In a night hosted by three of country music’s biggest stars, past and present, rising stars, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, took home two of the biggest awards at the 53rd Annual Country Music Awards.

Musgraves earned Female Artist of the Year honors, while Maren Morris won Album of the Year for Girl.

But it was country legend Garth Brooks, who launched a Stadium Tour and Dive Bar Tour in 2019, who won Entertainer of the Year despite having no new album. 

Kacey and Maren: In a night hosted by three of country music's biggest stars, past and present, rising stars, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, took home two of the biggest awards at the 53rd Annual Country Music Awards

Kacey and Maren: In a night hosted by three of country music's biggest stars, past and present, rising stars, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, took home two of the biggest awards at the 53rd Annual Country Music Awards

 Kacey and Maren: In a night hosted by three of country music’s biggest stars, past and present, rising stars, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, took home two of the biggest awards at the 53rd Annual Country Music Awards

Entertainer of the Year: But it was country legend Garth Brooks, who launched a Stadium Tour and Dive Bar Tour in 2019, who won Entertainer of the Year despite having no new album

Entertainer of the Year: But it was country legend Garth Brooks, who launched a Stadium Tour and Dive Bar Tour in 2019, who won Entertainer of the Year despite having no new album

Four past winners of Female Vocalist of the Year – Janie Fricke, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea and Martina McBride – presented this year’s award.

Kacey Musgraves won, beating out Carrie Underwood, Kelsey Ballerini, Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris.

‘Thank you. Words can’t express just how meaningful and truly unbelievable this past couple of years have been,’ she began.

Past and present: Four past winners of Female Vocalist of the Year - Janie Fricke, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea and Martina McBride - presented this year's award

Past and present: Four past winners of Female Vocalist of the Year – Janie Fricke, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea and Martina McBride – presented this year’s award

Winner: Kacey Musgraves won, beating out Carrie Underwood, Kelsey Ballerini, Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris

Winner: Kacey Musgraves won, beating out Carrie Underwood, Kelsey Ballerini, Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris

Unbelievable: 'Thank you. Words can't express just how meaningful and truly unbelievable this past couple of years have been,' she began

Unbelievable: ‘Thank you. Words can’t express just how meaningful and truly unbelievable this past couple of years have been,’ she began

Kacey and Willie: Kacey Musgraves performs with Willie Nelson at the CMAs

Kacey and Willie: Kacey Musgraves performs with Willie Nelson at the CMAs

‘But I just want to say, I feel that the female energy is really needed right now,’ she added. ‘It’s really important and I think it’s what Earth needs.’

‘I love country music. I have an amazing team who worked their a***es off. I’m just really happy to be here. Thank you.’

Maren Morris won for Girl, beating out Center Point Road by Thomas Rhett, Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay by Dan + Shay and Desperate Man by Eric Church. 

Big win: 'But I just want to say, I feel that the female energy is really needed right now,' she added. 'It's really important and I think it's what Earth needs'

Big win: ‘But I just want to say, I feel that the female energy is really needed right now,’ she added. ‘It’s really important and I think it’s what Earth needs’

Dual winner: Kacey Musgraves holds up her two CMAs in the press room, one for Female Artist of the Year and one for Music Video of the Year for Rainbow

Dual winner: Kacey Musgraves holds up her two CMAs in the press room, one for Female Artist of the Year and one for Music Video of the Year for Rainbow

Maren wins: Maren Morris won for Girl, beating out Center Point Road by Thomas Rhett, Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay by Dan + Shay and Desperate Man by Eric Church

Maren wins: Maren Morris won for Girl, beating out Center Point Road by Thomas Rhett, Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay by Dan + Shay and Desperate Man by Eric Church

‘This is incredible. Thank you country music. Thank you to my peers in this room who I respect so much for voting for me for this,’ Morris began.

‘I would be really remiss if I didn’t mention a huge facet of how the album sounds the way it does, and that’s our friend Busbee,’ she said, referring to producer Michael Busbee, who passed away in September at the age of 43. 

