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Taylor Swift and Little Big Town Celebrate CMAs with a Smooch — and a No. 1 Single


All eyes were on Taylor Swift when she made a surprise return to the CMA Awards on Wednesday. She may have been presenting entertainer of the year, but the pop star was also celebrating vocal group of the year winners Little Big Town, whose Swift-penned new single “Better Man” hit No. 1 on iTunes.

Swift, 26, shared a backstage photo where she’s giving Karen Fairchild a kiss on the cheek, and Little Big Town posted a snap from a slightly different angle. The group then headed to Universal’s after-party to celebrate the success of “Better Man,” a source tells PEOPLE.

“You are a class act, a dear friend and a hell of a songwriter,” the band, comprised of Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Philip Sweet, captioned the shot, tagging Swift.

Source: Taylor Swift/Instagram
Source: Taylor Swift/Instagram

@taylorswift you are a class act, a dear friend and a hell of a songwriter. #betterman

A post shared by Little Big Town (@littlebigtown) on

“Bless her heart. She’s gonna make it some day,” Schlapman joked to PEOPLE on the CMA Awards red carpet. Added Karen Fairchild: “She never pitches her songs. She brought us on the road last summer for the 1989 tour and we did ‘Pontoon’ together and we’ve just been keeping in touch. I guess she loved the song so much and thought of the harmonies and sent it to us.”

  • Reporting by MELODY CHIU