CMA AWARDS: What You Need to Know

Here's what you need to know about Wednesday's CMA Awards.

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena starting at 8 p.m. [ET] on ABC. Carrie Underwood hosts with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.


Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks

Eric Church

Chris Stapleton

Carrie Underwood

Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini

Miranda Lambert

Maren Morris

Kacey Musgraves

Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

Duo of the Year

Brooks and Dunn

Dan + Shay

Brothers Osborne

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie and Tae

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town


Old Dominion

Zac Brown Band

New Artist of the Year

Cody Johnson


Carly Pearce

Ashley McBryde

Morgan Wallen

Song of the Year

"Beautiful Crazy"


"God's Country" 



Single of the Year

"Burning Man" - Dierks Bentley

"Girl" - Maren Morris

"God's Country" - Blake Shelton

"Millionaire" - Chris Stapleton

"Speechless" - Dan and Shay

Video of the Year

"Burning Man" - Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne

"Girl" - Maren Morris

"God's Country" - Blake Shelton

"Rainbow" -  Kacey Musgraves

"Some of It" - Eric Church

Album of the Year

Center Point Road - Thomas Rhett

Cry Pretty - Carrie Underwood

Dan + Shay - Dan + Shay

Desperate Man - Eric Church

Girl Maren Morris

Musical Event of the Year

"All My Favorite People" - Maren Morris

"Brand New Man" - Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs

"Dive Bar" - Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton

"Old Town Road" - Lil Nas X f/ Billy Ray Cyrus

"What Happens in a Small Town" - Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell


The opening will feature hosts Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, along with Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle,The Highwomen, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles,Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson performing a medley.

Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, Maddie and Tae, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Runaway June will be featured in a performance of a recent CMA Song and Single of the Year.

Kris Kristofferson will receive the CMA's Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne will perform his song "Me and Bobby McGee."

Other scheduled performances: Kelsea Ballerini ("Homecoming Queen?"), Dan + Shay("Speechless"), Old Dominion("One Man Band"),Thomas Rhett("Remember You Young") and Blake Shelton("God's Country").

Blake will also team up with Garth Brooks for "Dive Bar."Brothers Osborne joins Brooks and Dunn for "Hard Workin' Man." Other collaborations are planned by Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson, Lady Antebellum with pop singer Halsey, Dolly Parton with For King and Country and Zach Williams and Pink and Chris Stapleton.

Other scheduled performers include Eric Church,Luke Combs,Miranda Lambert,Reba McEntire,Maren Morris,Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.


Celebrities who will introduce performances or announce winners:

  • Vince Gill
  • Kathy Mattea
  • Martina McBride
  • Midland
  • Craig Morgan
  • Jennifer Nettles
  • Pam Tillis
  • Morgan Wallen
  • Trisha Yearwood
  • Blanco Brown
  • Hannah Brown
  • Deana Carter
  • Janie Fricke
  • radio and TV personality Bobby Bones
  • actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth
  • actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan
  • Riverdale’s Madelaine Petsch
  • actor-comedian J.B. Smoove

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