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CMA Awards 2021 WINNERS: Chris Stapleton takes home most trophies with 4 and Carly Pearce UPSETS

Chris Stapleton walked away with the most trophies at the 2021 CMA Awards on Wednesday night, but Carly Pearce and Luke Combs also stole the show as well. 

Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the annual event, held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Pearce delivered the most emotional speech of the night after winning Female Vocalist of the Year – in the same year where Carrie Underwood’s amazing 15-year nomination streak in the category was snapped – while Combs pulled off quite the surprise himself by winning the biggest award of the night, Entertainer of the Year.

Show stealer: Chris Stapleton walked away with the most trophies at the 2021 CMA Awards on Wednesday night, but Carly Pearce and Luke Combs also stole the show as well

Big winner: Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the annual event, held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

Big winner: Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the annual event, held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

Emotional: Pearce delivered the most emotional speech of the night after winning Female Vocalist of the Year - in the same year where Carrie Underwood's amazing 15-year nomination streak in the category was snapped

Emotional: Pearce delivered the most emotional speech of the night after winning Female Vocalist of the Year – in the same year where Carrie Underwood’s amazing 15-year nomination streak in the category was snapped

Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson won the first award of the night, presented by host Luke Bryan’s American Idol co-hosts Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

Stapleton and Henderson won for Starting Over, beating out “Forever After All” by Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford, “The Good Ones” by Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick, “Hell Of A View” by Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell and “One Night Standards” by Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde.

Stapleton said in his speech, ‘Uh — wow, okay. Thank you. Thank you very much. So many wonderful songs in here, I’m going to give it over to one of my heroes, Mike Henderson, who I have written more songs with than anybody in Nashville, Tennessee. This man knows how to write songs.’

First winner: Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson won the first award of the night, presented by host Luke Bryan's American Idol co-hosts Lionel Richie and Katy Perry

First winner: Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson won the first award of the night, presented by host Luke Bryan’s American Idol co-hosts Lionel Richie and Katy Perry

Henderson added, ‘When I first got to town, I’d never written a song in my life. And I was lucky. I had guys like Gary Nicholson, Wally Wilson, Kevin Welch and John Hadley, took me under their wings, showed me how to do it. So, guys, this — my part of this belongs to you, too.’

Brothers Osborne won Vocal Duo of the Year, beating out Brooks & Dunn, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line and Maddie & Tae.

‘Oh, my god! I tell you, every time that we have won this award, it has never, ever ceased to be extremely shocking,’ said T.J. Osborne.

Harrison: Henderson added, 'When I first got to town, I'd never written a song in my life. And I was lucky. I had guys like Gary Nicholson, Wally Wilson, Kevin Welch and John Hadley, took me under their wings, showed me how to do it. So, guys, this -- my part of this belongs to you, too'

Harrison: Henderson added, ‘When I first got to town, I’d never written a song in my life. And I was lucky. I had guys like Gary Nicholson, Wally Wilson, Kevin Welch and John Hadley, took me under their wings, showed me how to do it. So, guys, this — my part of this belongs to you, too’

Brothers: Brothers Osborne won Vocal Duo of the Year, beating out Brooks & Dunn, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line and Maddie & Tae

Brothers: Brothers Osborne won Vocal Duo of the Year, beating out Brooks & Dunn, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line and Maddie & Tae

Shocking: 'Oh, my god! I tell you, every time that we have won this award, it has never, ever ceased to be extremely shocking,' said T.J. Osborne

Shocking: ‘Oh, my god! I tell you, every time that we have won this award, it has never, ever ceased to be extremely shocking,’ said T.J. Osborne

‘And honestly, it is so incredible to be here. Thanks to everyone who voted for us. It’s been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me emotionally and to have you all support me — it really does feel like love wins tonight. Thank you,’ he added.

His brother John Osborne told the crowd to, ‘Give this boy a round of applause,’ adding, ‘Thank you so much. We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much. Lucy, I love you to death. It’s an honor to know all of you. We love you. Thank you so much.’ 

Jimmie Allen won the coveted Best New Artist Award, beating out Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton and HARDY, before delivering a heartfelt speech.

Applause: His brother John Osborne told the crowd to, 'Give this boy a round of applause,' adding, 'Thank you so much. We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much. Lucy, I love you to death. It's an honor to know all of you. We love you. Thank you so much'

Applause: His brother John Osborne told the crowd to, ‘Give this boy a round of applause,’ adding, ‘Thank you so much. We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much. Lucy, I love you to death. It’s an honor to know all of you. We love you. Thank you so much’

Jimmie's speech: Jimmie Allen won the coveted Best New Artist Award, beating out Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton and HARDY, before delivering a heartfelt speech

Jimmie’s speech: Jimmie Allen won the coveted Best New Artist Award, beating out Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton and HARDY, before delivering a heartfelt speech

‘First, I want to thank my father, who is no longer with us, for introducing me to country music,’ Allen began.

‘Five years ago, I spent my last $100 and came to the CMA 50th to watch Charley pride perform on stage. And I got to perform with him last year,’ he added.

