The CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award is one of the biggest honors an artist can get in country music, next to being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Country icon Dolly Parton won the award in 1978. 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Willie Nelson won the honor from the CMA in 1979. Other superstars that won the CMA’s highest honor were Reba McEntire in 1985 and 1986 and The King of Country Music himself, George Strait, who won Entertainer from the CMA three times, the first in 1989.
The last woman to win the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year was Taylor Swift, who won in 2009 and in 2011. Shania Twain won Entertainer of the Year in 1999, and The Chicks (then called The Dixie Chicks) won the honor in 2000. If Lainey or Carrie wins this year, it will be the first female to win Entertainer in twelve years.
This year’s Entertainer of the Year nominees from the CMA have all had great years in country music, selling tickets, making records, and entertaining fans all over the world with their own style of country music.
The first person to ever win the CMA Entertainer of the Year award was Eddy Arnold in 1967. Loretta Lynn was the first female to win Entertainer in 1972. Barbara Mandrell was the first person to win the Entertainer of the Year award twice from the CMA in 1980 and 1981.
The CMA Awards on Wednesday (11/8) will be hosted by Peyton Manning and two-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan.
As we await the result of who will be the next Entertainer of the Year tomorrow night (11/8) when the CMA Awards will be broadcast live on ABC TV. We take a look at this year’s cream of the crop in country music, the five nominees for 2023 Entertainer of the Year, Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen.