Country rocker Brantley Gilbert took the stage –- the platform that was in the middle of the crowd and in the center of the fan seats, not the rig at the front of the auditorium -- at the 2012 CMA Awards in throwback style. Wait, what? He simply performed an old song, his first single 'Country Must Be Country Wide.'

We scratched our heads, since awards shows such as the CMAs are vehicles for country stars to promote their latest wares and singles, so it seemed peculiar that Gilbert would perform a song that's not new or that he's not currently promoting.

Well, turns out there was method to his madness. The singer took a minute, mid-song, to throw a big ol' show of appreciation to country radio for their undying support.

"I want to thank all the people at country radio who keep our music country wide," Gilbert said. And that's when things switched to a pre-taped tally of the Radio Stations of the Year.

So it was a strategic move. It was a way for the broadcast to incorporate the top country stations by market size into the ceremony and a way for Gilbert to perform a hit that the fans loved seeing live.

Now that we see the rationale, it makes complete and total sense.

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