The 53rd Annual CMA Awards took place Wednesday night at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. On a night that celebrated women in country music, Carrie Underwood hosted alongside two female icons in Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. Garth Brooks was awarded the show’s biggest honor, Entertainer of the Year. Christina and Stephanie were at the awards and witnessed the incredible night of country music.
Blake Shelton won the first award of the night, Single of the Year for “God’s Country”. This single is certified platinum and reached the number one spot in both the US and Canada. It will be featured on his upcoming album, Fully Loaded: God’s Country. His producer and mix engineer, Scott Hendricks and Justin Niebank joined him on stage.
Ashley McBryde has another award to add to her trophy case in her young career as she was presented with the New Artist of the Year. She already has an ACM, two CMTs and now a CMA. “I once had the pleasure of playing a tribute show for Mr. John Prine and the next day he shook my hand and he said ‘you’re good, you’re real good; you’re no Reba, but you’re real good. I cherish those little moments that are truth and guidance from voices that we respect and admire, and I’m thankful for that and for this and for the opportunity to step up.”
2019 continues to be a huge year for Grammy-winning Dan + Shay, as they walked away with another Duo of the Year award. Their most recent self-titled album was a huge success as it was certified Gold and all three singles, “Tequila”, “Speechless” and “All To Myself” hit number one on the charts. The duo announced their headlining Arena Tour for 2020 last month and sold out Madison Square Garden on the first day.
Old Dominion won their second consecutive Vocal Group of the Year. The “One Man Band” performers released their self-titled album last month, hitting number one in its first week. “Back in the day we used to operate under this really strange mantra of self-preservation where any time anything good would happen to us we would look at each other and say ‘this is never going to work anyway’”, front-man, Matt Ramsey joked. “But tonight when I look out and think of all the people that we have had supported us…we should have been saying ‘of course we’re going to make it; of course this is going to work.”
The most nominated artist last night, Maren Morris took home the Album of the Year for her sophomore release, GIRL, a record that promotes women’s strength and equality, fitting the night’s theme. She dedicated the award to her producer, the late busbee.
“I would really remiss if I didn’t mention a huge facet of why this album sounds the way it does and we miss him so dearly. He texted me the morning we got nominated for Album of the Year this year and we were so excited; that’s our friend busbee,” Morris praised with tears in her eyes. “His wife, Jess is here tonight…my heart goes out to you and your beautiful daughters. I hope when they listen to this record or any of the songs he made…they know how amazing their father was.”
Male Vocalist of the Year was given to Luke Combs. 2019 was a huge year for Combs as he has sold out arenas, dominated the country charts and set incredible streaming records. His most recent album What You See Is What You Get, just released this past Friday, is on pace to snare the largest streaming week ever for a country album and is projected to hit number one on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Combs also accepted the Song of the Year award alongside co-writers, Wyatt B. Durrette III and Robert Williford for “Beautiful Crazy”. This song also hit number one on the country charts and was certified double platinum.
“This is pretty unbelievable stuff. I remember sitting on my porch when I was a little kid and watching Vince Gill come up here and win the same award,” Combs stated. “Everybody in this room inspires me every day…country music means everything to me.”
The Female Vocalist of the Year was given to Kacey Musgraves, who also has racked up the awards in 2019, the most prestigious one being Album of the Year for her fourth studio album, Golden Hour at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Musgraves also won Music Video of the Year for “Rainbow”. The video was produced by Hannah Lux Davis.
“Words can’t express just how meaningful and truly unbelievable these past couple years have been. But ultimately I just want to say I feel that the female creative spirit, female energy is really needed right now.”
In a stacked category of artists such as Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks was the winner as he walked out with his seventh Entertainer of the Year award; his third in the past four years. This award ended a memorable night in Nashville.
A few more awards were given before the show as well. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus earned the Musical Event of the Year with their smash hit “Old Town Road” and Jenee Fleenor won the Musician of the Year for her expertise on the fiddle. She was the first woman to ever win this award.
For our exclusive coverage of CMA Awards week in Nashville, head to our Instagram.
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