Chris Stapleton was the big winner during “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” as he went three for three, sweeping each category in which he was nominated.
Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Country Music’s Biggest Night lived up to its reputation for riveting performances, inspired acceptance speeches, and collaborations that brought down the house as the industry audience rose to its feet with the announcement of every winner.
Stapleton was named Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year. His LP Traveller was also named Album of the Year. Stapleton receives a second trophy as a producer for the project, which he co-produced with Dave Cobb. This marks the first time a New Artist winner also won for Album of the Year, and are Stapleton’s first CMA Awards.
“I feel lots of love. It’s a short answer, but it’s a real one,” Stapleton told press gathered backstage.
Stapleton had the most talked about performance of the night when he teamed up with Justin Timberlake to perform his own “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s “Drink You Away.” The full performance can be seen below.
Luke Bryan brought home a second consecutive win for Entertainer of the Year.
“I put so much pride in giving all I’ve got every night performing, getting off the stage with ice packs on my knees and out of breath,” Bryan said. “This is a night where I can go ‘Gosh, people are paying attention to that.’”
Early winners were Maddie & Tae, and Keith Urban with Eric Church. The duo, made up of Maddie Marlowe and Taylor Dye, earned their first CMA Award for Music Video of the Year for “Girl In A Country Song,” which was directed by TK McKamy. Urban and Church picked up an Award for Musical Event of the Year for “Raise ‘Em Up.”
The win marks Urban’s fourth trophy in the category, tying him with Vince Gill, Tim McGraw, and Paisley as top winners. He is also the only artist to win three years in a row.
“Girl Crush” was named Single and Song of the Year, marking Little Big Town’s second victory in the Single category. The track was produced by Jay Joyce and songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose are first-time winners for penning the hit. Little Big Town were also named Vocal Group of the Year for the fourth consecutive time.
Florida Georgia Line took home their third consecutive Vocal Duo of the Year win.
Miranda Lambert continued her reign as Female Vocalist of the Year as she collected the trophy for the sixth consecutive year. She holds the record for most wins in the category, and is the most awarded female in CMA history.
Mac McAnally likewise extended his winning streak as he was named Musician of the Year for the eighth year in a row.
Winners of “The 49th Annual CMA Awards”:
Entertainer of the Year
Album of the Year
Traveller, Chris Stapleton
Produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton
Female Vocalist of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Song of the Year
“Girl Crush,” by Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose
Single of the Year
“Girl Crush,” Little Big Town
Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year
Florida Georgia Line
New Artist of the Year
Music Event of the Year
“Raise ‘Em Up,” Keith Urban featuring Eric Church
Music Video of the Year
“Girl In A Country Song,” Maddie & Tae (directed by TK McKamy)
Musician of the Year
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.