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THE BLOW BY BLOW
Julianne Hough, Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler – hosts of ABC's two-hour fall special CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock – pucker for the cameras at the CMA Music Festival, which kicked off Thursday in Nashville. When asked by Swift whether she keeps her eyes open or shut when blowing a kiss, Pickler exclaimed, "Open!" before saying, "Let's practice! One, two, three, kiss!"
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GOTTA HAVE FAITH
"It's a little hot out here tonight," Hill told fans of the 92-degree day as she sang hits like "This Kiss" and "The Way You Love Me" at the LP Field on Friday. "It's great to be here. It didn't take long for us to get down from the house."
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Keith Urban comes a-knockin' and gets the stage a-rockin' as the surprise closing act Friday night at the festival. Playing fan favorites like "You Look Good in My Shirt," the dad-to-be promised a "show worth seven bucks a gallon."
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After treating the crowd to an impromptu performance of "Our Song" (when the host's mic stopped working), Taylor Swift puts in some face time with a young fan Thursday during the GAC Celebrity Close-Up event at Ryman Auditorium.
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KICK UP HER HEELS
Kellie Pickler makes her point – telling the ladies in the audience, "Now we've all had that man in our life that's treated us badly … and we're just not gonna put up with that mess anymore" – before launching into her song "Red High Heels" during her performance Thursday night at LP Field.
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RUN, BATTER, RUN!
Carrie Underwood covers her bases during Wednesday's 18th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge to raise money for cancer research and treatment, held at Greer Stadium. "I've gotten a lot of practice with a bat one way or another over the past couple years," the singer told PEOPLE, referring to her hit song "Before He Cheats."
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GRAND OLE TIME
Two days later Underwood turns in her bat for a mic, taking the stage at LP Field, where she brought tears to fans' eyes with "Jesus Take the Wheel." "I never get tired of singing that song," she tells the crowd.
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Temperatures soared even higher with a surprise performance by Rascal Flatts on Thursday night at LP Field. The group – including new dad singer-guitarist Joe Don Rooney (third from the left) – got the crowd on their feet by kicking off with "Me and My Gang."
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ON A ROLL
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush (not pictured) – the reigning CMA Vocal Duo of the Year – continue riding their wave of success during their performance of "All I Want to Do" Thursday at LP Field.
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TAKE HER PICK
Jewel, who just released a new country album, Perfectly Clear, makes her festival debut Thursday performing a selection of new songs ("Stronger Woman") and old faves ("You Were Meant for Me") for the crowd.
Plus: See what Jewel says about her newfound country glory here.
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From soaking up a little of the Nashville nightlife to surprising fans with an impromptu autograph session at Sommet Center Plaza, Jessica Simpson continues making inroads South by taking the stage at LP Field on Thursday after Kellie Pickler's performance.
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"Just Got Started Lovin' You" singer James Otto spreads a little Florida sunshine to a group of fans from Dearfield and Pomano Beach, Fla., by signing their guitars during an autograph session Thursday.
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THE BIG TIME
The trio Lady Antebellum are wowed as they kick off the Friday night concert at LP Field. "This is the biggest crowd we have ever played for!" singer Charles Kelley said.
Plus: See more of Lady Antebellum as they perform for PEOPLE.com