Lainey Wilson leads 56th Annual CMA Awards nominations

Country Music’s Biggest Night airs live Nov 9 on ABC

The  Country Music Association has announced nominees for The 56th Annual CMA Awards, with first-time nominee  Lainey Wilson topping the list at six nominations. Other top nominees include Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, and Chris Stapleton, along with songwriter and producer Shane McAnally, each with five nominations. Cody Johnson and songwriter/producer Josh Osborne collect four nominations each. Luke Combs, Hardy, Miranda Lambert, Midland, and Carrie Underwood secure three nominations apiece. Vying for the night’s highest honor, reigning Entertainer of the Year Combs is nominated again in the category alongside Lambert, Stapleton, Underwood, and Morgan Wallen.

The show, hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, airs live from Nashville Wednesday, November 9th from 8-10 pm ET on ABC.

First-time CMA Awards nominees include Breland, Alexa Campbell, Jack Clarke, Dan Grech-Marguerat, Jacob Davis, Dustin Haney, Walker Hayes, Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins, Jason Lehning, Blake Lively, Chip Matthews, Parker McCollum, Michael Monaco, Jason Nix, Mikey Reaves, Harper Smith, Trent Willmon, and Wilson.

Wilson scores a historic debut on the CMA Awards final ballot with six nominations as a first-time nominee. She is the fourth artist in CMA Awards history to achieve this milestone. (Glen Campbell, 1968; Brad Paisley, 2000; and Kacey Musgraves, 2013) Her six nods include Album, Female Vocalist, Music Video, Musical Event, New Artist and Song of the Year. Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ was produced by Jay Joyce and mixed by F. Reid Shippen. Wilson joins Cole Swindell on “Never Say Never,” produced by Zach Crowell. The video was directed by Monaco. Wilson’s co-writers on “Things A Man Oughta Know” are Jason Nix and Jonathan Singleton.

McAnally’s five nominations bring his career total to 21. He is a first-time nominee in Musical Event of the Year, collecting two nods in the category for producing “Longneck Way To Go” performed by Midland featuring Jon Pardi and “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” performed by Pearce and McBryde, which also earns his fourth career nomination in Single of the Year and 10th nomination for Song of the Year. He is now tied for all-time nominations for Song of the Year with Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson. He won the category in 2014 for co-writing “Follow Your Arrow.” Producing Old Dominion’s Time, Tequila & Therapy garners McAnally his fifth nomination for Album of the Year.

With seven prior nominations, McBryde’s career nominations now total 12. She earns her third consecutive nomination for Female Vocalist. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” collects McBryde her first nomination in Music Video of the Year and her second nominations across three categories – Musical Event, Single, and Song of the Year. The video was directed by Alexa Campbell. The single was produced by McAnally and Osborne and mixed by Ryan Gore. McBryde co-wrote the song with McAnally and Pearce.

Pearce adds five nominations to her prior seven. She is the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year, returning to vie for her second win in the category. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” earns Pearce her first nomination in Single of the Year and her second nominations in Music Video, Musical Event, and Song of the Year categories.

With this year’s five nods, Stapleton has amassed 39 career nominations. He is a six-time nominee for Entertainer of the Year and an eight-time nominee for Male Vocalist, a category he has won five times. “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” collects Stapleton his third nomination for Music Video, a category he won in 2016. The video is directed by Lively and is performed with 27-time nominee Taylor Swift. “You Should Probably Leave” marks Stapleton’s fifth nomination for Single of the Year and third nomination for Song. He is a two-time winner in both categories, claiming both trophies in 2018 and 2021. Stapleton co-produced the single with Dave Cobb and it was mixed by Vance Powell. He co-wrote the song with Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley.

Johnson tallies four nominations this year, bringing his overall nods to five. He debuted in the New Artist of the Year category in 2019 and returns for his second nomination this year. He is a first-time nominee across three other categories – Male Vocalist, Music Video and Single of the Year. “’Til You Can’t” was directed by Haney, produced by Willmon and mixed by Clarke.

Osborne earns four nominations, collecting 10 career nods in total. He is a first-time nominee in Musical Event of the Year, collecting two nods in the category for producing “Longneck Way To Go” performed by Midland featuring Pardi and “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” performed by Pearce and McBryde. The latter earns his second nomination for Single of the Year. “Sand In My Boots,” co-written with Gorley and Michael Hardy (also known as HARDY), marks Osborne’s fifth nomination for Song of the Year.

Reigning Entertainer of the Year Combs returns with his third consecutive nomination for the night’s highest honor. This year marks his fifth nomination for Male Vocalist, a trophy he’s claimed twice. Growin’ Up earns Combs his second nomination for Album of the Year, which he co-produced with Matthews and Singleton. The album was mixed by Jim Cooley and Matthews. Combs won Album of the Year in 2020. With this year’s nods, he has received 18 total nominations since 2017.

