Adam Larkey / ABC / Retna
People Staff
November 13, 2008 01:40 PM

Kellie Pickler, getting ready for the Country Music Association Awards with her BFF Taylor Swift. “We were just in the dressing room together and hair’s flying everywhere,” the new artist of the year nominee told us. “Shoes and clothes [were everywhere] and people [were] running around, and we’d just sit there and talk and listen to her iPod.” What was playing? “We were listening to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. We were listening to everything!”

• After the show, Taylor Swift, hanging with her family in the VIP area at Big Machine’s post-CMA Awards party held in a club suite at the Sommet Center. Of course, the teen star didn’t stay put – she was circulating around the scene. Also at the bash: Reese Witherspoon, who chatted intensely with singer Jimmy Wayne for more than 10 minutes about her charity organization that aids foster children. Also there: Kid Rock and the newly signed Reba McEntire.

Miranda Lambert, gushing about meeting one of her biggest fans: Reese Witherspoon! “She stopped me in the hall and she told me she liked my music,” Lambert told us. “I was like, ‘You know who I am?’ She actually said that she and her boyfriend – who just happens to be Jake Gyllenhaal – love ‘Home,’ my boyfriend Blake Shelton‘s song.”

Carrie Underwood, chatting with her co-host Brad Paisley‘s wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley, in the VIP area at the Sony-BMG afterparty. The bash took place in a white tented area of the label’s parking lot, which they outfitted with tiny white lights. Guests, including Kellie Pickler, sipped margaritas and nibbled on fresh omelettes, baked ravioli and mini-pizzas at the bash. Vocal group of the year winners Rascal Flatts were the life of the party – and they worked the room.

• Meanwhile, double winner Paisley dished about how he celebrated his male vocalist win: The singer ran offstage, grabbed his pregnant wife sitting in the front row and kissed her! “That was totally spontaneous,” he told us of the smooch. “I hadn’t seen her all day. She filmed Boston Legal this week and flew back in today, got her make-up done at home and didn’t get there until right before. The first time I saw her was from the stage so I had to go down and kiss her because it was like, ‘Hi!’ ”

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, dropping by the Capitol Records party (briefly) at Lime, one of Kidman’s favorite Nashville restaurants. Next stop for the partyhoppers: Ronnie Dunn‘s very musical bash at his Nashville barn. George Strait entertained the crowd with classic songs and even brought up Reese Witherspoon for “Jackson”, reprising the duet she sang as June Carter in 2005’s Walk the Line. Martina McBride took a turn on the mic, too, belting out the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and playing a pink tambourine. Also at the bash: Dunn’s musical partner Kix Brooks and Dierks Bentley.

Shania Twain surprised everybody at the end of the CMA ceremony – then continued her night out at the Universal Music afterparty at the label’s Nashville office. The singer mingled with multiple-winner George Strait and Julianne Hough at the bash.

John Rich, throwing an after-afterparty at his members only Lower Broadway club, the Spot, which was also celebrating its first anniversary.


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