6 Things You Didn’t See at the ACMs: Lady A, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, more

The 46th Academy of Country Music Awards are in the rear view mirror, but before we leave them behind, we check in once again on some stuff we learned from big winners Miranda Lambert, Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum and other acts while hanging around backstage at the show in Las Vegas last night:

Miranda Lambert on her new musical trio:
“I started this new project that”s going to debut on ‘Girl”s Night Out.” It”s called Pistol Annies.”  The girl group is Lambert, Nashville singer/songwriters Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. “It”s not your typical girl trio; we definitely have an edge.” “Girl”s Night Out: Superstar Women of Country” tapes tonight and airs on CBS on April 22.  According to a Trademarkia, a search engine for trademarks, Lambert owns the Pistol Annies name and applied for the trademark March 18, so they really are new.

Taylor Swift on the company she keeps: I think honestly for me just the impact and the significance of winning entertainer of the year, It”s just the biggest thing in the world to me because my heroes won that award. To have such amazing artists take me under their wing like Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban. These are all people I opened for. And George Strait. And then you look back to Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, the people I”m absolutely in awe of. I see those people and think entertainer. The fact that I”d be mentioned in the same breadth… is mind blowing to me.”

[More after the jump…]

Jennifer Nettles” thoughts on performing “California King Bed” with Rihanna: it was very exciting. The energy for me onstage was great. I thought it felt palpable in the room. I don”t know how it translated on television, but it felt great. I had a great time. I loved the sound of it. She”s a wonderful performer, obviously.”

Lady Antebellum on the next album and the rumor mill: The trio revealed that they are “a little over halfway” done with the recording of their third album, following the Grammy-winning and ACM-snagging “Need Your Now.” They are working again with producer Paul Worley and plan on working through the songs with their musicians for a few weeks before going into the studio. “The players are so brilliant, so innovative,” says Hilary Scott. “We hash out all the songs, get the kinks out beforehand.” Though he”d give no details, Charles Kelley added, “we”re about to have a single out.”  The band, who leaves this week to go open for Keith Urban in Australia, is excited about headlining their own shows again later this year following their first headlining tour in 2010: “We want choreography and leotards,” joked Scott. “And spacesuits,” added Kelley. Despite wearing a big old fat diamond band on her left hand, Scott dismissed any speculation: “I”m not engaged,” she said. “Whenever you wear fancy jewelry like this [for an awards show], you put it on the finger that fits.”

 Brad Paisley on winning top male vocalist for the fifth time:  I really expected for [Blake Shelton]  to win this tonight and I would have been very happy if he had…We”re actually going out on tour this summer. After I won, he grabbed me and said “I ain”t goin”.”

Zac Brown on performing “Colder Weather” and “Sweet Baby James” with  musical hero, James Taylor:
“I flew out last week and met with [James] and tried to find one of his songs, tried to find one that had the same themes that would be a good fit with “Cold Weather.” That”s why we chose “Sweet Baby James. It”s one of the most iconic tunes of his in my opinion. All time best musical moment of my career was tonight, all time.”