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Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Faith Hill + Tim McGraw Salute Willie Nelson With All-Star Jam at 2012 CMA Awards

Willie Nelson Tribute CMAs
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

The 2012 CMA Awards held a tribute to country icon Willie Nelson in the form of a jam session with some of the genre’s A-listers.

Lady Antebellum kicked things off with ‘You Were Always on My Mind,’ lead by Charles Kelley before Hillary Scott came to do her thing. Lady A then sang several bars of ‘Crazy,’ making theirs a Nelson medley.

Blake Shelton and Keith Urban grabbed their guitars to drown in the ‘Whiskey River.’ They certainly jammed it up and knuckled down on their axes, Willie-style.

Country’s first couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw engaged in a rare live duet, both dressed stylishly in all black, for ‘Good-Hearted Woman.’ Saluting Willie Nelson is reason enough to get the husband and wife to perform together.

The camera panned to the braided one, who was seated in the crowd, several times. Through it all, he maintained a stoic face, but you could see in his eyes that he was moved by all of these contemporary acts paying their respects to both him and his music.

A surprise to everyone, Nelson himself hit the stage, leaving his seat in the crowd to strap on an acoustic guitar for ‘On the Road Again.’ That was a true all-star jam, as all the previous performers stayed on stage to back him up.

Maybe, just maybe, Nelson — known for his love of the green stuff — grabbed all his tribute payers together backstage, post-performance, not for a hug or a beer, but to share a spliff? We kid, we kid.

See a Full List of 2012 CMA Awards Winners

Watch the Willie Nelson Tribute at the 2012 CMA Awards

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