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CMT celebrates the men of country music

  • Tim McGraw, left, accepts his award from Dwight Yokam at CMT "Artists of the Year" show held at the Music City Center on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — CMT's celebration of country music's top artists of 2013 was a complete dude fest.

Whether it was saluting Tim McGraw as a more-relevant-than-ever trailblazer, acknowledging the genre's love-hate relationship with Florida Georgia Line, the precociousness of Hunter Hayes or the current dominance of good buddies Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, Tuesday night's live broadcast of "CMT Artists of the Year" had plenty of bro hugs to go around.

"It's really cool to be part of this fraternity and what's going on in Nashville right now, and country music is one of the coolest things in the world," Aldean said as he accepted his fourth artist of the year award — one for each edition of the fourth annual show. "I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm glad people like what I do."

CMT 2013 Artists Of The Year Show

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Fraternity was the right word for the night — and the year — in country music.

Men ruled country radio this year, and thus the format, with only Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood making waves in what's considered mainstream country. Tuesday's show reflected that year.

McGraw made something of a comeback this year, releasing his first post-Curb Records album and reclaiming his place as one of country's most bankable stars under a new record deal with Big Machine Records. McGraw acknowledged his fellow honorees while accepting his new trophy.

"The new artists that are coming along are making great music," McGraw said. "The other ... five artists ... that I'm here with tonight, that's what keeps me going and that's what inspires me to make music. They teach me something every time I see them on tour ... or every time I spend a few minutes sitting and talking with somebody. Every time I hear one of their records, it inspires me to go back in the studio and make better records and get better at what I do and get better at my craft."

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