Yesterday I saw a couple of tweets in advance of the Country Music Awards, but didn't watch. Instead, I've spent a few minutes looking at a review of the performances and for clips.

First of all, there's a lot to look at in the debut of Brad Paisley's new song. In fact, I think all the imagery actually takes away from the performance because I'm pretty busy looking at all the bare skin, tattoos, people playing with a ball or their phones. Also, maybe it's just my machine, but the sound quality on this Youtube seems a bit off.

I'm sure the song will do fine. Paisley's the Ray Stevens of modern country, but at first brush, I'll say that he's had much better songs and performances which aren't nearly as distracting.

A highlight though from the few clips I've seen was the Shakira/Blake Shelton duet. Billboard says she wanted to do something in Nashville and I'd say she did very well. I hadn't heard the song before, but based on this performance, I'll notice it whenever I hear it and will have a visual image to go along. (Note: The unembeddable CBS.com clip has better sound quality)

But the big story, or at least the one which has distracted me from working more of the USA Today list, was Stevie Nicks with Lady Antebellum. Billboard says this performance started from a CMT Crossroads, which I just watched. If you're a fan of either, it's worth the play.