Garth Brooks Wins Entertainer Of The Year As The 50th CMAs Honor Country Music

Well, it probably won’t happen again for another fifty years.

I’m talking, of course, about a CMA Awards show that (except for one unnecessary Beyoncé moment) actually honored authentic country music during the entire evening. The Country Music Association’s 50th awards were bigger than ever. Anyone who saw the star-studded, “Forever Country” video, which was packed to the gills with the genre’s most significant talents, knew it would be. The show established right from the start that this was going to be a night honoring not just the genre’s current stars, but its past and future – cemented by Garth Brooks coming back strong to take Entertainer of the Year for the first time since 1998.

The evening’s memorable appearances came not only from mainstays like co-host Carrie Underwood, but new artists like winner Maren Morris and living legends like Vince Gill. The moment you saw and heard Vince Gill tackling Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” alongside Haggard’s son Ben, you knew things were going to be okay. As for the awards themselves, there were some big surprises. Eric Church and Brothers Osborne, underdogs in their categories, triumphed with unexpected wins. Chris Stapleton took home the Male Vocalist of the Year award.

CMA Awards 2016: The Complete Winners List (winner in bold)

Entertainer of the Year

  • Garth Brooks
  • Luke Bryan
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

Album of the Year

  • “Hero,” Maren Morris
  • “Mr. Misunderstood,” Eric Church
  • “Storyteller,” Carrie Underwood
  • “Black,” Dierks Bentley
  • “Ripcord,” Keith Urban

Single of the Year

  • “Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett
  • “Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
  • “My Church,” Maren Morris
  • “Nobody to Blame” Chris Stapleton
  • “Record Year,” Eric Church

Song of the Year

  • “Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett
  • “Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
  • “My Church,” Maren Morris
  • “Record Year,” Eric Church
  • “Burning House,” Cam

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Eric Church
  • Tim McGraw
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

New Artist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Maren Morris
  • Old Dominion
  • Cole Swindell

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Old Dominion
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Joey + Rory
  • Maddie & Tae

Musical Event of the Year

    • “Different for Girls,” Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King
    • “Home Alone Tonight,” Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild
    • “The Fighter,” Keith Urban (featuring Carrie Underwood)
    • “Think of You,” Chris Young (duet with Cassadee Pope)
    • “You Are My Sunshine,” Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton

Music Video of the Year

    • “Fire Away,” Chris Stapleton
    • “Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
    • “Record Year,” Eric Church
    • “Somewhere on a Beach,” Dierks Bentley
    • “Burning House,” Cam

Musician of the Year

  • Jerry Douglas (dobro/lap steel guitar)
  • Paul Franklin (steel guitar)
  • Dann Huff (guitar)
  • Brent Mason (guitar)
  • Derek Wells (guitar)

The highlight of the evening: an appearance from Randy Travis, recovering from a stroke, there to add the “Amen” to his quintessential hit “Forever and Ever, Amen.”

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