Eric Church, Maren Morris, Luke Combs Lead CMA Awards Winners

Maren Morris. Courtesy ABC

The 54th Annual CMA Awards were celebrated in Nashville tonight, airing live on ABC, and co-hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker.

Eric Church took home his first Entertainer of the Year honor, while Maren Morris earned three trophies, for Female Vocalist of the Year, as well as Single and Song of the Year, for “The Bones.”

Luke Combs earned his second Male Vocalist of the Year honor, and picked up his first Album of the Year honor, for What You See Is What You Get. Meanwhile Morgan Wallen earned New Artist of the Year.

Jimmie Allen honored Charley Pride with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jimmie Allen and Charley Pride. Photo: Courtesy ABC

A full list of honorees is below:

CMA Awards Nominees (winners in RED):

Entertainer of the Year
Eric Church–WINNER
Miranda Lambert
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Luke Combs

Female Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris–WINNER
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year
Eric Church
Luke Combs–WINNER
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion–WINNER
Rascal Flatts

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay–WINNER
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year
Jimmie Allen
Ingrid Andress
Gabby Barrett
Morgan Wallen–WINNER
Carly Pearce

Album of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s) and Producer(s))
Jon Pardi, Heartache Medication (Producers: Bart Butler, Ryan Gore, Jon Pardi)
Ashley McBryde, Never Will (Producers: Jay Joyce, John Peets)
Old Dominion, Old Dominion (Producers: Shane McAnally, Old Dominion)
Miranda Lambert, Wildcard (Producer: Jay Joyce)
Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get (Producer: Scott Moffatt)–WINNER

Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriters)
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Songwriters: Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris (Songwriters: Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz)–WINNER
“Even Though I’m Leaving,” Luke Combs (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt Durrette, Ray Fulcher)
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Randy Montana, Carly Pearce, Jonathan Singleton)
“More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress (Songwriters: Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis, Derek Southerland)

Single of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s))
“I Hope,” Gabby Barrett (Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale; Mix Engineer: Buckley Miller)
“Beer Never Broke My Heart,” Luke Combs (Producer: Scott Moffatt; Mix Engineer: Jim Cooley)
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber (Producer: Dan Smyers; Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano)
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hull, Jay Joyce)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris (Producer: Greg Kurstin; Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin)–WINNER

Musical Event of the Year
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber (Producer: Dan Smyers)
“Be a Light,” Thomas Rhett with Reba McEntire, Lady A, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban (Producer: Dann Huff)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris feat. Hozier (Producer: Greg Kurstin)
“Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” Miranda Lambert with Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack and Elle King (Producer: Jay Joyce)
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Producer: Busbee) — WINNER

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s) and Director(s))
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber (Director: Patrick Tracy)
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Director: Trey Fanjoy) — WINNER
“Homemade,” Jake Owen (Director: Justin Clough)
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Director: Sam Siske)
“Second One to Know,” Chris Stapleton (Director: David Coleman)

Musician of the Year
Jenee Fleenor (Fiddle)–WINNER
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Rob McNelley (Guitar)
Ilya Toshinsky (Guitar)
Derek Wells (Guitar)


Luke Combs. Courtesy ABC

Morgan Wallen. Courtesy ABC

BREAKING: Miranda Lambert, Carly Pearce And Lee Brice Earn Early CMA Wins

Miranda Lambert, Lee Brice, Carly Pearce

Two CMA Award winners were revealed this morning (Nov. 11) on ABC’s Good Morning America, ahead of the live telecast tonight. Carly Pearce and Lee Brice won CMA Musical Event of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now, produced by busbee. Miranda Lambert won CMA Music Video of the Year for “Bluebird,” directed by Trey Fanjoy.

“I Hope You’re Happy Now” is also up for Song of the Year. Lambert leads the nominees tonight with seven nominations, breaking the record for most nominations by a female artist in CMA Awards history with 55 total career nods.

A final performer was also revealed for tonight’s CMA Awards. Country superstar Kelsea Ballerini will take the stage to perform her hit single “hole in the bottle.”

Additionally, hosts Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker will debut an emotional tribute to the late country music icon three-time CMA Awards host Mac Davis, with a performance of his “In the Ghetto.” The song, which the pair recorded last month, will be available on all DSPs at midnight ET, tonight, following their CMA Awards performance.

The 54th Annual CMA Awards airs live tonight from Nashville’s Music City Center (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC.

