2019 CMA Awards: Full List of Nominees

This year’s CMA Nominations have been announced. Here’s who will compete this fall at the 53rd Annual CMA Awards:

Entertainer of the Year

  • Garth Brooks
  • Eric Church
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

Who’s In: Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood

Who’s Out: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney

Last year’s winner Keith Urban and six time winner Garth Brooks are the only returning champions in this lineup.  Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, and Carrie Underwood have all been nominated before, but are still looking for their first win.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Who’s in: No Change

Who’s Out: No Chnage

Repeat winners Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban face off against three other men still looking for their first victory here, with Dierks Bentley waiting the longest: this is his eighth nomination.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

Who’s In:  No Change

Who’s Out: No Change

Returning winners Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood face off against three ladies who have yet to win, including Kacey Musgraves, who is nominated for a sixth time.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s In: Zac Brown Band

Who’s Out: LANCO

Old Dominion will look for their second win, as Midland and Zac Brown Band look for their first.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Who’s In: Brooks & Dunn

Who’s Out: Sugarland

Brooks & Dunn return to the race on the strength of their Vegas residency and duets album.

New Artist of the Year

  • Cody Johnson
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Midland
  • Carly Pearce
  • Morgan Wallen

Who’s In:  Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Morgan Wallen

Who’s Out: Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs (2018 Winner), Chris Janson, Brett Young

The two year limit forces a refresh in this category, with only Midland returning this year, alongside four nominees new to the category.

Album of the Year

  • Eric Church, Desperate Man
  • Dan + Shay, Dan + Shay
  • Maren Morris, GIRL
  • Thomas Rhett, Center Point Road
  • Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty

Eric Church is the only nominee that has won this award in the past, although Morris, Rhett, and Underwood have all been nominated before.

Single of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne, “Burning Man”
  • Dan + Shay, “Speechless”
  • Maren Morris, “GIRL”
  • Blake Shelton, “God’s Country”
  • Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire”

No newbies to this race as Blake Shelton earns his fifth nomination in this category, Dierks Bentley and Chris Stapleton earn their third, and Maren Morris and Dan + Shay earn their second.  Stapleton won last year for “Broken Halos.”

Song of the Year

  • “Beautiful Crazy”
    Written by Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, and Robert Williford
  • “GIRL”
    Written by Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin, and Maren Morris
  • “God’s Country”
    Written by Devin Dawson, Michael Hardy, and Jordan Schmidt
  • “Rainbow”
    Written by Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves
  • “Tequila”
    Written by Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, and Dan Smyers

“Tequila” is nominated for the second year in a row, with less overlap between the Single and Song categories than usual this year.

Music Video of the Year

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
    Directed by Wes Edwards
  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris
    Directed by Dave Myers
  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
    Directed by Sophie Muller
  • “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves
    Directed by Hanna Lux Davis
  • “Some of it” – Eric Church
    Directed by Reid Long

As is the norm with the CMA, the videos singled out, for the most part, are the same ones that feature in Single and/or Song.

Musical Event of the Year

  • Garth Brooks & Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar”
  • Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs, “Brand New Man”
  • Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell, “What Happens in a Small Town”
  • Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)”
  • Maren Morris featuring Brothers Osborne, “All My Favorite People”

Interesting side note: because “Burning Man” was nominated in this category last year, it is ineligible this year, despite appearing across the ballot in other categories.

Musician of the Year

  • Jenee Fleenor (Fiddle)
  • Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
  • Mac McAnally (Guitar)
  • Ilya Toshinsky (Banjo/Guitar)
  • Derek Wells (Guitar)

Who’s In: Jenee Fleenor, Ilya Toshinsky

Who’s Out:  Jerry Douglas, Dann Huff

A real rarity this year as there are two new nominees, including a female musician for a change!


  1. A few stray first impressions:
    – Underwood and Church are both overdue to win Entertainer Of The Year; honestly, they’d have 3 wins apiece by now if it were just up to me. Church underperformed, nominations-wise, while Underwood slightly overperformed thanks to the Album nomination that was hardly a sure thing. I think that points to a win for her.
    – Church, again, is not on this ballot enough. “Some Of It” should have been an easy vote for both Single and Song, and he should be in the Male Vocalist race, too.
    – Pistol Annies should’ve *won* Album Of The Year, and they should’ve been shortlisted for Vocal Group, too. They and Runaway June both deserved recognition.
    – I really and truly and deeply dislike the Maren Morris album.
    – Jenee Fleenor, y’all! Could not be happier for her.

  2. Here’s an interesting thought: with Underwood likely the front runner for Entertainer, does she repeat in Female Vocalist or does UMG put their full weight behind Underwood for Entertainer and Musgraves for Female Vocalist?

    Very few women have won Entertainer, and the record is mixed on whether they won Female the same year:

    Entertainer: Loretta Lynn
    Female Vocalist: Loretta Lynn

    Entertainer: Dolly Parton
    Female Vocalist: Crystal Gayle

    Entertainer: Barbara Mandrell
    Female Vocalist: Emmylou Harris

    Entertainer: Barbara Mandrell
    Female Vocalist: Barbara Mandrell

    Entertainer: Reba McEntire
    Female Vocalist: Reba McEntire

    Entertainer: Shania Twain
    Female Vocalist: Martina McBride

    Entertainer: Taylor Swift
    Female Vocalist: Taylor Swift

    Entertainer: Taylor Swift
    Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

    So 4/8 for dual wins and 4/8 for split decisions…

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