‘His wife Jess is here tonight and she looks so beautiful, thank you for sharing your husband with us once a month,’ Morris said.

‘My heart just goes out to you and your beautiful daughters. I hope when they listen to this record or any of the songs that he made, that made us all better, they know how amazing their father was,’ Morris said, while choking up a bit on stage.

Remiss: 'I would be really remiss if I didn't mention a huge facet of how the album sounds the way it does, and that's our friend Busbee,' she said, referring to producer Michael Busbee, who passed away in September at the age of 43

Remiss: ‘I would be really remiss if I didn’t mention a huge facet of how the album sounds the way it does, and that’s our friend Busbee,’ she said, referring to producer Michael Busbee, who passed away in September at the age of 43

Sharing: 'His wife Jess is here tonight and she looks so beautiful, thank you for sharing your husband with us once a month,' Morris said

Sharing: ‘His wife Jess is here tonight and she looks so beautiful, thank you for sharing your husband with us once a month,’ Morris said

Press room: Maren Morris shows off her CMA Award for Album of the Year in the press room

Press room: Maren Morris shows off her CMA Award for Album of the Year in the press room

Despite the big wins by female artists throughout the night, it was country legend Garth Brooks who won the biggest award of the night, Entertainer Of the Year, despite having not released an album since 2016’s Gunslinger.

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As presenter Reese Witherspoon explained before the award, though, the award salutes not only an artists recordings but their live performances as well, with Brooks seemingly winning on the strength of his Stadium and Dive Bar tours in 2019.  

Brooks, who beat out Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban for the coveted award, began by saying he always ‘called it like I see it,’ adding if he had to give out this award, he would give it to Reba McIntyre for her performance.

Entertainer: Despite the big wins by female artists throughout the night, it was country legend Garth Brooks who won the biggest award of the night, Entertainer Of the Year, despite having not released an album since 2016's Gunslinger

Entertainer: Despite the big wins by female artists throughout the night, it was country legend Garth Brooks who won the biggest award of the night, Entertainer Of the Year, despite having not released an album since 2016’s Gunslinger

He also praised Kelsea Ballerini, stating, ‘If you want to know what an entertainer is, just take a guitar and a voice in the middle of an arena and shrink a room, fantastic performance tonight.’

He also singled out Luke Combs, stating, ‘this has got your name on it in the future, hoss,’ before thanking his hard-working team.

‘To all of the entertainers out here, let’s dedicate this to the band and crews that get our a** on the stage, down that road, and those people who show up to be entertainers. I love you. I love you Trisha Yearwood!’ Brooks concluded.

Praise: He also praised Kelsea Ballerini, stating, 'If you want to know what an entertainer is, just take a guitar and a voice in the middle of an arena and shrink a room, fantastic performance tonight'

Dedication: 'To all of the entertainers out here, let's dedicate this to the band and crews that get our a** on the stage, down that road, and those people who show up to be entertainers. I love you. I love you Trisha Yearwood!' Brooks concluded

Praise: He also praised Kelsea Ballerini, stating, ‘If you want to know what an entertainer is, just take a guitar and a voice in the middle of an arena and shrink a room, fantastic performance tonight’

Garth's win: Garth Brooks poses with his Entertainer of the Year CMA in the press room

Garth’s win: Garth Brooks poses with his Entertainer of the Year CMA in the press room

Garth and Trisha: Garth Brooks poses with his wife of nearly 14 years, Trisha Yearwood, at the CMA Awards

Garth and Trisha: Garth Brooks poses with his wife of nearly 14 years, Trisha Yearwood, at the CMA Awards

Blake Shelton kicked off the 53rd Annual CMA Awards by winning the first award of the night, Single of the Year, his first time winning the award in his storied career.

The award was presented by Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer and Deena Carter, who won that same award for Strawberry Wine in 1997.

The 43 year old singer won for his song God’s Country, beating out Burning Man by Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne, Girl by Maren Morris, Millionaire by Chris Stapleton and Speechless by Dan + Shay.

Blake wins: Blake Shelton kicked off the 53rd Annual CMA Awards by winning the first award of the night, Single of the Year, his first time winning the award in his storied career

Blake wins: Blake Shelton kicked off the 53rd Annual CMA Awards by winning the first award of the night, Single of the Year, his first time winning the award in his storied career

Big win: The 43 year old singer won for his song God's Country, beating out Burning Man by Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne, Girl by Maren Morris, Millionaire by Chris Stapleton and Speechless by Dan + Shay

Big win: The 43 year old singer won for his song God’s Country, beating out Burning Man by Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne, Girl by Maren Morris, Millionaire by Chris Stapleton and Speechless by Dan + Shay

‘I was gonna pull a Deena Carter and jump on her,’ Shelton joked, referencing Carter jumping on Ricky Skaggs when she won the same award in 1997.

He also thanked country radio and ‘whoever votes on these things,’ adding he still doesn’t know how the process works after 20 years.

The show kicked off with hosts Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McIntyre singing a rendition of Those Memories of You, originally performed by Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstandt.

Jokes: 'I was gonna pull a Deena Carter and jump on her,' Shelton joked, referencing Carter jumping on Ricky Skaggs when she won the same award in 1997

Jokes: ‘I was gonna pull a Deena Carter and jump on her,’ Shelton joked, referencing Carter jumping on Ricky Skaggs when she won the same award in 1997

All smiles: Blake Shelton poses with his CMA for Single of the Year

All smiles: Blake Shelton poses with his CMA for Single of the Year

Presenters: The award was presented by Good Morning America's Lara Spencer and Deena Carter, who won that same award for Strawberry Wine in 1997

Presenters: The award was presented by Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer and Deena Carter, who won that same award for Strawberry Wine in 1997

Singing hosts: The show kicked off with hosts Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McIntyre singing a rendition of Those Memories of You, originally performed by Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstandt

Singing hosts: The show kicked off with hosts Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McIntyre singing a rendition of Those Memories of You, originally performed by Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstandt

That kicked off a medley spanning several decades of country music by Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson.

The hosts all took to the stage, with Parton starting the night with a joke, stating, ‘What do you call three women hosting the CMA’s? Your lucky night!’

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McIntyre said the night will honor legends past and present, while Underwood cracked a joke about sharing a dressing room, with racks of clothes everywhere while Parton’s ‘rack’ was so much bigger.

Medley: That kicked off a medley spanning several decades of country music by Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson

Medley: That kicked off a medley spanning several decades of country music by Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson

Three hosts: The hosts all took to the stage, with Parton starting the night with a joke, stating, 'What do you call three women hosting the CMA's? Your lucky night!'

Three hosts: The hosts all took to the stage, with Parton starting the night with a joke, stating, ‘What do you call three women hosting the CMA’s? Your lucky night!’

‘I might have gotten as tall as you girls if I hadn’t been so bunched up at the top,’ Parton joked. 

Underwood announced that Jenee Fleenor won Musician of the Year while Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus won Musical Event of the Year.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristen Chennoweth took the stage to present the Song of the Year Award, as they embraced on stage with some jokes.

Winners: Underwood announced that Jenee Fleenor won Musician of the Year while Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus won Musical Event of the Year

Winners: Underwood announced that Jenee Fleenor won Musician of the Year while Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus won Musical Event of the Year

Jokes: Jennifer Nettles and Kristen Chennoweth took the stage to present the Song of the Year Award, as they embraced on stage with some jokes

Jokes: Jennifer Nettles and Kristen Chennoweth took the stage to present the Song of the Year Award, as they embraced on stage with some jokes

The pint-sized Chenoweth said she was glad Nettles wore deodorant while Nettles was glad Chenoweth got her roots done. 

Luke Combs won the award for Beautiful Crazy, beating out Maren Morris’ Girl, Blake Shelton’s God’s Country, Kacey Musgraves’ Rainbow and Dan + Shay’s Tequila.

