Thursday 11 November 2021




NASHVILLE, TN - NOV 10, 2021

Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini Night’s Big Winners 

Luke Combs Named CMA Entertainer of the Year

Jimmie Allen Wins CMA New Artist of the Year

At a glance

Winners of the 55th Annual Country Music Association Awards presented Wednesday night (Nov. 10 (8:00 – 11:00 PM/EST) on ABC) in Nashville:

Entertainer of the YearKeith Urban

Album of the Year:  STARTING OVER – Chris Stapleton

Song of the YearStarting Over” Songwriters:  Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

Single of the Year: Starting Over Chris Stapleton Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

Male Vocalist of the YearChris Stapleton

Female Vocalist of the Year: Carly Pearce

New Artist of the Year: Jimmie Allen

Vocal Group of the YearOld Dominion

Vocal Duo of the YearBrothers Osborne

Music Video of the Year:

Musical Event of the Yearhalf of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney) Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins 

Musician of the YearJenee Fleenor (Fiddle)

CMA Awards 2021: 

Nominees, Winners, Background & Reaction

Download the CMA Programme Guide HERE




55th Annual CMA Awards' ABC-TV Ratings

I Can't Drive 55: The 55th Annual CMA Awards broadcast on ABC was flat in total overall viewers from last year, with 6.8 million according to That remained well off from 2019's 11.3m viewers. Among adults 18-49, the broadcast earned a 1.12 rating, also flat from last year. The show won the night overall, topping NBC’s trio of Chicago MedChicago Fire and Chicago PD, which drew 6.5m/0.7, 6.6m/0.7 and 5.6m/0.7, respectively.


RADIO UK: Audio broadcast on BBC Radio 2 at 7pm GMT, 14 November 2021

TV UK: Airing on BBC 4 at 10:00pm GMT, 19 November 2021


“The 55th Annual CMA Awards” airing in just a few short hours, early winners were revealed in two categories. First-time CMA Awards winner Kelsea Ballerini and nine-time CMA Awards winner, Kenny Chesney take home trophies in two categories for “half of my hometown.” 

Kelsea Ballerini Press Room photo

Produced by Ballerini, Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins the collaboration wins in both CMA Musical Event of the Year and CMA Music Video of the Year categories. The video was directed by Patrick Tracy.    

The announcement took place live on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” as the show took over Bridgestone Plaza in downtown Nashville where reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year and nominees in the category again this year, Old Dominion took to the Bridgestone Plaza stage to perform their songs “Hotel Key” and “All I Know About Girls.”  Watch the performance HERE and HERE and catch CMA Awards host Luke Bryan giving GMA’s Lara Spencer an exclusive look backstage ahead of Country Music’s Biggest Night™ HERECMA New Artist of the Year nominee Jimmie Allen also joined Spencer to chat on the Plaza this morning.   

Tonight’s CMA Awards presenters include Trace AdkinsIngrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Deana Carter, Lauren Daigle, Russell Dickerson, Faith Fennidy, Florida Georgia Line, Freddie Freeman, Amy Grant, Dulé Hill, Alan Jackson, Elle King, Lady A, Zachary Levi, Scotty McCreery, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, Susan Sarandon, Saycon Sengbloh, Kurt WarnerLainey Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood. 

“The 55th Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer, Alan Carter is the Director and David Wild is the Head Writer.  

All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization, Deloitte.    


With 20 unforgettable performances from some of the biggest names in music, “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” airs live TONIGHT (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC. Artists taking the CMA Awards stage include Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley feat. BRELAND and HARDYBrothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton feat. Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Chris Young and Kane Brown, and Zac Brown Band. 


Going into “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” Eric Church and Chris Stapleton topping the list at five nominations. Other top nominees include Gabby Barrett along with mix engineer Jason Hall and producer Jay Joyce each with four nominations, while Brothers OsborneKane BrownLuke CombsMiranda LambertAshley McBrydeMaren Morris and Chris Young secure three nominations each. Combs, Lambert and Carrie Underwood all returned alongside Church and Stapleton with nominations in the Entertainer of the Year category, the night’s highest honor. Don’t miss “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” LIVE from Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 10 (8:00 – 11:00 PM/EST) on ABC. First-time CMA Awards nominees included Brown, Dave Cohen, Corey Crowder, Jordan Davis, Paul DiGiovanni, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Aaron EshuisMickey Guyton, Charlie Handsome, Nicolette Hayford, Ryan Hurd, Martin Johnson, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick, Sean Moffitt, Travis Nicholson, Brandon Paddock, Drew Parker, Ed Pryor, Teddy Reimer, Running Bear and Aaron Sterling.


