Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year

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Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year
CountryUnited States
Presented byCountry Music Association
First awarded1967
Currently held byTracy Chapman (2023)

The following list shows the recipients for the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year.[1] This Award goes to the songwriter(s) and is for artistic achievement in songwriting. Any Country Music song with original words and music is eligible based upon the song's Country singles chart activity during the eligibility period.[2] It is the sister category to the Country Music Association Award for Single of the Year, which recognizes the artist, producer and engineer.

It was first handed out at the inaugural 1967 CMA Awards to Dallas Frazier for his song "There Goes My Everything" which had been popularised at that time by Jack Greene. K. T. Oslin became the first woman to win the award in 1988 for her hit "80's Ladies". Vince Gill is the most awarded songwriter in the category, with four wins, while two—time winner Alan Jackson and 2014 recipient Shane McAnally hold the record for most nominations, with ten each. Bob McDill and Brad Paisley are the most nominated writers not to win, with six nominations. The current holder of the award is Tracy Chapman, who wrote Luke Combs' hit "Fast Car", which won at the 57th Annual Country Music Association Awards in 2023.

To date, thirteen men: Dallas Frazier (1967), Bobby Russell (1968), Bob Ferguson (1969), Kris Kristofferson (1970), Freddie Hart (1971—2), Kenny O'Dell (1973), Don Wayne (1974), John Denver (1975), Larry Weiss (1976), Richard Leigh (1978), Don Schlitz (1979), Lee Greenwood (1985) and Vince Gill (1996) and seven women: K.T. Oslin (1988), Gretchen Peters (1995), Jennifer Nettles (2008), Kimberly Perry (2011), Lori McKenna (2016), Taylor Swift (2017) and Tracy Chapman (2023) have won the Song of the Year award with a solo composition.

To date, only three songs, "Easy Loving", "Always on My Mind" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today", have received the award in consecutive years and only Freddie Hart, Don Schlitz, Vince Gill and Lori McKenna have won in consecutive years.


Tracy Chapman became the first black woman to win a CMA award when Luke Combs' cover of her 1988 hit "Fast Car" won Song of the Year.
Two—time recipient Chris Stapleton.
Lori McKenna won the award in consecutive years (2015—16) and also received Grammy Awards for the same songs.
2012 winner Blake Shelton wrote "Over You" about the death of his brother.
Jennifer Nettles is one of seven women to receive the award for a solo composition.
Two—time winner Jamey Johnson.
Renowned songwriter Bill Anderson received the award in 2005 and 2007.
Four—time honoree Vince Gill.
1970 recipient Kris Kristofferson won for his classic hit "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down".


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
2023 Blue ribbon Tracy Chapman "Fast Car"
2022 Blue ribbon Jacob Davis
Blue ribbon Jordan Davis
Blue ribbon Josh Jenkins

Blue ribbon Matt Jenkins
"Buy Dirt"
2021 Blue ribbon Mike Henderson
Blue ribbon Chris Stapleton
"Starting Over"
2020 Blue ribbon Maren Morris
Blue ribbon Jimmy Robbins
Blue ribbon Laura Veltz
"The Bones"


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
2019 Blue ribbon Luke Combs
Blue ribbon Wyatt Durrette
Blue ribbon Robert Williford
"Beautiful Crazy"
2018 Blue ribbon Mike Henderson
Blue ribbon Chris Stapleton
"Broken Halos"
2017 Blue ribbon Taylor Swift "Better Man"
2016 Blue ribbon Lori McKenna "Humble and Kind"
2015 Blue ribbon Hillary Lindsey
Blue ribbon Lori McKenna
Blue ribbon Liz Rose
"Girl Crush"
2014 Blue ribbon Brandy Clark
Blue ribbon Shane McAnally
Blue ribbon Kacey Musgraves
"Follow Your Arrow"
2013 Blue ribbon Jessi Alexander
Blue ribbon Connie Harrington
Blue ribbon Jimmy Yeary
"I Drive Your Truck"
2012 Blue ribbon Miranda Lambert
Blue ribbon Blake Shelton
"Over You"
2011 Blue ribbon Kimberly Perry "If I Die Young"
2010 Blue ribbon Tom Douglas
Blue ribbon Allen Shamblin
"The House That Built Me"