Chris Stapleton Tops The CountryBreakout Radio Chart

Rising to No. 1 this week on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart is Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over.” Penned by Stapleton and Mike Henderson, this is the title track to his latest album set for release next week (Nov. 13) via Mercury Records.

While Stapleton’s All-American Road Show tour was canceled in 2020, dates have been rescheduled for 2021. Visit for a list of new dates.

This week in 2015, Stapleton won his first CMA Awards for New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album of the Year (Traveler). This year, he is nominated for Male Vocalist Of The Year and Music Video Of The Year for his song “Second One To Know.” The 54th Annual CMA Awards live broadcast will take place Wednesday (Nov. 11) at 7:00 p.m. CST/8:00 p.m. EST on ABC.

Click here to access the latest issue of The MusicRow Weekly.

Country Radio Broadcasters Unveils Agenda Preview For CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience

Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) has revealed details surrounding six sessions scheduled as part of CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience, set for Tuesday, Feb. 16-19. The six panels cover topics including mental health, post-pandemic radio station operations strategies, branding, and talent coaching.

“The CRS Agenda Committee has been working hard to create educational, timely content for CRS attendees regardless of their section of the industry, market size, or employment status,” said CRS 2020-2021 Agenda Committee Chair, Brent Michaels. “Since the last CRS, our world and industry has changed, and we hope to provide anyone who makes the investment in the 2021 seminar, tools to face the consistent challenges of our industry, and to provide content that will lead to success with what we face on the horizon.”

More details on the sessions is below:

‘Til The Wellness Runs Dry: How to Handle the Anxiety of the Music Business: Elizabeth Porter, Founder and President of Entertainment Health Services, explains how anxiety affects us, offering clues to identify workplace triggers while providing tips on how to be the best you for yourself, and others.

PPP: Post-Pandemic Playbook:
An examination of how COVID-19 has affected operations, programming, labels, marketing, and sales, which now requires advanced best-practices for working remotely, revenue strategies, organizational structures, and more.

21 Promotions in ’21: Attendees will receive 21 immediately executable promotions they can utilize to accomplish ratings and revenue goals in the face of reduced personnel, social-distancing, and fewer events.

Talk Data to Me: The authenticity and application of multiple radio callout, consumer research, and streaming data points will be probed, with a tutorial on the merits of each and how to apply all types of data to programming decisions.

Your 24/7 Brand: Radio in 2021 goes far beyond the dial. This session will discuss digital strategies for stations and talent in all market sizes to capitalize on branding, distribution, and content ROI.

TLC: Talent Loving Coaching:
How do PDs and management coach on-air talent in a way that fosters creative freedom, with structure for growth and improvement? Successful PD/Talent combos discuss working relationships and how to accomplish mutual goals.

The expanded, four-day CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience agenda will offer attendees over 14 educational sessions, four morning networking events, three lunchtime performances, four interactive workshops, all-day networking, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, and, for the first time in CRS history, a New Faces of Country Music ticket with every registration. More details surrounding the virtual agenda, including the newly launched Streaming Summit, will be released in the coming weeks and months leading up to CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience.

Early Bird Registration for CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience is now open at $149 per person and will be offered through Nov. 4. The registration rate will increase to $199 on Nov. 5. Registrations are available for purchase at

Weekly Radio Report (10/30/20)

Click here or above to access MusicRow’s weekly CountryBreakout Radio Report.

Reba, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, More To Perform At CMA Awards

Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker are set to co-host this year’s CMA Awards, but they will also take the stage for an emotional tribute performance, the Country Music Association announced Thursday (Oct. 29).

Two-time CMA Awards nominee this year Gabby Barrett will be joined by Charlie Puth, making his CMA Awards debut to perform Barrett’s CMA Single of the Year nominated “I Hope.” Two-time nominee this year Thomas Rhett performs his CMA Musical Event of the Year nominated “Be A Light” alongside McEntire, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin. McEntire will also be joined by Rucker for a collaboration, while Rucker enlists nominees Lady A to perform his new single “Beers & Sunshine.”

With two nominations this year, Eric Church will perform “Hell of a View,” while six-time nominated Luke Combs will perform “Cold As You.” Nominees Florida Georgia Line will perform “Long Live,” while Miranda Lambert, this year’s top nominee with seven nominations, will perform “Settling Down” from her CMA Album of the Year nominated album Wildcard. Reigning CMA New Artist of the Year and three-time nominee this year Ashley McBryde will perform “One Night Standards” from her CMA Album of the Year nominated album Never Will. Maren Morris, a five-time nominee this year, will perform her CMA Single and Song of the Year nominated “The Bones.” And nominees Rascal Flatts will take the stage to perform “Bless the Broken Road.”