It was a night of big emotions for many winners.

Luke Combs is 2021's CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year. His first win concluded the 2021 CMA Awards, which took place in Nashville on Wednesday night (Nov. 10). He was shocked to hear Alan Jackson call out his name as the last and biggest winner of the night. Seated, he buckled over and then stood up to hug his wife on his way to the stage. There, he gave the country legend a big hug. Combs, who debuted a new song called "Doin' This" during the show earlier in the night, thanked fans, fellow artists and his label. "I don't deserve to win it," he said of the Entertainer of the Year trophy, "but I'm sure as hell glad I did." He was nominated once before, in 2020. Read More: Luke Combs Crowned 2021 CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year

Chris Stapleton was the big winner with six trophies including Song, Single, Male Vocalist and Album Of The Year. Stapleton won song and single of the year for “Starting Over” and album of the year for his record of the same name. He walked away with two more trophies as a producer on the single and album. He then won Male Vocalist Of The Year for the fifth time and it appeared he would sweep the night before Combs swooped in and kept it from becoming a coronation. At times it seemed Stapleton, who also performed twice, was on the stage all night. “Man, amazing,” the soft-spoken singer with the long beard, never one for speeches, said after he won his last award. "I'm running out of words. He came into the night the top nominee along with Eric Church, who was shut out.

The Brothers Osborne won Vocal Duo Of The Year for the fourth time. Lead singer T.J. Osborne, who came out as gay this year, appeared to be holding back tears as he accepted. "It's been a roller coaster of a year, especially for me emotionally, and for you all to support me, it's been incredible," he said from the stage.

Jimmie Allen was openly tearful as he became the second Black performer to win New Artist Of The Year. "I want to thank my father who's no longer with us for introducing me to country music," Allen said. He recalled spending the last of his money to be able to see pioneering Black country artist Charley Pride at the CMAs in 2016, then getting to perform with Pride on last year's show. Pride died of COVID-19 a month later. Darius Rucker in 2009 was the first Black artist to win the award.

Old Dominion won Vocal Group Of The Year for the fourth-straight time.

Carly Pearce wept as she won Female Vocalist Of The Year for the first time.

Pearce, competing in an all-female category, was the only woman to take the stage and claim an award during the ceremony, now in its 55th year.

Gabby Barrett was the night's most nominated woman with four nods, but the "American Idol" alum was shut out.

Back to normal

The ceremony represented a return to normal for the show. It was back in front of an audience at its usual home, the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, after last year's ceremony was held at a crowd-free Music City Center because of the coronavirus pandemic. "We're following all the health protocols to keep everyone safe," host Luke Bryan said during his opening monologue. "And we're all vaccinated," he said, "or not," asking the awkwardly laughing audience, "anyone?"

Moments later he was joined on stage by his "American Idol" co-hosts Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, who sneaked up on him from behind. "I have hosted other awards shows," Bryan told his "Idol" co-hosts, pretending to be surprised. "I can handle this myself." Perry answered, "Yeah, we've seen them, that's why we're here." They then helped him present the first award to Stapleton.

Performance-rich show

Miranda Lambert, who opened the ABC telecast with a medley of her hits, including “Kerosene,” “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “Gunpowder & Lead.”

The CMAs are always heavy on performances and this year was no exception, with more songs than awards. Church was surrounded by flames on the stage as he belted out "Heart on Fire." Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde then took the stage for a duet of "Never Wanted to Be That Girl."

Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean dueted on their current hit "If I Didn't Love You" and real-life friends Kane Brown and Chris Young sang their hit duet "Famous Friends," which was nominated in three categories but failed to take an award.

Chris Stapleton performs "Cold" live from The 55th Annual CMA Awards:

Controversy skirted

In winning album of the year, Stapleton beat nominees including Morgan Wallen, who was caught earlier this year yelling a racial slur. The CMA Board of Directors disqualified Wallen from individual awards, but he could still have won for his work. Wallen, who was not in attendance, got the biggest cheer by far of all the album nominees from the arena crowd.

Had he won, it would have come during a show that featured diversity and inclusiveness in country music. In addition to the speeches by Allen and Osborne, who also brought up his sexuality during the duo's performance, Stapleton joined Jennifer Hudson to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin and the country songs she recorded with a rousing, gospel-style rendition of Willie Nelson's "Night Life."

And Mickey Guyton was joined by Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards for her anthem of Black self-acceptance, "Love My Hair."