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
2009 Blue ribbon Jamey Johnson
Blue ribbon Lee Thomas Miller
Blue ribbon James Otto
"In Color"
2008 Blue ribbon Jennifer Nettles "Stay"
2007 Blue ribbon Bill Anderson
Blue ribbon Buddy Cannon
Blue ribbon Jamey Johnson
"Give It Away"
2006 Blue ribbon Ronnie Dunn

Blue ribbon Craig Wiseman

2005 Blue ribbon Bill Anderson
Blue ribbon Jon Randall
"Whiskey Lullaby"
2004 Blue ribbon Tim Nichols
Blue ribbon Craig Wiseman
"Live Like You Were Dying"
2003 Blue ribbon Doug Johnson
Blue ribbon Kim Williams
"Three Wooden Crosses"
2002 Blue ribbon Alan Jackson "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)"
2001 Blue ribbon Larry Cordle
Blue ribbon Larry Shell
"Murder on Music Row"
2000 Blue ribbon Mark D. Sanders
Blue ribbon Tia Sillers
"I Hope You Dance"


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
1999 Blue ribbon Beth Nielsen Chapman
Blue ribbon Robin Lerner
Blue ribbon Annie Roboff
"This Kiss"
1998 Blue ribbon Billy Kirsch
Blue ribbon Steve Wariner
"Holes in the Floor of Heaven"
1997 Blue ribbon Matraca Berg
Blue ribbon Gary Harrison
"Strawberry Wine"
1996 Blue ribbon Vince Gill "Go Rest High on That Mountain"
1995 Blue ribbon Gretchen Peters "Independence Day"
1994 Blue ribbon Jim McBride
Blue ribbon Alan Jackson
1993 Blue ribbon Vince Gill
Blue ribbon John Barlow Jarvis
"I Still Believe in You"
1992 Blue ribbon Max D. Barnes
Blue ribbon Vince Gill
"Look at Us"
1991 Blue ribbon Tim DuBois
Blue ribbon Vince Gill
"When I Call Your Name"
1990 Blue ribbon Don Henry
Blue ribbon Jon Vezner
"Where've You Been"


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
1989 Blue ribbon Max D. Barnes
Blue ribbon Vern Gosdin
"Chiseled in Stone"
1988 Blue ribbon K. T. Oslin "80's Ladies"
1987 Blue ribbon Paul Overstreet
Blue ribbon Don Schlitz
"Forever and Ever, Amen"
1986 Blue ribbon Paul Overstreet
Blue ribbon Don Schlitz
"On the Other Hand"
1985 Blue ribbon Lee Greenwood "God Bless the U.S.A."
1984 Blue ribbon Larry Henley
Blue ribbon Jeff Silbar
"The Wind Beneath My Wings"
1983 Blue ribbon Wayne Carson
Blue ribbon Johnny Christopher
Blue ribbon Mark James
"Always on My Mind"
1981 Blue ribbon Bobby Braddock
Blue ribbon Curly Putman
"He Stopped Loving Her Today"


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
1979 Blue ribbon Don Schlitz "The Gambler"
1978 Blue ribbon Richard Leigh "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"
1977 Blue ribbon Roger Bowling
Blue ribbon Hal Bynum
1976 Blue ribbon Larry Weiss "Rhinestone Cowboy"
1975 Blue ribbon John Denver "Back Home Again"
1974 Blue ribbon Don Wayne "Country Bumpkin"
1973 Blue ribbon Kenny O'Dell "Behind Closed Doors"
1972 Blue ribbon Freddie Hart "Easy Loving"
1970 Blue ribbon Kris Kristofferson "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"


Year Songwriter(s) Title Nominees
1969 Blue ribbon Bob Ferguson "The Carroll County Accident"
1968 Blue ribbon Bobby Russell "Honey"
1967 Blue ribbon Dallas Frazier "There Goes My Everything"

Writers with multiple wins[edit]

Songwriters that received multiple awards
Awards Artist
4 Vince Gill
3 Don Schlitz
2 Bill Anderson
Chris Stapleton
Freddie Hart
Lori McKenna
Mike Henderson
Paul Overstreet

Writers with multiple nominations[edit]

10 nominations
7 nominations
6 nominations
5 nominations
4 nominations
3 nominations
2 nominations


  1. ^ "CMA Awards Past Winners & Nominees".
  2. ^ "About". CMA Awards 2021 | Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8|7c on ABC. Retrieved 2021-11-02.