55th Annual Country Music Association Awards

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55th Annual Country Music Association Awards
DateNovember 10, 2021
LocationBridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Hosted byLuke Bryan
Most awardsChris Stapleton (4)
Most nominationsEric Church
Chris Stapleton (5 each)
Television/radio coverage
Viewership8.4 million
← 54th · CMA · 56th →
Luke Combs, who took home the highest honor of the evening, Entertainer of the Year.
Male Vocalist, Album, Song and Single of the Year Recipient, Chris Stapleton.

The 55th Annual Country Music Association Awards were held on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The ceremony was hosted by CMA Award winner Luke Bryan.[1]

Carly Pearce, Female Vocalist of the year recipient.
Vocal Duo of the Year, Brothers Osborne.
Old Dominion, Vocal Group of the Year.


After a video clip surfaced in early 2021 showing an inebriated Morgan Wallen using a racial slur[2] the Country Music Association announced on May 21, 2021, that Wallen's 2021 CMA Awards eligibility would be limited to, “categories that honor artistic works (Single, Song, Album, Musical Event, and Music Video of the Year categories), so as not to "limit opportunity for other credited collaborators," but the press release further states that Wallen would not be eligible in solo categories as Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.[3][4][5]

On October 1, 2021, the CMA announced that Wallen would not be allowed to attend the 2021 ceremony or any of the pre-show pageantry, despite being nominated in the Album of the Year category.[6] Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said she didn't believe anyone had ever been disqualified from the show due to conduct before. "Honoring him as an individual this year is not right, and he will not be allowed on the red carpet, on our stage, or be celebrated in any way," she says.[7][8]

On October 18, 2021 it was announced by the CMA that Luke Bryan will host the ceremony for the first time. This is the first time the ceremony has had a solo host in 18 years, the last being Vince Gill.[1]

The CMA announced that ticketed audience members would have to prove full vaccination status against COVID-19 and wear appropriate face coverings.[9][10] Performers and presenters was not expected to follow the same requirements as the audience.[citation needed]

Winners and nominees[edit]

The eligibility period for nominees is July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.[11] The nominees were announced on September 9, 2021.[12]

Winners in Bold.

Entertainer of the Year Album of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year Female Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year Vocal Duo of the Year
Single of the Year Song of the Year
New Artist of the Year Musician of the Year
Music Video of the Year Musical Event of the Year

International Awards

International Artist Achievement Award Global Country Artist Award


The first wave of performers were announced on October 21, 2021, followed by the second and third waves on October 27 and November 4.[13][14][15]

Performer(s) Song(s)
Miranda Lambert Medley of Greatest Hits
Mama’s Broken Heart"
Little Red Wagon
Gunpowder and Lead
Dierks Bentley
"Beers on Me"
Eric Church "Heart on Fire"
Carly Pearce
Ashley McBryde
"Never Wanted to Be That Girl"
Zac Brown Band "Same Boat"
Gabby Barrett "The Good Ones"
Chris Young
Kane Brown
"Famous Friends"
Jason Aldean
Carrie Underwood
"If I Didn't Love You"
Blake Shelton "Come Back as a Country Boy"
Keith Urban "Wild Hearts"
Mickey Guyton
Brittney Spencer
Madeline Edwards
"Love My Hair"
Old Dominion "I Was on a Boat That Day"
Chris Stapleton "Cold"
Luke Combs "Doin' This"
Thomas Rhett "Country Again"
Dan + Shay "I Should Probably Go to Bed"
Jennifer Hudson
Chris Stapleton
Tribute to Aretha Franklin
"Night Life"
"You Are My Sunshine"
Jimmie Allen "Freedom Was a Highway"
Brothers Osborne "Younger Me"
Luke Bryan "Up"
Closing Performance
"I Don't Want This Night to End"


Presenter(s) Notes
Carly Pearce
Mickey Guyton
Gabby Barrett
Introduced Miranda Lambert
Katy Perry
Lionel Richie
Luke Bryan
Song of the Year
Darius Rucker
Luke Bryan
Introduced Dierks Bentley
Ingrid Andress
Hayley Orrantia
Vocal Duo of the Year
Elle King Introduced Zac Brown Band
Katy Perry
Lionel Richie
Luke Bryan
Introduced Gabby Barrett
Saycon Sengbloh
Dulé Hill
New Artist of the Year
Scotty McCreery Introduced Chris Young and Kane Brown
Deana Carter
Lainey Wilson
Single of the Year
Carter and Wilson also performed some of "Strawberry Wine", which was celebrating its 25th anniversary
Faith Fennidy Introduced Mickey Guyton
Russell Dickerson
Sarah Frei
Honoring music educators
Zachary Levi
Kurt Warner
Vocal Group of the Year
Lady A
Luke Bryan
Introduced Thomas Rhett
Trace Adkins
Susan Sarandon
Album of the Year
Luke Bryan
Chris Young
Military tribute
Trisha Yearwood Introduced Jennifer Hudson and Chris Stapleton
Amy Grant
Lauren Daigle
Female Vocalist of the Year
Florida Georgia Line Introduced Luke Bryan
Freddie Freeman
Kelsea Ballerini
Male Vocalist of the Year
Alan Jackson Entertainer of the Year

Nominee Milestones[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hudak, Joseph (2021-10-18). "2021 CMA Awards: Luke Bryan to Be the Show's First Solo Host in 18 Years". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-10-18.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Julia; Coscarelli, Joe (2021-02-03). "Country Star Morgan Wallen Rebuked by Music Business After Using Racial Slur". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  3. ^ "CMA board limits Morgan Wallen's award eligibility". AP NEWS. 2021-05-21. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  4. ^ Willman, Chris (2021-05-21). "Morgan Wallen Is Disqualified for Top CMA Awards, But Will Be Eligible in Collaborative Categories". Variety. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  5. ^ "Is Morgan Wallen Eligible for 2021 CMA Awards? Here's What the CMA Decided". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  6. ^ "CMA Awards Ban Morgan Wallen From Attending, Despite Album of the Year Nomination". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-10-01.
  7. ^ "Morgan Wallen's racial slur cost him an invite to the CMA Awards. What will the Grammys do?". Los Angeles Times. 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2021-10-01.
  8. ^ Dukes, Billy. "Morgan Wallen Barred From Attending 2021 CMA Awards, Despite Nomination". Taste of Country. Retrieved 2021-10-01.
  9. ^ "2021 CMA Awards Will Require Attendees to Be Vaccinated". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  10. ^ "CMA announces annual awards show returns to Nashville". WTVF. 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  11. ^ "CMA Announces 2021 CMA Awards Ballot Schedule". CMA Awards. 2021-05-21. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  12. ^ "Final Nominees For "The 55th Annual CMA Awards" To Be Announced Thursday, Sept. 9". The 55th Annual CMA Awards. 2021-09-03. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  13. ^ "2021 CMA Awards Announce First Round of Performers". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  14. ^ @CountryMusic (October 27, 2021). "JUST ANNOUNCED!! ⭐ Performing LIVE at the #CMAawards on Wednesday, Nov. 10 are @Jason_Aldean and @CarrieUnderwood,…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "CMA Awards performers: Jennifer Hudson, Keith Urban, more join lineup".

CMA Awards 2023: A Grand Celebration of Country Music Excellence