John Mayer joined Paisley for a guitar summit on "Beat This Summer" and Taylor Swift and Keith Urban joined Tim McGraw on stage for "Highway Don't Care," which Urban finished off with a scorching guitar solo.
And Stevie Wonder made his first appearance on a country music awards show, joining Hunter Hayes for a performance by two guys who got their start as precocious teens. Hayes kicked off their set with his song "I Want Crazy," then was joined by Wonder for his hit "Sir Duke." Wonder returned to finish off the show with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."
Asked to explain why he decided to join Hayes on stage, he had a simple answer.
"What I can tell you is I have always been a lover of music and country music," Wonder said. "The amazing thing (is) I recently saw a few days ago a Motown show. And what was amazing to me, comparing this night to that, it was about lifting people up, lifting love up. And so tonight, again, here in this event, it's about lifting people up, music up, love up. Listen, we could not be here without love."