SEE The 2021 CMA Awards LIVE BlogSaving Country

 55th Annual CMA Awards Playlist

The Nominations and Winners for "The 55th Annual CMA Awards" 

(by ballot category order):

Entertainer Of The Year (Category 1) 

Eric Church, Luke Combs ** Winner **; Miranda Lambert; Chris Stapleton; Carrie Underwood

Single Of The Year (Category 2)  

(Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s)) (Category 2)

Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt

The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale Mix Engineer: Buckley Miller

Hell Of A View” – Eric Church Producer: Jay Joyce Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce  

One Night Standards” – Ashley McBryde Producer: Jay Joyce Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce  

Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton Mix Engineer: Vance Powell ** Winner **

Album Of The Year (Category 3) 

(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

29 – Carly Pearce Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy Robbins Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore 

DANGEROUS: The Double Album – Morgan Wallen Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi Mix Engineer: Joey Moi 

HEART – Eric Church Producer: Jay Joyce Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce

SKELETONS – Brothers Osborne Producer: Jay Joyce  Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce

STARTING OVER – Chris Stapleton Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton Mix Engineer: Vance Powell ** Winner **

Song Of The Year (Category 4) 

(Award goes to Songwriter(s))

Forever After All” Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford 

The Good Ones” Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick

Hell Of A View” Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell 

One Night Standards” Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde

Starting Over” Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton ** Winner **

Female Vocalist Of The Year (Category 5)

Gabby Barrett; Miranda Lambert; Ashley McBryde; Maren Morris; Carly Pearce ** Winner **

Male Vocalist Of The Year (Category 6) 

Dierks Bentley; Eric Church; Luke Combs; Thomas Rhett; Chris Stapleton ** Winner **    

Vocal Group Of The Year (Category 7)

Lady A; Little Big Town; Midland; Old Dominion ** Winner **; Zac Brown Band 

Vocal Duo Of The Year (Category 8) 

Brooks & Dunn; Brothers Osborne ** Winner **; Dan + Shay; Florida Georgia Line; Maddie & Tae  

Musical Event Of The Year (Category 9) 

(Award goes to each Artist)

Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan Producer: Paul DiGiovanni 

Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer

Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King & Miranda Lambert Producer: Martin Johnson 

Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young

half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney) Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins ** Winner **


Musician Of The Year (Category 10)

Jenee Fleenor (Fiddle) ** Winner **; Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar); Aaron Sterling (Drums); Ilya Toshinskiy (Banjo); Derek Wells (Guitar) 

Music Video Of The Year (Category 11) 

(Award goes to Artist and Director(s))

Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris Director: TK McKamy 

Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown Director: Peter Zavadil 

“Gone” – Dierks Bentley Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske

half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney) Director: Patrick Tracy ** Winner **

Younger Me” – Brothers Osborne Director: Reid Long

New Artist Of The Year (Category 12)

Jimmie Allen ** Winner **; Ingrid Andress; Gabby Barrett; Mickey Guyton; HARDY 

Jimmie Allen accepts the New Artist of the Year at  “The 55th Annual CMA Awards,”
on Wednesday, November 10, 2021; live on ABC from Bridgestone Arena in Downtown Nashville.

See all the #CMAawards nominees & their reactions @CountryMusic and follow the CMA feed  CLICK HERE


2021 CMA Broadcast AWARDS

NASHVILLE, TN - OCT 15, 2021

CMA announced the recipients of the 2021 CMA Broadcast Awards. Country Music star and two-time CMA Awards nominee this year, Carly Pearce surprised radio stations and broadcast personalities with individual calls to reveal the news. The CMA Broadcast Personality of the Year category was split into two new categories this year, Weekly National and Daily National.

See below for the full list of 2021 CMA Broadcast Awards winners.


WEEKLY NATIONAL “Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One

DAILY NATIONAL “CMT After Midnite” (Cody Alan) – Premiere Networks

MAJOR MARKET “Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz.

LARGE MARKET “Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL, Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.

MEDIUM MARKET “Mo & StyckMan” (“Mo” Melissa Wagner and “StyckMan” Greg Owens) – WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.

SMALL MARKET “Steve, Ben and Nikki” (Steve Stroud, Ben Walker, and Nikki Thomas) – WXBQ, Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.


MAJOR MARKET KYGO – Denver-Boulder, Colo.

LARGE MARKET WUBE – Cincinnati, Ohio

MEDIUM MARKET KUZZ – Bakersfield, Calif.


The categories are established by market size based on population as ranked by Nielsen. Entries for Broadcast Personality of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement and biographical information. Candidates for Radio Station of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement and format leadership. CMA members who are full-time, on-air personalities and CMA member radio stations in the United States and Canada were eligible to submit entries. The entries are judged by a panel of distinguished broadcast professionals, representing all market sizes and regions.

CMA International Artist Achievement Award