Hardy, also known as Michael Hardy for songwriting purposes, collects three nominations this year. He is a first-time nominee for Musical Event of the Year with “Beers On Me,” a collaboration with Dierks Bentley and Breland, produced by Bentley and Ross Copperman. He receives his second nomination in both New Artist and Song of the Year for “Sand In My Boots,” which he co-wrote with Gorley and Osborne. He now has five career nominations.

With this year’s nominations, Lambert has secured 61 career nominations – remaining the most nominated female artist in CMA Awards history. She now becomes the third most-nominated artist, following George Strait (83) and Alan Jackson (81). Lambert has the longest consecutive streak of nominations for Female Vocalist, collecting her 16th nomination since 2007. She is a seven-time winner in the Female Vocalist category. She earns her sixth nomination for Album of the Year, a category she’s won twice – 2010 and 2014. Lambert co-produced Palomino with Luke Dick, Jon Randall, and Reaves. The album was mixed by Lehning. Lambert garners her sixth nomination for the evening’s top prize, Entertainer of the Year.

Midland’s three nods earn the group 10 total career nominations. “Longneck Way To Go” collects first-time nominations for them in two categories – Music Video and Musical Event of the Year. The video was directed by Smith and the collaboration was produced by Dann Huff, McAnally, and Osborne. This is their fifth consecutive nomination for Vocal Group of the Year.

With this year’s nominations, Underwood has garnered 40 career nods since 2006. This year marks her 16th nomination for Female Vocalist, a trophy she’s claimed five times. She is a four-time nominee for Musical Event, earning a nod this year for “If I Didn’t Love You,” a duet with Jason Aldean produced by Michael Knox. She collects her fifth nomination for the night’s most coveted trophy, Entertainer of the Year.

Winners of The 56th 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 3rd. Voting for the CMA Awards Final Ballot ends Friday, October 28th at 6 pm CT. CMA Broadcast Awards winners will be determined by a final round of judging this month. Entries are judged by a panel of distinguished broadcast professionals, representing all market sizes and regions. The winners will be revealed in October and recipients will be honored at the CMA Awards. All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization, Deloitte.

  • Luke Combs
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Morgan Wallen

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

  • “Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan
    Producer: Paul DiGiovanni
    Mix Engineer: Jim Cooley
  • “half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (feat. Kenny Chesney)
    Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins
    Mix Engineer: Dan Grech-Marguerat
  • “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde
    Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
    Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore
  • “’Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
    Producer: Trent Willmon
    Mix Engineer: Jack Clarke
  • “You Should Probably Leave” – Chris Stapleton
    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

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

  • Growin’ Up – Luke Combs
    Producers: Luke Combs, Chip Matthews, Jonathan Singleton
    Mix Engineers: Jim Cooley, Chip Matthews
  • Humble Quest – Maren Morris
    Producer: Greg Kurstin
    Mix Engineer: Serban Ghenea
  • Palomino – Miranda Lambert
    Producers: Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, Mikey Reaves
    Mix Engineer: Jason Lehning
  • Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ – Lainey Wilson
    Producer: Jay Joyce
    Mix Engineer: F. Reid Shippen
  • Time, Tequila & Therapy – Old Dominion
    Producers: Shane McAnally, Old Dominion
    Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank

Award goes to Songwriter(s)

  • “Buy Dirt”
    Songwriters: Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis, Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins
  • “Never Wanted To Be That Girl”
    Songwriters: Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce
  • “Sand In My Boots”
    Songwriters: Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Josh Osborne
  • “Things A Man Oughta Know”
    Songwriters: Jason Nix, Jonathan Singleton, Lainey Wilson
  • “You Should Probably Leave”
    Songwriters: Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, Chris Stapleton
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Carly Pearce
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Lainey Wilson
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Cody Johnson
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Morgan Wallen
  • Lady A
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Maddie & Tae

Award goes to Artist(s) and Producer(s)

  • “Beers On Me” – Dierks Bentley with BRELAND & HARDY
    Producers: Dierks Bentley, Ross Copperman
  • “If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood
    Producer: Michael Knox
  • “Longneck Way To Go” – Midland (featuring Jon Pardi)
    Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
  • “Never Say Never” – Cole Swindell (with Lainey Wilson)
    Producer: Zach Crowell
  • “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde
    Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
  • Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle
  • Paul Franklin, Steel guitar
  • Brent Mason, Guitar
  • Ilya Toshinskiy, Banjo
  • Derek Wells, Guitar

Award goes to Artist(s) and Director(s)

  • “I Bet You Think About Me” (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) – Taylor Swift (featuring Chris Stapleton)
    Director: Blake Lively
  • “Longneck Way To Go” – Midland (featuring Jon Pardi)
    Director: Harper Smith
  • “Never Say Never” – Cole Swindell (with Lainey Wilson)
    Director: Michael Monaco
  • “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde
    Director: Alexa Campbell
  • “’Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
    Director: Dustin Haney
  • Hardy
  • Walker Hayes
  • Cody Johnson
  • Parker McCollum
  • Lainey Wilson

Buddy Iahn
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. Email: