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Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood: Who sang best at the ACM Awards?

April 4, 2011 |  9:00 am

Carrie Underwood Taylor Swift ACM Awards newsAt the Academy of Country Music Awards, rival country thrushes Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood staged bravura music performances that brimmed with high energy, defiance and rockabilly swing.

Swift crooned along with a country clan of musicians on the porch of a backwoods house that might be found floating in the Blue Ridge Mountain mists. The tune was "Mean," which seems to lump all of her music detractors into one symbolic loser with a drinking problem. Furiously, she sang at him:

"I can see you years from now in a bar
talking over a football game
with that same big loud opinion but, nobody's listening
washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing."

Underwood, by contrast, donned a sexpot outfit and took to the stage to sing "Undo It," but got ambushed by Steven Tyler, who urged her into joining him in a riff on "Walk This Way." The duet pumped up the audience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but it got a bit creepy when Tyler, age 63, puckered up his giant lips at 28-year-old Underwood and sang, "Just gimme little kiss like this." Trying unsuccessfully to hide her horror, she turned away and expertly dodged his lurch. Underwood is a newlywed who recently married hockey star Mike Fisher.

-- Tom O'Neil


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Photos: CBS