The 53rd Annual CMA Awards show, Wednesday night (Nov. 13) put the spotlight on female artists, but also made sure to celebrate the full array of country music talent. The show made history as soon as it signed on, as three female acts – Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire – co-hosted the big night for the first time.
There were also memorable performances from legendary acts as well as newcomers, top male artists along with female hitmakers, plus a tribute to an iconic singer/songwriter. Naturally, the main function of the evening was to dole out the coveted awards, with Kacey Musgraves and young traditionalist Luke Combs the big winners.
The show kicked off with an all female collaboration that sparkled from start to finish. Past CMA winners like Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker and Martina McBride joined forces with Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman and others for a rousing medley of hits.
Other crowd-pleasing performances were turned in by some of country’s classic stars, who showed that they definitely still have the goods to get it done. Brooks & Dunn teamed with recent CMA winners Brothers Osborne for a fiery rendition of Brooks & Dunn’s “Hard Workin’ Man,” while McEntire belted out her hit “Fancy” with no loss of verve or sassiness. Kris Kristofferson, the recipient of the 2019 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, did not perform, but was honored with an all-star collaboration of “Me and Bobby McGee,” featuring Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson, John Osborne of Brothers Osborne and rock guitar wizard Joe Walsh. Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson got together for a gentle performance of “The Rainbow Connection.”
While female acts like Miranda Lambert and Kelsea Ballerini enjoyed their moments in the sun with solo performances, male artists also got their time to shine. Blake Shelton moved the crowd with his hit “God’s Country,” Keith Urban turned in a fine acoustic performance of “We Were” and a nattily attired Thomas Rhett delivered “Remember You Young.”
On the awards side, Garth Brooks picked up his seventh award for Entertainer of the Year, the night’s biggest prize. Luke Combs’ two wins came for Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year, “Beautiful Crazy.” Kacey Musgraves also took home two honors, Music Video of the Year for “Rainbow” and Female Vocalist of the Year.
Here is a complete list of the winners from the 53 rd Annual CMA Awards.
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
OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Songwriters
Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Dan + Shay
EVENT OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artists and Producer(s)
“Old Town Road (Remix)” – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray
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