‘I don’t know where to start,’ Combs began. ‘First off, I want to thank these guys for writing an incredible song for me, and my beautiful finacee for inspiring the song.’ 

Jennifer and Kristen: The pint-sized Chenoweth said she was glad Nettles wore deodorant while Nettles was glad Chenoweth got her roots done

Jennifer and Kristen: The pint-sized Chenoweth said she was glad Nettles wore deodorant while Nettles was glad Chenoweth got her roots done

Luke's win: Luke Combs won the award for Beautiful Crazy, beating out Maren Morris' Girl, Blake Shelton's God's Country, Kacey Musgraves' Rainbow and Dan + Shay's Tequila

Luke’s win: Luke Combs won the award for Beautiful Crazy, beating out Maren Morris’ Girl, Blake Shelton’s God’s Country, Kacey Musgraves’ Rainbow and Dan + Shay’s Tequila

Speech: 'I don't know where to start,' Combs began. 'First off, I want to thank these guys for writing an incredible song for me, and my beautiful finacee (left) for inspiring the song'

Speech: ‘I don’t know where to start,’ Combs began. ‘First off, I want to thank these guys for writing an incredible song for me, and my beautiful finacee (left) for inspiring the song’

Award winner: Luke Combs shows off his Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year awards at the CMAs

Award winner: Luke Combs shows off his Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year awards at the CMAs

Blanco Brown and Jim Gaffigan took the stage, with Blanco asking if he’d try the ‘Git Up Challenge’ but Gaffigan said he had too much Nashville hot chicken.

They were on stage to present New Artist of the Year, which was won by Ashley McBryde, beating out Cody Johnson, Midland, Carly Pearce and Morgan Wallen.

She began her speech by ‘cherishing little moments’ from artists she respects and admires, and, ‘for the opportunity to stand up.’

Presenters: Blanco Brown and Jim Gaffigan took the stage, with Blanco asking if he'd try the 'Git Up Challenge' but Gaffigan said he had too much Nashville hot chicken

Presenters: Blanco Brown and Jim Gaffigan took the stage, with Blanco asking if he’d try the ‘Git Up Challenge’ but Gaffigan said he had too much Nashville hot chicken

Winner: They were on stage to present New Artist of the Year, which was won by Ashley McBryde, beating out Cody Johnson, Midland, Carly Pearce and Morgan Wallen

Winner: They were on stage to present New Artist of the Year, which was won by Ashley McBryde, beating out Cody Johnson, Midland, Carly Pearce and Morgan Wallen

Ashley wins: She began her speech by 'cherishing little moments' from artists she respects and admires, and, 'for the opportunity to stand up'

Ashley wins: She began her speech by ‘cherishing little moments’ from artists she respects and admires, and, ‘for the opportunity to stand up’

Dan + Shay won Vocal Duo of the year, beating out Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Florida 

‘This is a little overwhelming, there are so many heroes in the audience, Brooks and Dunn, are you kidding me?’ Shay Mooney said in his speech.

He also gave a shout-out to his grandmother who is currently in the hospital.

‘Thank you country radio for playing these songs, country fans,’ Dan Smyers said. 

Vocal Duo: Dan + Shay won Vocal Duo of the year, beating out Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Florida

Vocal Duo: Dan + Shay won Vocal Duo of the year, beating out Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Florida

Overwhelming: 'This is a little overwhelming, there are so many heroes in the audience, Brooks and Dunn, are you kidding me?' Shay Mooney said in his speech

Overwhelming: ‘This is a little overwhelming, there are so many heroes in the audience, Brooks and Dunn, are you kidding me?’ Shay Mooney said in his speech

Hannah Brown took the stage with Cody Johnson and Morgan Wallen to present Vocal Group of the Year, as Brown joked about being in many ‘group situations.’

The award was won by Old Dominion, beating out Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Midland and Zac Brown Band.

