Best Collaboration: Jennifer Nettles, John Legend and Hunter Hayes
Now that is how you bring in a talent from another genre to the CMT Music Awards. Hunter Hayes himself crafted a new, countrified arrangement of the John Legend love song "All of Me" — which, lyrically, really could be a country song — and sent it to the R&B superstar, who promptly wrote back that he loved it and wanted to record the new version as a duet. Kudos to their recruitment of the incomparable Jennifer Nettles for the high harmonies that complemented Legend's in a way that probably had George and Tammy smiling down from above. Their stripped-down, vocally superior performance was a refreshing break from the bells, whistles and backflips (seriously, Brantley Gilbert?) that give the show its often unnecessary shock value.