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Kid Rock Brings The Party To CMT Music Awards Telecast

of the Oakland Press

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There was no witty monologue or scandalous wardrobe malfunction. But Kid Rock delivered the party he promised as host of the ninth annual CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night (June 9) in Nashville -- and brought a little of his own home town flavor with him.

On Olde English D, on a ring Rock slide onto his finger, was the first image viewers saw during the national telecast, shortly before a leather-jacketed Rock strode through the crowd at Bridgestone Arena singing his hit, "Cowboy." Throughout the performance he and his Twisted Brown Trucker Band -- with close-ups for guitarist Marlon Young, hype man Paradime and percussionist Larry Fratangelo -- were joined by Martina McBride and Kellie Pickler, while Randy Houser and Trace Adkins sang a bit of the chorus of Rock's "Bawitdaba." Jamey Johnson broke into a verse of Waylon Jennings' "Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)," while Zac Brown and Hank Williams, Jr., also made cameos.

"The party has just begun!" Rock declared after the performance, though he did caution -- referencing Kanye West's stage-crashing episode at last year's MTV Video Music Awards -- that if "anyone is thinking about grabbing the mic" from presenters Taylor Swift and Faith Hill, Williams (will personally punch you in the mouth."

The segment got the two-hour and 35-minute show off to a spirited start, and Rock returned at random intervals to make introductions and stoke the proceedings with a few humorous bits. Puffing on a stogie after one of the commercial breaks he assured the crowd that "I know there's no smoking. I got the memo. Calm down." He traded good-natured insults with actor David Spade -- "There must be an open bar," Spade chided Rock -- while CMT hostess Melissa Peterman dropped into Rock's backstage dressing room to catch him partying with fellow Detroiters Uncle Kracker and Tye Stone, as well as Pickler, John Rich, Jon Anderson and TV cooking personality Paula Deen.

Rock finished his stint by bringing duet partner Sheryl Crow on stage to present the Video of the Year. "I'm didn't expect you to still be standing by now," Crow told him, to which Rock replied, "I actually didn't either expect me to be standing." He also told Crow, "Will you just have my baby and let's get it over with?" but also offered heartfelt appreciation to the Nashville crowd and the country music community for welcoming him and his music into their midst.

"I'm actually having fun," Rock noted. "I felt good at the beginning. Now I feel REAL good."

And so, surely, did CMT and the show's producers about choosing Rock as their host.

Web Site: www.cmt.com

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