“Look at him!”
laughed, pointing toward
who was passing by with a drink in each hand. “He’s got two drinks! No respect for the show!” With a wide grin, Bryan retorted, “I’m trying to get my wife drunk!”
When Nashville’s A-list gathered for a special PEOPLE photo before the taping of the
10th Annual ACM Honors
, the atmosphere was more family reunion than formal event, and the good-natured barbs flowed as freely as the booze.
Terry Wyatt / Getty
Once country’s wildest child, ACM Honoree
proved that at 57, she’s as rowdy as ever when she pretended to flash the camera and then planted a kiss on
‘s cheek. “Yeah!” yelled the young singer. “That’s what I’m talking about!”
Bryan, relishing a jab at his buddy (later in the night the two performed “I Love a Rainy Night” in honor of honoree Eddie Rabbit), advised Tucker, “You may want to put some peroxide on your lips!” Bentley, meanwhile, gladly continued the ribbing, blowing in Swindell’s ear as he posed for the photo.
The pre-show gathering also proved that even country big shots like
, who was honored with the ACM’s Triple Crown award, get a little star-struck. “The fact that I’m even in this business and part of this whole thing kind of blows me away,” Aldean told PEOPLE. “Over there’s Tanya Tucker and
– that’s crazy!”
Terry Wyatt / Getty
Don’t miss a beat of country music news, photos and videos! Click here to get all this and more in the PEOPLE Country Newsletter.The Band Perry
‘s Kimberly Perry, who with her brothers performed “MacArthur Park” to honor songwriter Jimmy Webb, admitted she was feeling a little overwhelmed herself.
“It’s hands-down the most complicated lyric I’ve ever had to memorize!” she said of the tune. “But it’s such a poem and it’s beautiful and we’re really honored to be here. It’s a little nerve-racking – I’m going to go do it five times up in the dressing room before we have to do it onstage in front of Jimmy Webb. I just hope that he loves it.”
After the shoot, Lady Antebellum’s
wrapped Tucker and honoree Crystal Gayle in a bear hug, while
belly laughed over an inside joke with his soon-to-be tour mates
Dan + Shay
, with whom he performed The Statler Brothers’ “Flowers on the Wall” as a tribute to the group.
“Nights like these are always so special because they bring in the new artists, the artists who’ve been around awhile and the legends,” said Bentley, who along with
(an ACM honoree himself),
performed a medley of
hits as a tribute to the singer. “I mean, Tanya Tucker pretending to flash the camera? I’ve heard the stories but to actually see that happen live, that’s pretty special! Only at something like this!”
The ACM Honors airs Friday Sept. 9 on CBS at 9 p.m. E.T.