 2011.
"Thank you, CMT, for really connecting the dot with these videos," Haywood told the audience gathered at the Bridgestone Arena after the win for their song "We Owned the Night." "Thank you for playing these things."
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