2019 CMA Awards: Complete List of Winners

Here is the complete list of winners for this year’s CMA Awards.

Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks

Eric Church

Chris Stapleton

Carrie Underwood

Keith Urban

Male Vocalist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini

Miranda Lambert

Maren Morris

Kacey Musgraves

Carrie Underwood

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town


Old Dominion

Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year

Cody Johnson

Ashley McBryde


Carly Pearce

Morgan Wallen

Album of the Year

Eric Church, Desperate Man

Dan + Shay, Dan + Shay

Maren Morris, GIRL

Thomas Rhett, Center Point Road

Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty

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”

Song of the Year

“Beautiful Crazy”
Written by Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, and Robert Williford

Written by Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin, and Maren Morris

“God’s Country”
Written by Devin Dawson, Michael Hardy, and Jordan Schmidt

Written by Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves

Written by Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, and Dan Smyers

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

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”

Musician of the Year

Jenee Fleenor (Fiddle)

Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)

Mac McAnally (Guitar)

Ilya Toshinsky (Banjo/Guitar)

Derek Wells (Guitar)


  1. There are positives to take away from all of this, though even those positives are tempered somewhat by the greater context:
    – The historic (nomination and) win for Jenee Fleenor… that was presented pre-show and given only a cursory mention; was nice to see her get about 10 seconds of airtime in the middle of Shelton’s performance of “God’s Country.”
    – The historic (nomination and) win for Lil Nas X, a queer, black artist… which was also presented pre-show.
    – Ashley McBryde’s win for New Artist, despite never having cracked the top 25 at country radio; and she had the night’s best acceptance speech, too.
    – Maren Morris’ win for Album, which ensured that multiple women were recognized… even if I don’t think her album is very good at all.
    – Kacey Musgraves’ win for Female Vocalist recognized her valuable contributions to the genre over the past year, despite the lack of radio support. Her performance with (an alarmingly frail) Willie Nelson was also a highlight.
    – McBryde and Carly Pearce sounded great in their verses of “Girl Crush,” though both could have been better supported by an opportunity to perform their current singles.
    – Reba gave one of the night’s standout performances, but it was of a 20 year-old single and not something from the career-best album she released just this year, signaling that age biases are still a huge problem.

    And then there’s Entertainer of the Year. Like I said on Twitter, I’ve not been a passionate advocate for Underwood’s recorded output to date, though I believe she’s gotten incrementally stronger in her artistry with each new album. But I was legitimately angry that she lost that award. Now, had Eric Church won, I think I would have been disappointed. But the fact that she lost to Brooks– who simply had not done enough in the past year to warrant the win and whose status as a genre legend is in no way enhanced by yet another win– made me genuinely mad. Underwood has been the finest ambassador for mainstream and *current* country music over the past several years, and she also had a solid album and a massive tour that consistently earned raves. Her ability to command a stage– a sign of her growth as an artist and performer since her Idol days– was on full display last night, as well. She earned that particular award this year. I cannot fathom what else she needs to do to position herself better for a win. Yes, there was likely a vote-split among the 4 UMG artists nominated, but that should’ve been, at most, a 2-horse race. That both lost and went home empty-handed is a real shame… and one that undermines the show’s intended message about celebrating the genre’s women.

    Ultimately, they did that, but only in ways that didn’t upset the status quo. It was, on the whole, a missed opportunity.

  2. I agree. The impression that they were celebrating women “just because” was a cowardly way of deferring to the status quo with country radio: And Underwood, as co-host, would have stood to lose the most there.

    And, honestly, I do think Garth is that tone-deaf. He played the “I have daughters” card in a press conference afterward, and that is just the most tired fucking trope: You can treat women like people worthy of respect without having daughters of your own, and it’s sad, frankly, that so many men seem to think that playing that card makes them look like an ally, when it’s really just a slight variation on the “black friend” card.

  3. This only seems to go to show that the CMAs have become something of a meat market, not only with the arguably condescending pandering to women, but also with what seems to be a hunger for the people involved to get a mantle full of prizes and awards. And on the latter point, it only goes to show that what Linda Ronstadt said earlier this year: “If you’re working for prizes, you’re in big trouble.

  4. @ Jason:

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t know of male artists who would take themselves out of awards considerations, or any who have ever done so in the past. It almost seems like at least some of them need those awards to satisfy their own inflated egos. Garth seems to be much more humble and indeed probably is, but I don’t know that that’s true of too many other male artists.

    Linda’s comment on awards and prizes was that, while it was nice for her to get them, neither they, nor the fame, nor the money, were what drove her to become a singer and to have a career that lasted from the late 1960s up until 2013. She did it out of love of music, and the desire to work. To her, doing things out of a hunger for fame, money, and prizes is an extremely dangerous motivation, and, given that she has seen some of this firsthand, I don’t think she’s at all wrong about it. Nashville’s elite would do well to heed this advice (IMHO).

  5. Jason – To answer your question about examples of men taking themselves out of the running for awards. Garth won Artist of the Year in 1996 from the American Music Awards. He refused to accept the honor, saying that Hootie and the Blowfish deserved it. He mentioned that they sold the most records, etc. and that he simply could not accept it.

    In the end, the American Music Awards discontinued that particular award until the early 2000s.

    Garth also attempted to refuse getting inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame until Randy Travis and Keith Whitley were members.

  6. An award is just recognition. in my opinion it’s not admirable to take YOURSELF out of the running. It shows lack of appreciation and pandering to make yourself look good. If you win an award you think you DON’T deserve you should still accept and be grateful to the people that voted for you. People take this shit too seriously.

  7. For the awards that require self-submission (Grammys, Emmys), I’m of the mindset that once you’ve won in your category, it’s not necessary to submit yourself for it again. But you shouldn’t omit yourself from potential shared awards (Song, Album, Collaboration) unless everyone is on board with being left out of consideration.

    I do feel more strongly about this for the Emmys than the Grammys, simply because at the Emmys, you’re usually nominated for the same role on the same show. There’s so much great television right now that a lot of performances aren’t acknowledged because of repeat winners. The winner not submitting themselves again not only makes a new winner possible, but also opens up a new nomination slot.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with continuing to submit yourself, either. It’s just not my preference.

    An artist doesn’t have any control over whether they’re nominated for a CMA Award. The only thing they could do was actively campaign against winning, and who knows how effective that would be?

    My only memory of an artist saying they shouldn’t win a CMA Award was the Dixie Chicks in 1999. Natalie Maines repeatedly said that they’d been nominated for Entertainer of the Year too soon and it wasn’t warranted. It went to Shania Twain that year. They won the following year on the strength of another hit album and a headlining tour.

  8. In light of the whole campaigning/lobbying that goes on IMHO it would be best to omit oneself for such awards because then it’s no longer based on merit/artistic input but rather on word of mouth. 10 years down the road, most of these songs winning now will raise questions as to how they legitimately won over some songs in their categories.

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