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.

RELATED: Lainey Wilson Is Always Unapologetically Herself

  • Luke Combs - Won CMA Entertainer of the Year in 2021 and 2022

    Last year, when Luke won the Entertainer of The Year for the second year in a row, he joined an elite group of artists to win the honor twice or more from the CMA, which includes Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and Kenny Chesney. Having sold out stadiums all over the country and in Australia and Europe in 2023, he has a good chance of winning the trophy for a third time in a row, which has only been done by Chesney. Garth has the most Entertainer wins of all time from the CMA with seven wins, but not three in a row.

  • Chris Stapleton - Never won Entertainer from CMA

    While Chris has not won the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year, he did win the 2023 Entertainer of the Year honor from the Academy of Country Music in May. When he won, he said he felt he didn’t deserve the honor because of all the talent in the category. There’s a good chance the CMA will repeat Stapletpn’s win for the top honor as he continues to thrive in country music and push the genre to new heights with his songwriting and singing skills, which are hard to match by anyone. His Super Bowl 2023 performance was one of the most talked about National Anthem performances in sports history.

  • Carrie Underwood - Never won Entertainer from CMA

    While Entertainer has eluded Carrie for the CMA, she has won the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year three times, in 2009, 2010, and 2020. in 2009, her first win in the category, actor, and country music lover Matthew McConaughey gave out the honor, when Carrie was nominated against Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Keith Urban, and Brad Paisley. Underwood cried, accepting the award for the first time in her career.

  • Morgan Wallen - Never won Entertainer from CMA

    Morgan has had numbers for record sales, streams and ticket sales that no one else in country music matched in 2023. He sells out three-night stints at stadiums all over the country on his current “One Thing At A Time.” A win for Entertainer for Wallen in 2023 would not be a surprise or an upset of any kind. He could very well be the 2023 CMA’s Entertainer of the Year.

  • Lainey Wilson - First-time CMA Entertainer Nominee

    If we predicted one of the five nominees to win this year, it would be Lainey Wilson. Her year in country music has been epic, and she has worked her tail off to be on top of country music today. Some artists through the years are award nominees, and some are winners; according to the award shows so far in the last few years, Lainey is a winner.

    She told us of getting the Entertainer nod so early in her success, “To be considered for Entertainer of the Year, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, how did that happen?’ But when you think about the amount of shows that we have played this year and last year, we have played a lot. We started playing a club tour at the top of the year. We went out with Luke Combs and did a stadium tour. And we are out on the road with HARDY right now. Every fair and festival in between, we have done it, so with the amount of people we have entertained, then I guess it’s not that crazy.”

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