‘What an amazing thing we get to be a part of. I just tonight keep thinking about how we used to operate under this strange mantra of self-preservation, where we would just look at each other and say, ‘This was never gonna work anyway,’ said Old Dominion’s  Matthew Ramsey. ‘But when I look out at all these people, we should have said, “Of course it’s gonna work.”‘

Best Group: The award was won by Old Dominion, beating out Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Midland and Zac Brown Band

Best Group: The award was won by Old Dominion, beating out Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Midland and Zac Brown Band

Speech: 'What an amazing thing we get to be a part of. I just tonight keep thinking about how we used to operate under this strange mantra of self-preservation, where we would just look at each other and say, 'This was never gonna work anyway,' said Old Dominion's Matthew Ramsey. 'But when I look out at all these people, we should have said, "Of course it's gonna work"'

Speech: ‘What an amazing thing we get to be a part of. I just tonight keep thinking about how we used to operate under this strange mantra of self-preservation, where we would just look at each other and say, ‘This was never gonna work anyway,’ said Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey. ‘But when I look out at all these people, we should have said, “Of course it’s gonna work”‘

Country legend Trisha Yearwood took to the stage to present Male Vocalist of the Year, which was won by Luke Combs.

The whole crowd cheered ‘Luke’ as he took to the stage and said, ‘This is pretty unbelievable stuff.’

He added that he remembered sitting on his porch as a kid watching Vince GIll winning this award.’

‘Country music means everything to me, and this means everything to me and my family. This is a moment we will never forget,’ Combs concluded.

Male Vocalist: The whole crowd cheered 'Luke' as he took to the stage and said, 'This is pretty unbelievable stuff.'

Male Vocalist: The whole crowd cheered ‘Luke’ as he took to the stage and said, ‘This is pretty unbelievable stuff.’

All smiles: Gigi Hadid, Kacey Musgraves, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are all smiles at the CMAs

All smiles: Gigi Hadid, Kacey Musgraves, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are all smiles at the CMAs

Dan + Shay + Gwen: Dan Symers, Shay Mooney and Gwen Stefani pose for a selfie

Dan + Shay + Gwen: Dan Symers, Shay Mooney and Gwen Stefani pose for a selfie

Miranda and Brendan: Miranda Lambert poses with Brendan McLoughlin

Miranda and Brendan: Miranda Lambert poses with Brendan McLoughlin

CMA stage: The CMA Awards were held from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennesse on Wednesday night

CMA stage: The CMA Awards were held from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennesse on Wednesday night

CMA Awards 2019 Winners and Nominees

 Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks – WINNER

Eric Church

Chris Stapleton

Carrie Underwood

Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsey Ballerini

Miranda Lambert

Maren Morris

Kacey Musgraves – WINNER

Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Luke Combs – WINNER

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

Album of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s) and Producer(s))

Center Point Road, Thomas Rhett

Cry Pretty, Carrie Underwood

Dan + Shay, Dan + Shay

Desperate Man, Eric Church

Girl, Maren Morris – WINNER

New Artist of the Year

Cody Johnson

Midland

Carly Pearce

Ashley McBryde – WINNER

Morgan Wallen

  Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriters)

“Beautiful Crazy,” Luke Combs – WINNER

“Girl,” Maren Morris

“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton

“Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves

“Tequila,” Dan + Shay

Single of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s))

“Burning Man,” Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne

“Girl,” Maren Morris

“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton – WINNER

“Millionaire,” Chris Stapleton

“Speechless,” Dan + Shay

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

Midland

Old Dominion – WINNER

Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay – WINNER

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

Musical Event of the Year

Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne, “All My Favorite People”

Brooks & Dunn and Luke Combs, “Brand New Man”

Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar”

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)” – WINNER

Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell, “What Happens in a Small Town”

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s) and Director(s))

“Burning Man,” Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne

“Girl,” Maren Morris

“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton

“Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves – WINNER

“Some of It,” Eric Church

Musician of the Year

Jenee Fleenor – WINNER

Paul Fraklin

Mac McAnally

Ilya Toshinsky

Derek Wells

 

 



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