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Country Music Association Awards

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5 Things to Know About the CMAs' Best New Artist Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes: 5 Things to Know About the CMAs' Best New Artist

Originally posted 11/02/2012 02:20PM

Country music has a new rising star whose boyish good looks are setting hearts aflutter. Oh, and he can sing pretty well, too.

Hunter Hayes had his unofficial coronation as country music's next big thing Thursday at the Country Music Association Awards, winning Best New Artist and performing a spellbinding rendition of his first No. 1 country song, "Wanted," on his trademark black piano.

Just 21, Hayes projects an irresistible innocence – he can still recall the songs he wrote in middle school, and he brought his parents with him to the CMAs. Still, he's been performing for 19 years, so he knows a thing or two about projecting an image.

PEOPLE caught up with Hayes on Thursday to get a better idea of what makes him tick. Here are five things to know about the young heartthrob.

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Credit: Taylor Hill/Wireimage
How Miranda & Blake Will Celebrate Their Big CMA Wins

Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton: How They'll Celebrate Their Big CMA Wins

Originally posted 11/02/2012 01:15PM

They had a big, emotional night in front of millions at the Country Music Association Awards. Now, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are ready to savor their success with something even more rare – a little quiet time together.

"We're going home for Thanksgiving," Lambert said after Thursday's awards. "We'll have four days there, and again for Christmas. We never see each other, so we cherish every moment together."

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POLL: Who Gave the Best Performance at the CMA Awards? | Eric Church

Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley & More Perform at Country Music Association Awards

Originally posted 11/02/2012 08:15AM

Thursday night's Country Music Association Awards had it all: laughter, tears and lots of live performances.

From Miranda Lambert's high octane rendition of "Fastest Girl in Town" to Taylor Swift's debut of the lovelorn "Begin Again," it seemed like almost every nominee got their moment on stage, regardless if they took home an award or not.

With so many high energy sets, the evening felt more like a concert than an awards show!

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Miranda Weeps Alongside Blake After Emotional CMA Win | Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert

UpdatePosted 11/01/2012 11:00PM

Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton Deliver Emotional Song of the Year Acceptance Speech

Originally posted 11/01/2012 09:15PM

It was a big night for Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton!

The couple took home individual honors at the Country Music Association Awards Thursday night – including an entertainer of the year honor for Shelton! – but the most emotional moment came when they accepted the award for song of the year for their powerful duet, "Over You."

"I lost my brother in a car wreck when I was 14-years-old, and later in life when I decided I wanted to be a country singer, my dad always told me, 'Son, you should write a song about your brother,' " Shelton said alongside his wife.

"I lost my dad in January, and it's so amazing to me that tonight even after he's gone, he's still right," he continued as the audience cheered and Lambert fought back tears.

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Zing! Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley Poke Fun at Taylor Swift's Breakup | Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood

Country Music Association Awards

UpdatePosted 11/01/2012 09:10PM

Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley Poke Fun at Taylor Swift at CMA Awards

Originally posted 11/01/2012 08:45PM

Taylor Swift's love life is more than great inspiration for her hit songs – it's now a punchline.

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley poked fun at the singer's recent split from Conor Kennedy during the opening monologue of Thursday's Country Music Association Awards.

"Brad and I were backstage talking about what a strange year this has been," Underwood said at the start of their funny (and musically-accentuated) routine.

"Just look at sports, I can't keep track of all these trades," continued Paisley, as his co-host noted that Tim Tebow is now playing for the New York Jets.

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PHOTO: Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles Shows Off Baby Bump

Country Music Association Awards

UpdatePosted 11/01/2012 08:25PM

Jennifer Nettles Shows Off Baby Bump at Country Music Awards

Originally posted 11/01/2012 07:30PM

Baby bump alert!

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles was absolutely glowing Thursday when she showed off her growing belly at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.

Wearing a simple silhouette, the singer, who's nominated for vocal duo of the year alongside her Sugarland bandmate Kristian Bush, couldn't hide her smile as she posed for photographs on the red carpet.

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PEOPLE's Picks for Tonight's CMA Awards

CMA Awards Winners: PEOPLE Music Critic's Picks

Originally posted 11/01/2012 02:30PM

The 46th annual Country Music Association Awards will air from Nashville tonight at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CT) on ABC with some predictable hosts: Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, together for the fifth straight year.

Perhaps there will at least be a few surprises among the winners. Here's my take on five major categories:

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Miranda Lambert to Perform at CMA Awards | Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert to Perform at CMA Awards

Originally posted 10/01/2012 08:00AM

The Country Music Association's reigning female vocalist of the year Miranda Lambert will defend her title on stage at Nov. 1's 46th Annual CMA Awards.

The CMA tells PEOPLE exclusively that Lambert, 28, will perform on the live broadcast from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The Texas native is also in the running for album of the year, music video of the year and song of the year for "Over You," a nomination she shares with her co-writer and husband, two-time male vocalist of the year Blake Shelton.

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Luke Bryan & Kimberly Perry Ready to 'Rock' New Hosting Gig | Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan & Kimberly Perry Ready to 'Rock' New Hosting Gig

Originally posted 09/17/2012 01:00PM

Luke Bryan and Kimberly Perry have three words for Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley: "Watch your backs."

While Underwood and Paisley will be co-hosting the CMA Awards on Nov. 1 for the fifth consecutive year, upstarts Bryan and Perry (lead singer of Band Perry) are hoping their debut as co-hosts of Country's Night to Rock – which airs Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC – will leave a lasting impression.

"I wasn't really sure what hosts were supposed to do," Perry tells PEOPLE. "But I have studied Carrie and Brad – they are such pros. And my brothers [bandmates Reid and Neil] let me practice with them on the bus. Neil actually does a great Luke Bryan imitation, so that helped!"

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