Jason Aldean, Lenny Kravitz Open CMT Music Awards With “American Woman”

Explosive Performance Showcases

Jason Aldean and Lenny Kravitz kicked off the 2013 CMT Music Awards with a big bang, delivering an explosive version of “American Woman.” Both brandishing Gibson Les Paul guitars — with their amps apparently turned up to 11 — Aldean’s black coat and cowboy hat was in contrast to Kravitz’s shiny vest and rock star stance.

When their collaboration was announced, the big question was what song they’d perform. “American Woman” proved to be a logical choice. Classic rock fans still vividly remember the Guess Who’s original No. 1 hit from 1970, and other listeners first heard the song when Kravitz’s cover version feature in Mike Myers’ 1999 film, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Aldean had other tasks to accomplish Wednesday night (June 5) awards show, including co-hosting the awards show with actress Kristen Bell at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Aldean will perform “Night Train,” his new single, later in the show. He’s also nominated in three categories — video of the year (“1994″ ), male video (“Take a Little Ride” ) and collaborative video (“The Only Way I Know” with Luke Bryan and Eric Church at the 2012 CMA Awards).

Aldean is currently on the road during his Night Train tour, which has sold out every show so far, including his debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden and a show at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium that attracted 66,000 fans. He also has sold-out stadium concerts scheduled at Boston’s Fenway Park on July 12-13) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field on July 20.

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.