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Pop queen Christina Aguilera shows off some of her country chops

It was a musical collaboration that had many people holding their breath.

In a year during which Rascal Flatts was burned over the coals for lip-syncing at the 2014 ACM Awards, the country trio came back with a secret weapon named Christina Aguilera.

The pop star and “The Voice” judge was on hand to show off her new country-inspired single “Shotgun” from her current stint on the ABC drama “Nashville.” Her powerful vocals paired with Rascal Flatts’ very own Gary LeVox vocal gymnastics had the crowd on their feet during the performance of Rascal Flatts’ current hit “Riot.”

Granted, there was a lot battling for people’s attention on stage; from Jay DeMarcus’ stark white piano to Joe Don Rooney’s stark white jeans. But there was also an impressive lineup of back lit drums and a choir donned in black that quickly transformed this simple song into a true performance.

Unfortunately, Rascal Flatts didn’t leave with the one thing they probably wanted the most: the Vocal Group of the Year award. The honors was bestowed upon fellow nominee Little Big Town.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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