While most of country’s biggest names were in Las Vegas for last night’s ACM Awards, Brad Paisley represented Nashville in Los Angeles for the iHeartRadio Music Awards, joining powerhouse vocalist Demi Lovato for a dynamite performance of her single “Stone Cold.” Taking the stage in the middle of the historic Forum arena surrounded by sparkling lights, Paisey let Lovato handle the belting, instead sitting atop his guitar amp and lending his signature bluesy, lyrical riffs to the piano ballad.
The duet was full of blazing emotion — and was more successful than the pairing of Nick Jonas, Lovato’s tour mate, with Kelsea Ballerini at the ACMs. While Jonas’s basic noodling didn’t quite add gravitas to Ballerini’s “Peter Pan,” Paisey’s expert finger work elevated “Stone Cold.” Still, both were ample proof of how easily the pop and country worlds are able to intermingle, made even clearer when Dolly Parton and Katy Perry performed a medley of “Coat of Many Colors,” “Nine to Five” and Jolene.”
While the ACMs were dominated by six-time winner Chris Stapleton, a pop-country crossover ruled at the iHeartRadio Music Awards: Taylor Swift, who took home four trophies, leaving her Nashville days far behind. Country winners at the event included Chris Janson, whose “Buy Me a Boat” took Country Song of the Year, Luke Bryan (Best Country Artist) and Zac Brown Band, who actually won Best Rock Song for “Heavy Is the Head.”