Notably, the 54th Annual CMA Awards will mark the first time the biggest names in country music will come together safely, all in one room. The show will broadcast live from Nashville’s Music City Center Wednesday, Nov. 11 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC.

“We are thrilled to have this incredible group of artists taking the stage at the CMA Awards this year! It is a privilege to bring these live performances to our viewing audience with the energy and excitement that the CMA Awards are known for,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “And although the show will feel a bit more intimate this year, we look forward to hosting our nominated artists and their guests as we celebrate the best of country music in a fully safe and physically distant environment. It will be an honor to bring the biggest country stars in the world together – in one room – for the first time this year. You won’t want to miss it!”

The 54th Annual CMA Awards is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer, Alan Carter is the Director and David Wild is the Head Writer.

CMA Broadcast Awards Winners Revealed

Luke Combs surprised radio stations and broadcast personalities Tuesday morning (Oct. 27) with calls to announce the winners of this year’s CMA Broadcast Awards. The 54th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Music City Center on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. CT on ABC.

A full list of winners is below:

“Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One

“Chris Carr & Company” (Chris Carr, Kia Becht and McKaila Granning) – KEEY, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.

“The Big Dave Show (“Big Dave” Chandler, Chelsie Shinkle, Jason Statt and Ashley Hempfling) – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Clay & Company” (Clay Moden, Rob Banks, and Val Townsend) – WYRK, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.

“Officer Don & DeAnn” (“Officer Don” Evans and DeAnn Stephens) – WBUL, Lexington-Fayette, Ky.

KSCS – Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
KNCI – Sacramento, Calif.
WUSY – Chattanooga, Tenn.
WKXC – Augusta, Ga.

The categories are established by market size based on population as ranked by Arbitron. Entries for Broadcast Personality of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement and biographical information. Candidates for Radio Station of the Year are judged on aircheck, ratings, community involvement and format leadership.

CMA members who are full-time, on-air personalities and CMA member radio stations in the United States and Canada were eligible. The entries are judged by a panel of distinguished broadcast professionals, representing all market sizes and regions.

CMA Broadcast Awards winners are not eligible to enter in consecutive years; therefore, those who received trophies in 2019 were not eligible in 2020.

Country Radio Broadcasters To Hold Virtual Country Radio Seminar In 2021

Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc., has announced Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2021: The Virtual Experience, set for Tuesday, Feb. 16-Friday, Feb. 19, adding an extra day of content and a newly-launched Streaming Summit.

Next year’s online-only experience will include educational panels, virtual networking, and workshops. Every registration will include access to the New Faces of Country Music Show, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, and the daily label lunchtime performances.

Kurt Johnson, CRB/CRS Board of Directors President, commented, “While we can’t be together at the Omni, we can still celebrate CRS together online. I look forward to seeing you all there…for CRS 2021!”

Luke Bryan has been confirmed for the annual “CRS Artist Interview,” sponsored by BMI.

Also new for 2021 is the Streaming Summit, which will be held Feb. 16 and will feature industry professionals and platform experts providing insights on trends, strategies, and best practices to optimize digital assets and streaming platforms.

“Now, everybody can come to CRS,” commented CRB Executive Director RJ Curtis. “Our expanded, four-day ‘CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience’ will be an uncompromising event, providing attendees with more than 14 educational sessions, four morning networking events, three lunchtime performances, four interactive workshops, all-day networking, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, and, for the first time in CRS history, a New Faces of Country Music ticket with every registration.”

Early Bird Registration for CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience will open on Oct. 28 at Noon CT / 1 p.m. ET at $149 per person and will be offered through Nov. 4.  The registration rate will increase to $199 on November 5.  All registrations include access to the 2021 New Faces of Country Music Show.

A CRS360 Webinar Session will be held at 11 a.m. (CT) Wednesday, Oct. 28, offering additional details, answering questions, and revealing more content featured at CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience. Only a limited number of slots are available for CRS360 and are based on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for the October installment of CRS360, sign up here. The Country Radio Broadcasters is taking questions in advance of the session. Inquiries must be received by close of the business day on Oct. 27 and can be submitted to [email protected].

