Last year’s CMA New Artist of the Year winner Combs took home the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year as well as CMA Song of the Year for “Beautiful Crazy,” alongside songwriters Wyatt B. Durrette III and Robert Williford. Musgraves won two trophies – CMA Female Vocalist of the Year as well as CMA Music Video of the Year for “Rainbow,” alongside director Hannah Lux Davis.
Garth Brooks extended his reign as the most-awarded CMA Entertainer of the Year with seven career wins. CMA New Artist of the Year was awarded to Ashley McBryde, winning for her first ever CMA Awards nomination.
Maren Morris took home her first CMA Album of the Year win for GIRL, alongside producers Greg Kurstin and longtime collaborator busbee, who passed away in September. In her speech, she shared that she’d be 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 the nomination for Album of the Year this year and we were so excited and that’s our friend busbee.”
CMA Single of the Year was awarded to Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country,” alongside producer Scott Hendricks and mix engineer Justin Niebank.
Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus won CMA Musical Event of the Year for their record-breaking hit “Old Town Road (Remix),” along with producers YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor and Atticus Matthew Ross, all first-time CMA Awards nominees alongside Lil Nas X.
Old Dominion extended their reign as CMA Vocal Group of the Year, while Dan + Shay were awarded their first ever CMA Awards win for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year.
Fiddle player Jenee Fleenor made CMA Awards history, marking the first time a woman received a nomination as well as a win in the CMA Musician of the Year category.
Before the CMA Awards winners were announced, the evening began with a collaboration led by host Carrie Underwood, featuring Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton as well Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen’s Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Morris and Amanda Shires, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman along with Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson. The women performed a decades-spanning medley of iconic songs that have become part of the very fabric of Country Music.
During the show, Willie Nelson teamed with fellow Texan Musgraves to perform “The Rainbow Connection,” a song Musgraves performed as a child. Among the evening’s other highlights was a special tribute to the legendary Kris Kristofferson, the recipient of the 2019 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson, Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne and Joe Walsh teamed for a stellar performance of Kristofferson’s classic “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Halsey and Lady Antebellum delivered a mashup of Halsey’s “Graveyard” with Lady Antebellum’s “What If I Never Get Over You,” with Hillary Scott and Halsey trading lines at the end in a potent crescendo. P!NK and Chris Stapleton teamed for performance of “Love Me Anyway.”
Parton joined forces with award-winning Christian music duo for KING & COUNTRY to render an evocative performance of their hit “God Only Knows” and then sang “There Was Jesus” with Christian hitmaker Zach Williams. Her segment ended on a blockbuster note as Nashville’s Christ Church Choir joined the Country legend for a rousing rendition of “Faith.” McEntire belted out fan favorite “Fancy” and Underwood took a break from hosting duties for a performance of her latest single “Drinking Alone,” from her hit album Cry Pretty.
Seated in the midst of the audience, Kelsea Ballerini delivered a poignant performance of her rising hit “homecoming queen?” and then segued into Little Big Town’s CMA Award-winning hit “Girl Crush” as the mainstage became filled with a who’s who of Country Music’s most exciting young female artists, including Lindsey Ell, Maddie & Tae, McBryde, Carly Pearce and Runaway June. Little Big Town’s Fairchild, Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook took the stage to finish up their groundbreaking hit.
Thomas Rhett also delivered a soulful performance of “Remember You Young” from his latest album Center Point Road. As the set glowed with a backdrop of flames, Blake Shelton roared through an incendiary performance of his chart-topping celebration of rural life “God’s Country.” Armed with just a guitar, Keith Urban turned in a performance of “We Were” and in another understated but effective moment, Eric Church shared “Some of It.”
Newly-minted Country Music Hall of Famers Brooks & Dunn were joined by Brothers Osborne for a rousing performance of the Brooks & Dunn classic “Hard Workin’ Man.” Combs served up a charismatic rendition of his upbeat hit “Beer Never Broke My Heart.” As the telecast hit the home stretch, Brooks and Shelton had the crowd singing along to their infectious duet “Dive Bar.”
You can watch all the performances using the playlist above. In addition to the CMA Awards winners below, you can still view all the nominees here.
The 53rd Annual CMA Awards Winners:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s), Producer(s), and Mix Engineer
“God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist and Producers
GIRL – Maren Morris
Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin
SONG OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Songwriters
Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Dan + Shay
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artists and Producer(s)
“Old Town Road (Remix)” – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
Producers: YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s) and Director
“Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves
Director: Hannah Lux Davis
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR