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CMA Awards kick off with Hank Williams Jr. jokes

By Chris Talbott

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 9 2011 6:25 p.m. MST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Blake Shelton and Kenny Loggins opened an eclectic Country Music Association Awards with a high-energy version of Loggins' hit "Footloose," but Hank Williams Jr. stole the show.

Williams appeared during the opening skit Wednesday night with hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who lampooned his recent troubles with ESPN and his "Monday Night Football" theme song.

Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson won the night's first major award, musical event of the year for "Don't You Want to Stay," and The Band Perry won single of the year for "If I Die Young."

Lionel Richie, Glen Campbell, Natasha Bedingfield and stars from other genres mixed with country music's top acts like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert.

Online: http://www.cmaawards.com

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