Weekly Radio Report (10/23/20)

Click here or above to access MusicRow’s weekly CountryBreakout Radio Report.

DISClaimer Singles Reviews: Lee Brice, Miranda Lambert, Jaden Hamilton, And More

Pictured (clockwise from top left): Lee Brice, Jaden Hamilton, Miranda Lambert

Today, we’re holding on to fading summertime as hard as we can, and as usual country music has the soundtrack.

There’s so much warmth to like here that the Disc of the Day award is being divided into categories. Our Male Vocalist winner is, hands down, Lee Brice. The best Female disc belongs to a reigning queen, Miranda Lambert. The group performance is “Pink,” which combines the talents of five women from multiple genres.

The DISCovery Award goes to Sony newcomer Jaden Hamilton.

Writers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Warner
– Vocally smooth and languid, but produced with punch. The sisters’ harmony is ultra warm and close as they essay this lyric about getting the “goodbye” over with. The relationship is toast, so let’s make the going as painless as possible. Nicely done.

Writers: Jordan Davis/Josh Kerr/Josh Dorr/Paul DiGiovanni; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Paul DiGiovanni; MCA Nashville
– While his single “Almost Maybes” continues to rise on the charts, Davis issues this tuneful, tasteful meditation on keeping love alive. Rhythmic and pleasant.

Writers: Ryan Kinder/Jordan Ostrom/Justin Morgan; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Warner
– This is a fiery male-female duet performance that builds in intensity as it unspools. One person can’t move on if the other person doesn’t hurt as badly. I have always liked this guy’s singing, and he’s just as potent with a harmony partner. Sykamore was discovered and brought to Nashville by Rhett Akins. She’s a winner, and this is definitely worth your spins.

MIRANDA LAMBERT / “Settling Down”
Writers: Miranda Lambert/Luke Dick/Natalie Hemby; Publishers: Sony-ATV Tree/Pink Dog/Emileon/Little Louder/Songs of Kobalt/Songs of Universal/Wrucke For You, BMIl Producer: Jay Joyce; RCA/Vanner
– An awesome, swirling production surrounds this lovely contemplation of a life lived as both a gypsy and a homebody. This lady always rocks my world.

ADAM DOLEAC / “Whiskey’s Fine”
Writers: Adam Doleac/Monty Criswell; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Arista
– I reviewed this song three years ago when he had it out as an independent artist. With a push by Arista, it’s now getting another shot. “Come on in, the whiskey’s fine,” he says to the old flame who knocks on his door in the dead of night. The lyric is sexy and his vocal delivery has passion.

Writers: Erin Kinsey/Jodi Marr/Victoria Shaw; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Victoria Shaw; Brighter Day
– Wilson is a breast-cancer survivor. This stirring, uplifting, all-star anthem looks to a better day when there is a cure, “when pink is just another color.” This disease will affect one in eight women in America. The 12th annual “Opry Goes Pink” show is this Saturday in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It will star Wilson, co-writers Kinsey and Shaw, Lauren Alaina and Little Big Town.

Writers: Robyn Ottolini/Erik Fintelman/Mark Schroor; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Warner
– She’s doing fine, getting over him and moving on with her life. Then she sees the kind of truck he drives and is flooded with memories and regret. The production rushes and crashes around her, then becomes suddenly still. Very effective.

Writers: Clare Dunn/Mark Holman/Connie Harrington; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Clare Dunn; Big Yellow Dog
– She’s one of our finest current singers, and her throaty style is on full display here. The track rocks with plenty of frothing pop energy. It’s awfully hard not to get caught up in the excitement of this celebratory track.

JADEN HAMILTON / “Ain’t That Something”
Writers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Matthew McVaney; Sony
– There’s something kinda warm and intimate in his singing. The overall vibe is a gently rolling Texas/Strait sound with sympathetic fiddle-and-steel-guitar backing. Very promising.

LEE BRICE / “Memory I Don’t Mess With”
Writers: Lee Brice/Brian Davis/Billy Montana; Publishers: none listed; Producers: Kyle Jacobs & Ben Glover; Curb
– What a powerful performance. He’s a mighty, mighty man. Brice depicts the anguish of seeing The One and being overcome with longing and regret that she slipped away from him. He piles ache on ache in this power ballad. It’s yet another master work by this artist.

Writers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Producers: Russell Dickerson, Casey Brown & Dann Huff; Triple Tigers
– It’s a clap-stomp, shout-along party anthem. Rousing and catchy as can be.