Country Music Association Award for Entertainer of the Year

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Country Music Association Award for Entertainer of the Year
Current winner of the award Lainey Wilson
CountryUnited States
Presented byCountry Music Association
First awarded1967
Currently held byLainey Wilson (2023)

The Country Music Association Awards is a major awards show in country music, with the highest honor being the award for Entertainer of the Year. It is the final award presented at the ceremony and recognizes the artist "displaying the greatest competence in all aspects of the entertainment field", with consideration to not only recorded performance but also "in-person performance, public acceptance, leadership, and overall contribution to country music" they have exhibited throughout the eligibility period.[1] It is generally considered the highest competitive honor presented at the CMA Awards.

The inaugural recipient of the award was Eddy Arnold in 1967, with Loretta Lynn becoming the first female winner in 1972, and Alabama being the first group awarded in 1982. Garth Brooks holds the record for most wins in the category, with seven, while three-time recipient George Strait has a leading nineteen nominations. To date, Barbara Mandrell and Taylor Swift are the only women to have won twice. Chris Stapleton holds the record for most nominations without a win, with seven. The current holder of the award is Lainey Wilson, who won in 2023.


In the following tables, the years correspond to the date of the ceremony. Artists are eligible based on their work of the previous calendar year. Entries with a blue ribbon next to the artist's name have won the award; those with a white background are the nominees on the short-list.

Eric Church won the award in 2020
Garth Brooks has the most wins in this category with seven
George Strait received the award in 1989, 1990 and 2013
Taylor Swift is the youngest artist and second woman to win twice
Brad Paisley received the honor in 2010
Four-time recipient Kenny Chesney
Back-to-back winner Alan Jackson
1986 winner Reba McEntire, and most nominated Female Artist.
Dixie Chicks are the only female group to be crowned
Shania Twain was the first non-American winner
Two-time recipient Vince Gill is also a five-time male vocalist
Alabama have received the honor three times
Barbara Mandrell is the first person to win twice
1979 recipient Willie Nelson
1978 entertainer of the year Dolly Parton is also a two-time female vocalist
Loretta Lynn is the first woman to win entertainer of the year
1971 recipient Charley Pride was the only person of colour to win a CMA award until 2009
1968 recipient Glen Campbell

Year Winner Nominees
2023 Blue ribbon Lainey Wilson
2022 Blue ribbon Luke Combs
2021 Blue ribbon Luke Combs
2020 Blue ribbon Eric Church
2019 Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
2018[2] Blue ribbon Keith Urban
2017[3] Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
2016[4] Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
2015[5] Blue ribbon Luke Bryan
2014[6] Blue ribbon Luke Bryan
2013[7] Blue ribbon George Strait
2012[8] Blue ribbon Blake Shelton
2011[9] Blue ribbon Taylor Swift
2010[10] Blue ribbon Brad Paisley
2009 Blue ribbon Taylor Swift
2008 Blue ribbon Kenny Chesney
2007 Blue ribbon Kenny Chesney
2006 Blue ribbon Kenny Chesney
2005 Blue ribbon Keith Urban
2004 Blue ribbon Kenny Chesney
2003 Blue ribbon Alan Jackson
2002 Blue ribbon Alan Jackson
2001 Blue ribbon Tim McGraw
2000 Blue ribbon Dixie Chicks
1999 Blue ribbon Shania Twain
1998 Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
1997 Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
1996 Blue ribbon Brooks & Dunn
1995 Blue ribbon Alan Jackson
1994 Blue ribbon Vince Gill
1993 Blue ribbon Vince Gill
1992 Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
1991 Blue ribbon Garth Brooks
1990 Blue ribbon George Strait
1989 Blue ribbon George Strait
1988 Blue ribbon Hank Williams, Jr.
1987 Blue ribbon Hank Williams, Jr.
1986 Blue ribbon Reba McEntire
1985 Blue ribbon Ricky Skaggs
1984 Blue ribbon Alabama
1983 Blue ribbon Alabama
1982 Blue ribbon Alabama
1981 Blue ribbon Barbara Mandrell
1980 Blue ribbon Barbara Mandrell
1979 Blue ribbon Willie Nelson
1978 Blue ribbon Dolly Parton
1977 Blue ribbon Ronnie Milsap
1976 Blue ribbon Mel Tillis
1975 Blue ribbon John Denver
1974 Blue ribbon Charlie Rich
1973 Blue ribbon Roy Clark
1972 Blue ribbon Loretta Lynn
1971 Blue ribbon Charley Pride
1970 Blue ribbon Merle Haggard
1969 Blue ribbon Johnny Cash
1968 Blue ribbon Glen Campbell
1967 Blue ribbon Eddy Arnold

Artists with multiple wins[edit]

Artists that received multiple awards
Awards Artist
7 Garth Brooks
4 Kenny Chesney
3 Alabama
Alan Jackson
George Strait
2 Barbara Mandrell
Hank Williams Jr.
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan
Luke Combs
Taylor Swift

Artists with multiple nominations[edit]

19 nominations
13 nominations
12 nominations
11 nominations
10 nominations
9 nominations
8 nominations
7 nominations
6 nominations
5 nominations
4 nominations
3 nominations
2 nominations

Won on First nomination[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ McCarthy, Kelly (August 28, 2018). "2018 CMA Awards nominations: See the full list". ABC News. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "Snubs and Surprises of 2017 CMA Awards Nominees: Taylor Swift Returns, Blake Shelton Nowhere to be Found". Billboard.
  4. ^ "2016 cma winners - Google Search".
  5. ^ "CMA Awards 2015: The Complete Winners List". Rolling Stone. 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ "CMA Awards 2014: And the Winners Are ..." Billboard.
  7. ^ "CMA Awards 2013: Full Winners List". Billboard.
  8. ^ "2012 CMA Awards Winners – Full List". Taste of Country. 2 November 2012.
  9. ^ "2011 CMA Awards Winners". The Boot. 10 November 2011.
  10. ^ "CMA Awards 2010: List of Winners". CBS News. 11 November 2010.