There may have been better music made during the Academy of Country Music Awards — hello, Miranda Lambert; hello Martina McBride — but a pair of duets, Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and Rihanna, gave the night some of its best glam and glitz.

Underwood and Tyler blasted though her “Undo It” and his “Walk This Way” with a fun swagger. The American Idol-ites couldn’t be more different in styles, although Underwood did attach a long scarf to her microphone as some kind of salute to Tyler. That the Aerosmith singer should howl affectingly was so surprise; Underwood’s surprising willingness to lose some of her patented control and catch Tyler’s phrases as he tossed them — and a few perilously close air-kisses — to her made for a spontaneous-seeming performance.

Jennifer Nettles applied her formidable pipes to Rihanna’s “California King Bed,” and together they turned the song into a soaring power-ballad with soulfulness. Rather than seeming out of place on the ACMs, Rihanna fit right in with the glamour-plus-glitz that characterizes the best of the entertainment emanating from the ACM home-site this year, Las Vegas.

What did you think of these CMA ACM duets?

Twitter: @kentucker

Academy of Country Music Awards
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