Tomorrow night’s the BIG night in country music: the 52nd annual Country Music Awards in Nashville! And this year, there will be a new Entertainer of the Year! Garth Brooks won last year, his sixth win in the category (1991-1992, 1997-1998, 2016-2017). That’s the record for the most wins. But this year, Garth isn’t among the final nominees. Let’s take a look at this year’s nominees, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. They’ve all been nominated before. Jason Aldean has never won, although this is his fourth nomination. Luke Bryan won twice (2014-2015) and has been nominated every year since 2013. Kenny Chesney has won the award four times (2004, 2006-2008), the last time was ten years ago. BTW, Kenny and Alabama are the only artists who’ve won Entertainer of the Year three years in-a-row. Chris Stapleton has never won and this year is his third consecutive nomination. Keith Urban won once before, in 2005, with this year marking his ninth nomination.
The first winner was Eddy Arnold in 1967. Loretta Lynn was the first female artist to win Entertainer, back in 1972. Barbara Mandrell was the first person to win the award twice in-a-row, in 1980-1981. Alabama was the first group to win, in 1982. The Dixie Chicks are the only all-female group to win, in 2000. And Shania Twain is the only non-American to win, in 1999.
Tomorrow night marks the 11th consecutive year Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will have hosted the awards show. BTW, Brad won the Entertainer of the Year award in 2010, while Carrie has never won it. Vince Gill hosted the award show for ten consecutive years by himself, and co-hosted it with Clint Black and Reba McEntire in the two years previously. So, he’s hosted 12 years in-a-row.
Good luck to all the nominees!