Footage from CMT Artist of the Year gala dinner, which was hosted by Rob Lowe, has been released. One of them features The All-American Rejects doing a special performance to salute one of the evening's honorees Taylor Swift. The band played a mash-up of their alternative rock song "Gives You Hell" and her anti-bullying country/pop track "Mean".
Before the event kicked off, frontman Tyson Ritter told reporters, "We definitely sort of took a country song and made it not anything like what it was." He added, "It's going to be a tribute to the fact that any song can stand in any genre, and we definitely brought it into ours. We're like the Osmonds, except we're the side that's a little more rock and roll."
Echoing the band's excitement, Swift gushed, "I know that The All-American Rejects are doing one of my songs, doing sort of like a different version of it, so I'm really excited to see what they do. I'm a big fan of that band." The 22-year-old singer/songwriter is indeed a fan of the boys since she once covered their song "Swing Swing" at one of her tour stops earlier this year.
When later accepting Artist of the Year honor on the stage, Swift praised Ritter and his bandmates. "I love what the All-American Rejects did with 'Mean.' That's fantastic!" exclaimed the two-time CMT Artist of the Year recipient. Having received countless coveted prizes, she additionally stated, "This year especially has been crazy...Award season has been so amazing."
The other performers were Jason Aldean who played "Tattoos on This Town", Lady Antebellum who catered the audience with "Dancin' Away With My Heart", Gavin DeGraw who paid tribute to Kenny Chesney with "Somewhere With You", The Avett Brothers who sang "Laundry Room", and Brad Paisley who performed "Life's Been Good/Camouflage" medley with Joe Walsh and William Shatner.
The All-American Rejects: