Garth Brooks makes Entertainer of the Year history

GARTH BROOKS HAS MADE CMA HISTORY

They called him the ‘Defending Champion’ throughout CMA Week. But defend, he did. Garth Brooks has taken home his 6th Entertainer of the Year trophy. He is the first person in the history of the awards to clinch six victories in the coveted category. He beat out relative newcomers Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, and Keith Urban for the win. The award was presented to him by fellow country megastar, Reba McEntire. Brooks has won the accolade back to back three times in 1991 and 1992, 1997 and 1999 and 2016 and 2017.

It is not an undeserved victory. The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood has sold six million tickets in just over 70 cities throughout the past three years. This is a record for any North American tour. Playing multiple dates in each city, Brooks, Trisha and crew are nearing 400 concerts played on this continent (and Hawaii) alone.

Throughout the night, The Music Universe tweeted out the results as they came in. Of the highlights was an all-star group opening that included Kelsea Ballerini, Brooks, Kix Brooks, Eric Church, Ronnie Dunn, Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, and Keith Urban struck a chord of togetherness with an emotional collaboration that began with Church singing “Amazing Grace” a cappella in silhouette, then the rest of the group joining in on Rucker’s uplifting hit “Hold My Hand” from his time as the lead singer of Hootie & The Blowfish.

Other highlights include Little Big Town’s tribute to Glen Campbell, featuring the late star’s longtime collaborator Jimmy Webb while Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, and surprise guest Eddie Montgomery paid tribute to Montgomery’s duo partner, Troy Gentry, who lost his life in a tragic helicopter accident on September 8th. In a special candlelit moment, Underwood delivered a show-stopping performance of “Softly and Tenderly,” remembering industry leaders lost this past year and closing by honoring the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy. Hosts Brad Paisley and Underwood offered their usual brand of folksy hysterics including a “politics-free” monologue featuring President Donald Trump. The CMA Awards were broadcast live on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Garth Brooks – WINNER
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s))

“Better Man” – Little Big Town
Producer: Jay Joyce
Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban -WINNER
Producers: Dann Huff, Keith Urban
Mix Engineer: Chris Lord-Alge

“Body Like A Back Road” – Sam Hunt
Producer: Zach Crowell
Mix Engineer: Zach Crowell

“Dirt On My Boots” – Jon Pardi
Producers: Bart Butler, Jon Pardi
Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore

“Tin Man” – Miranda Lambert
Producers: Frank Liddell, Eric Masse, Glenn Worf
Mix Engineer: Eric Masse

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

The Breaker – Little Big Town
Producer: Jay Joyce

From A Room: Volume 1 – Chris Stapleton – WINNER
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton

Heart Break – Lady Antebellum
Producer: busbee

The Nashville Sound – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Producer: Dave Cobb

The Weight of These Wings – Miranda Lambert
Producers: Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf, Eric Masse

SONG OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to Songwriter(s))

“Better Man” – WINNER
Songwriter: Taylor Swift

 “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
Songwriters: Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen

“Body Like A Back Road”
Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

“Dirt On My Boots”
Songwriters: Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley

“Tin Man”
Songwriters: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert -WINNER
Reba McEntire
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton – WINNER
Keith Urban

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town – WINNER
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Brothers Osborne -WINNER
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
LOCASH
Maddie & Tae

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to each Artist)

“Craving You” – Thomas Rhett featuring Maren Morris
“Funny How Time Slips Away” – Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson – WINNER
“Kill A Word” – Eric Church featuring Rhiannon Giddens
“Setting the World on Fire” – Kenny Chesney with P!nk
“Speak to a Girl” – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Jerry Douglas (Dobro)
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Dann Huff (Guitar)
Mac McAnally (Guitar) – WINNER
Derek Wells (Guitar)

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to Artist and Director(s))

“Better Man” – Little Big Town
Directors: Becky Fluke and Reid Long

“Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban
Director: Carter Smith

“Craving You” – Thomas Rhett featuring Maren Morris
Director: TK McKamy

“It Ain’t My Fault” – Brothers Osborne – WINNER
Directors: Wes Edwards and Ryan Silver

“Vice” – Miranda Lambert
Director: Trey Fanjoy

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lauren Alaina
Luke Combs
Old Dominion
Jon Pardi – WINNER
Brett Young

Author: Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.

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