Bridgestone Arena, photo – Brad Hardisty

First shots of the new rising sun, CMA morning in Nashville where the day will be invaded by Country Music fans from all over the world looking for show hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley as well as big radio stars Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.

GMA Stage after Reba, CMA 2012, 9AM, photo – Brad Hardisty

Today started off with the announcement that Taylor Swift’s new album, Red, is on pace for the biggest first week sales in a decade with 1.208 million copies moved.

Ryman, CMA 2012, 9AM – photo – Brad Hardisty

Early winners were announced on Good Morning America, with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw winning Musical Event of The Year for ”Feel Like A Rock Star.”  Although that may have been the mainstream duet, the real reach was Snoop Dogg’s collaboration with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson called “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” that was up for an award in the same category.

Tootsies, CMA 2012 – 9AM, photo – Brad Hardisty

Toby Keith and director Michael Salomon won the Music Video of the Year category for their viral video smash “Red Solo Cup.”

Tear down at Bridgestone, CMA 2012, photo – Brad Hardisty

Reba McEntire performed bright and early just an hour ago from in front of tonight’s awards venue, The Bridgestone Arena which was simulcast on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Legends Corner, CMA 2012, early morning, photo – Brad Hardisty

After the quick set and early award announcements, the stage outside the arena was quickly tore down with roadies moving road cases and setting up for the next free set.

Lower Broad, CMA 2012 early morning, photo – Brad Hardisty

Nashville is a town that almost never sleeps with live music down Broadway almost 24 hours a day.

Just across the street from Bridgestone, there were Chevy trucks with wraps celebrating the show out in front of Tootsie’s while right around the side of Legends Corner, Big & Rich was bigger than life with a special mural for the show celebrating their return.

The day has just begun.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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