Adele And Maroon 5 Add A Pop Twist To CMT Artist Of The Year Performances

Nashville can seem a very insular world — but Country Music Television looked outside Tennessee for a change at Friday’s Artists Of The Year celebration, where they made the festivities a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll — even a little bit gospel disco, thanks to Adele. The “Rolling in the Deep” singer went to town on Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”, while Maroon 5 made Taylor Swift’s night by covering “Mine”. Catch them — along with Carrie Underwood performing tunes made famous by Carrie Underwood — after the jump.

Like Entertainment Weekly, CMT is under the impression that Taylor Swift is pretty much the greatest thing about the past year. (Though CMT chose Kevin Costner to host the event, the year in question is not 1991, but 2010.) Maroon 5 has gone country before, in collaboration with CMT honoree Lady Antebellum, so seeing Adam Levine & Friends cover Swift’s Speak Now hit isn’t totally out of left field. Not to mention Swift and Maroon 5 were both featured on the meh Valentine’s Day soundtrack, a movie that features the easily-shocked songbird in a performance that truly is one of the year’s most entertaining — and not in a good way.

Maroon 5’s rendition of “Mine” was just fine, allowing for minimal twang in keeping with the group’s upbeat pop-rock sound. And if Kanye West couldn’t be there to cover “Innocent,” we suppose Maroon 5 is as good a substitution as any. Obviously, Jake Gyllenhaal’s DL honey dug the number — so much so, she even felt the need to record the performance on her phone! Was she not aware it was televised? Somebody get this girl a DVR.

Adele’s take on “Need You Now,” on the other hand, kept quite a bit of country flavor from the original track, though her powerhouse vocals brought a little something extra from overseas, too. It’s kinda fun to hear a country song covered by a Brit! Crossover artist Darius Rucker provided smooth backup to keep the number’s Nashville vibe, though the self-proclaimed Lady Antebellum fan has already threatened to go country for her third album. This version of “Need You Now” seems like a suitable warmup. (Performance comes in the last few minutes of this segment):