Eric Church, Maren Morris, and Chris Stapleton top the list of final nominees for The 50th Annual CMA Awards with five nominations each. This year’s finalists represent the depth and range of country music over the past five decades from soulful traditionalists to contemporary groundbreakers.
“I am very excited about this year’s list of nominees,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “We have artists who received their first CMA Awards nominations decades ago alongside first-timers; we have critically-acclaimed songwriters and artists who have reset the bar for country music. This is going to be an exciting year in addition to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards.”
Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urbanreceived four nominations and Tim McGraw received three nominations for trophies that will be handed out on Country Music’s Biggest Night™.
“The 50th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Underwood and broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, November 2nd from 8-11 pm ET on the ABC Television Network.
For the first time on ABC’s Good Morning America, the announcement of the final nominees in six of the 12 CMA Awards categories was made live from the historic stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, which was home to the annual CMA Awards broadcast from 1974 to 2004. The announcement was made by Bentley, Cam, and Urban. Following Good Morning America the six remaining categories were announced by the nominated trio of artists on GoodMorningAmerica.com on Yahoo! as well as the Good Morning America Facebook page through Facebook Live – making the announcements a complete ABC takeover for the second year.
Church’s nominations include Male Vocalist; Album of the Year for Mr. Misunderstood, which was produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora, Jr.; Single of the Year for “Record Year,” which was produced by Joyce and mix engineered by Joyce and Jason Hall; Song of the Year for “Record Year,” which was written by Church and Jeff Hyde; and Music Video of the Year for “Record Year,” which was directed by Reid Long and John Peets. Church is a top nominee for the second year in a row, matching the five nominations he received in 2015. He now has a total of 22 nominations since his first in 2011 for New Artist of the Year.
Morris didn’t just score her first nomination this year; she scored five, which ties her with Deana Carter (1997), K.T. Oslin (1988), and Gretchen Wilson (2004) for five nods in a debut year by a female artist. Only Kacey Musgraves has more, having received six nominations in 2013.
Morris received nominations for Female Vocalist; Album of the Year for Hero, which was produced by busbee, Brad Hill, and Morris; Single of the Year for “My Church,” which was produced by busbee and Morris and mix engineered by busbee and Dave Clauss; Song of the Year for “My Church,” which was written by Morris and busbee; and New Artist of the Year. Morris only receives one nomination each for Album and Single of the Year, but can receive additional trophies as producer.
After Stapleton’s breakout year in 2015 when he had three nominations and went home with four trophies for Album (including producer), Male Vocalist, and New Artist of the Year, he is back in 2016 with five nominations, including his first for Entertainer of the Year.
His list of nods this year also includes Male Vocalist; Single of the Year for “Nobody To Blame,” which was produced by Stapleton and Dave Cobb and mix engineered by Vance Powell; Music Video of the Year for “Fire Away,” which was directed by Tim Mattia; and Musical Event of the Year with life and stage partner Morgane Stapleton (her first nomination) for “You Are My Sunshine.” Stapleton only receives one nomination for Single of the Year, but can receive an additional trophy as producer.
Winners of “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Monday, October 10th. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Tuesday, October 25th at 6 pm CT. Ballots will be tabulated by the professional services organization Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Entertainer Of The Year
Single of the Year
(Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s))
“Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett
Produced by Dann Huff and Jesse Frasure
Mix Engineered by Justin Niebank
The Valory Music Co.
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
Produced by Byron Gallimore and Tim McGraw
Mix Engineered by Byron Gallimore
Big Machine Records
“My Church,” Maren Morris
Produced by busbee and Maren Morris
Mix Engineered by Dave Clauss and busbee
Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville
“Nobody To Blame,” Chris Stapleton
Produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineered by Vance Powell
Mercury Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville
“Record Year,” Eric Church
Produced by Jay Joyce
Mix Engineered by Jay Joyce and Jason Hall
EMI Records Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville
Album of the Year
Dierks Bentley, Black
Maren Morris, Hero
Eric Church, Mr. Misunderstood
Keith Urban, Ripcord
Carrie Underwood, Storyteller
Song of the Year
(Award goes to Songwriter(s))
“Burning House,” Camaron “Cam” Ochs, Tyler Johnson, Jeff Bhasker
“Die a Happy Man,” Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett, and Joe Spargur
“Humble and Kind,” Lori McKenna
“My Church,” busbee and Maren Morris
“Record Year,” Eric Church and Jeff Hyde
Female Vocalist of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band
Vocal Duo of the Year
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Joey + Rory
Maddie & Tae
Musical Event of the Year
“Different For Girls,” Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King
“Home Alone Tonight,” Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild
“The Fighter,” Keith Urban (featuring Carrie Underwood)
“Think Of You,” Chris Young (duet with Cassadee Pope)
“You Are My Sunshine,” Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton
Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas, Dobro / Lap Steel Guitar
Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
Dann Huff, Guitar
Brent Mason, Guitar
Derek Wells, Guitar
Music Video of the Year
“Burning House,” Cam
“Fire Away,” Chris Stapleton
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
“Record Year,” Eric Church
“Somewhere On A Beach,” Dierks Bentley
New Artist of the Year