Five of country music's biggest names were handed the coveted accolade on Tuesday (03Dec13), with MCGraw and Bryan honoured alongside Jason Aldean, Hunter Hayes and Florida Georgia Line at the prizegiving in Nashville, Tennessee.
During the show, each act was was joined on stage by some of their famous friends to sing their hit songs.
MCGraw was the night’s first honouree and he was later was joined by Lady Antebellum and Peter Frampton on guitar to perform his hit Highway Don't Care.
Dierks Bentley paid tribute to his "drinking buddy" Bryan, and brought Motown to Nashville by singing a duet with Lionel Richie, while Florida Georgia Line accepted the award from their idols and collaborators Alabama.
The youngest winner of the group, 22-year-old Hayes, was overwhelmed by the honour as well as his musical collaborations of the night, which included Pat Monahan from Train and Frampton, who returned to the stage to present Hayes with his prize.
Aldean was presented with his fourth consecutive Artist of the Year trophy by Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere before taking to the stage with Cassadee Pope and country music star Travis Tritt.