2016 CMA Winners

A historic night at the CMAs.

The organization celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a star-studded show that reminded the audience of the genre’s rich history, and was at its strongest when that history was placed front and center. So many emotional moments, from the heart-wrenching “Amen” from Randy Travis to the completely unexpected and so welcome return of the Dixie Chicks to the CMA stage for the first time in fifteen years.

The winners made some history, too, on an evening where voters decided to share the love. Garth Brooks broke the record for Entertainer of the Year wins, Carrie Underwood broke the record for the longest gap between Female Vocalist wins, and Lori McKenna became the first woman in history to win Song of the Year twice.

Here is the full list of winners:

Garth Brooks 2

Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks


Female Vocalist of the Year

Carrie Underwood


Male Vocalist of the Year

Chris Stapleton


Vocal Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne

Little Big Town

Vocal Group of the Year

Little Big Town


New Artist of the Year

Maren Morris

Eric Church Mr Misunderstood

Album of the Year

Eric Church, Mr. Misunderstood


Single of the Year

“Die a Happy Man, ” Thomas Rhett

Tim McGraw Humble and Kind

Song of the Year

“Humble and Kind,” Lori McKenna


Musical Event of the Year

Dierks Bentley with Elle King, “Different For Girls”


Music Video of the Year

“Fire Away,” Chris Stapleton


Musician of the Year

Dann Huff (Guitar)

Dolly Parton

Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

Dolly Parton

Kenny Chesney

Pinnacle Award

Kenny Chesney


  1. I was so disappointed when Carrie didn’t win Entertainer. It took her years just to break in and get the nomination. I do wonder if she’ll get another chance to be nominated. Second half of her tour should be within the eligibility period for next year, however, by next year Miranda Lambert will be active once again, and it’s been years since more than 1 female act gets nominated for Entertainer.

  2. Garth deserved the Entertainer of the Year because he delivered the leadership the CMA wants in a EOY nominee.
    Here is what the CMA asks us to consider:

    This award is for the act displaying the greatest competence in all aspects of the entertainment field. Voter should give consideration not only to recorded performance, but also to the in-person performance, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership, and overall contribution to the country music image.
    His acceptance speech nailed it.

  3. “In all aspects of the entertainment field” to me implies more than just a successful tour. Brooks had a big tour, but what else? Carrie had a successful tour (that included international performances), but also hosting the CMAs, her work with the NFL, her new music and videos, interviews in magazines, her Opry performances, etc. She represents country music across more formats and in more ways than pretty much anyone else right now, no?

  4. It’s not hard to find all the work Garth does with past and current presidents from Carter to Obama and he was a bit of a lone wolf at trying to raise money for the Louisiana flood victims this year. Garth concerts are more of an event, with Garth commonly trying to do two, three and more concerts per stay. I remember he performed nine concerts in a row at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Only Taylor Swift can match that type of publicity, and she wasn’t eligible. Carrie was worthy of the award, so was Keith for that matter, but just like baseball, someone has to win.

  5. It must’ve been hard for CMA voters to vote for Carrie this year, but they had no choice. I thought if they’d given the Female Vocalist award to another one of the nominees in one of the previous years when Miranda didn’t deserve it other than Underwood, she (Carrie) might not have won this award this year and may never will again (as it was stated in one of the previous posts, there’s no precedent). As hard as it was given to Carrie, do you think the CMA could as easily give this back to Miranda next year? (Pardon my grammar people.) :)

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