He went on to thank, ‘everyone who voted for me’ along with his wife, kids, mother and manager Ash Bowers, who found him, playing at a Puckett’s grocery store in Franklin, Tennessee, and signed him.  

Introducing: 'First, I want to thank my father, who is no longer with us, for introducing me to country music,' Allen began

Introducing: ‘First, I want to thank my father, who is no longer with us, for introducing me to country music,’ Allen began

Five years: 'Five years ago, I spent my last $100 and came to the CMA 50th to watch Charley pride perform on stage. And I got to perform with him last year,' he added

Five years: ‘Five years ago, I spent my last $100 and came to the CMA 50th to watch Charley pride perform on stage. And I got to perform with him last year,’ he added

‘After ten years of being here, living in my car, living in the trailer, working every job, this is amazing,’ he added, while thanking his label, PR company, management group, booking agency and his fellow nominees. 

‘Thank you, country music. This is for my hometown in Delaware, I love y’all. Bless you,’ he concluded.

Chris Stapleton won Single of the Year for Starting Over, beating out “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown, “The Good Ones” by Gabby Barrett, “Hell Of A View” by Eric Church and “One Night Standards” by Ashley McBryde, presented by Susan Sarandon.

Hometown: 'Thank you, country music. This is for my hometown in Delaware, I love y'all. Bless you,' he concluded

Hometown: ‘Thank you, country music. This is for my hometown in Delaware, I love y’all. Bless you,’ he concluded

Chris and Susan: Chris Stapleton won Single of the Year for Starting Over, beating out "Famous Friends" by Chris Young and Kane Brown, "The Good Ones" by Gabby Barrett, "Hell Of A View" by Eric Church and "One Night Standards" by Ashley McBryde, presented by Susan Sarandon

Chris and Susan: Chris Stapleton won Single of the Year for Starting Over, beating out “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown, “The Good Ones” by Gabby Barrett, “Hell Of A View” by Eric Church and “One Night Standards” by Ashley McBryde, presented by Susan Sarandon

Stapleton began his speech by stating, ‘I really don’t know what to say. I want to thank the CMAs, my lovely wife, who is always in my corner and helps me get everywhere I need to be and these guys up here, Dave Cobb, Vance Powell, all the guys in the band.’

He also thanked, ‘ everybody at Red Line Management, at Universal that work so hard on these things,’ and ‘everybody out here.’  

Old Dominion took home their fourth win for Best Vocal Group, beating out Lady A, Little Big Town, Midland and Zac Brown Band.

Old Dominion: Old Dominion took home their fourth win for Best Vocal Group, beating out Lady A, Little Big Town, Midland and Zac Brown Band

Old Dominion: Old Dominion took home their fourth win for Best Vocal Group, beating out Lady A, Little Big Town, Midland and Zac Brown Band

‘Isn’t this — isn’t this beautiful, it’s a room full of joy and talent and country music and it’s the arena that we want to be in and we are right here again somehow,’ began Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey.

‘Thank you for this. We have such an amazing team, our management, Morris Hayam, RCA at one point in this year. What is happening, I don’t know. The first time was — the first time was a shock — I don’t know,’ he added.

‘This is really special to be able to stand up here another year and be rewarded for what we absolutely love to do. I hope that at some point you out there believe in something and chase after it and are rewarded in the way that we have been. Thank you guys so much for this. Unbelievable,’ he concluded.

Beautiful: 'Isn't this -- isn't this beautiful, it's a room full of joy and talent and country music and it's the arena that we want to be in and we are right here again somehow,' began Old Dominion's Matthew Ramsey

Beautiful: ‘Isn’t this — isn’t this beautiful, it’s a room full of joy and talent and country music and it’s the arena that we want to be in and we are right here again somehow,’ began Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey

Chris Stapleton took home his third award of the night by taking home Album of the Year for Starting Over.

He beat out 29 by Carly Pearce Dangerous: The Double Album by Morgan Wallen, Heart by Eric Church and Skeletons by Brothers Osborne.

‘Okay. I want to say thank you to my wife again, who we can’t do this, you know, I can’t do this without her, ever,’ Stapleton began.

Third: Chris Stapleton took home his third award of the night by taking home Album of the Year for Starting Over

Third: Chris Stapleton took home his third award of the night by taking home Album of the Year for Starting Over 

‘And I want to say thank you to everybody that listened to the record. Everybody that listens to music, you know, like — country music fans and I want to thank everybody in this category, there was a lot of great records in this category and it’s always an honor to receive the album of the year,’ he added.

‘We work really hard to make — to make albums, we believe in albums and we like what that is. Thank you, CMAs, thank you, everybody. Thank you so much,’ he concluded. 

For the first time in 15 years, Carrie Underwood wasn’t nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, with Carly Pearce taking home the award for the first time.

First win: For the first time in 15 years, Carrie Underwood wasn't nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, with Carly Pearce taking home the award for the first time

First win: For the first time in 15 years, Carrie Underwood wasn’t nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, with Carly Pearce taking home the award for the first time

She beat out Gabby Barrett, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris for the award, as she seemed stunned to win, barely moving when her name was announced.

When she took to the stage she was overcome with emotions, stating, ‘I really didn’t think this was going to happen’ as she broke down, while one of her fellow nominees Ashley McBryde took to the stage to help her out.

‘What she meant to say was — there’s a lot of love, respect and admiration in this category,’ McBryde said, before giving the stage back to Pearce.

Help: When she took to the stage she was overcome with emotions, stating, 'I really didn't think this was going to happen' as she broke down, while one of her fellow nominees Ashley McBryde took to the stage to help her out

Help: When she took to the stage she was overcome with emotions, stating, ‘I really didn’t think this was going to happen’ as she broke down, while one of her fellow nominees Ashley McBryde took to the stage to help her out

Stage: 'What she meant to say was -- there's a lot of love, respect and admiration in this category,' McBryde said, before giving the stage back to Pearce

Stage: ‘What she meant to say was — there’s a lot of love, respect and admiration in this category,’ McBryde said, before giving the stage back to Pearce

‘I want to thank God. I want to thank my record label, Big Machine Records Clint, Kyle Quigley, Jake Bason, Holly Gleason, Mark, I know you’re out there,’ she added.

‘I’ve had just a crazy year and I want you to know that this means everything to me. Country music saved me at a time that I needed it and this is all  I’ve ever wanted in the entire world and I just hope you know that country music is all I love, so thank you so much,’ she concluded.

Chris Stapleton continued his amazing run with his fourth CMA win of the night by taking home Male Vocalist of the Year, beating out Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett.

Thanks: 'I want to thank God. I want to thank my record label, Big Machine Records Clint, Kyle Quigley, Jake Bason, Holly Gleason, Mark, I know you're out there,' she added

Thanks: ‘I want to thank God. I want to thank my record label, Big Machine Records Clint, Kyle Quigley, Jake Bason, Holly Gleason, Mark, I know you’re out there,’ she added

Crazy year: 'I've had just a crazy year and I want you to know that this means everything to me. Country music saved me at a time that I needed it and this is all I've ever wanted in the entire world and I just hope you know that country music is all I love, so thank you so much,' she concluded

Crazy year: ‘I’ve had just a crazy year and I want you to know that this means everything to me. Country music saved me at a time that I needed it and this is all I’ve ever wanted in the entire world and I just hope you know that country music is all I love, so thank you so much,’ she concluded

‘Well, man, amazing. Amazing. I — all the guys in this category, you know, they — a lot of them took me on the road and some of them — Luke, I loved that song you just played, man, it was killer,’ Stapleton began. 

‘I — I don’t know what to say. I’m running out of words. What an amazing night. How great it is to see all your faces. Thank you to the fans. Thank you to all the crew, I’m going to run out of time, I guess, but all the folks that carry us on the road and keep us there safe and I want to thank my mom, my brother and my sister and my kids who have to put up with me being gone a little bit. So, this is for my kids. Thank you,’ Stapleton concluded.

Luke Combs surprised practically all of Nashville, with his first win of the night the biggest, taking home Entertainer of the Year over Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood, presented by country legend Alan Jackson.

Amazing: 'Well, man, amazing. Amazing. I -- all the guys in this category, you know, they -- a lot of them took me on the road and some of them -- Luke, I loved that song you just played, man, it was killer,' Stapleton began

Amazing: ‘Well, man, amazing. Amazing. I — all the guys in this category, you know, they — a lot of them took me on the road and some of them — Luke, I loved that song you just played, man, it was killer,’ Stapleton began

Surprise: Luke Combs surprised practically all of Nashville, with his first win of the night the biggest, taking home Entertainer of the Year over Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood, presented by country legend Alan Jackson

Surprise: Luke Combs surprised practically all of Nashville, with his first win of the night the biggest, taking home Entertainer of the Year over Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood, presented by country legend Alan Jackson

‘I’m really kinda at a loss for words. Alan Jackson said my name twice just now, but I honestly don’t know what to say. I have never written a speech for something like this, which is not serving me very well right now. I just want to thank everybody in this room – the fans, every artist in this room. Every single person who has been nominated for this award deserves to win this. I don’t deserve to win it, but I’m sure as hell glad that I did.’

Two of the awards were announced before the live telecast started from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year, both won by Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney.

Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney won Musical Event of the Year for their song “half of my hometown,” beating out “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan, “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” by Elle King and Miranda Lambert and “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown.   

Ballerini and Chesney beat out “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris, “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown, “Gone” by Dierks Bentley and  “Younger Me” by Brothers Osborne.

Loss: 'I'm really kinda at a loss for words. Alan Jackson said my name twice just now, but I honestly don't know what to say

Loss: ‘I’m really kinda at a loss for words. Alan Jackson said my name twice just now, but I honestly don’t know what to say

Two wins: Two of the awards were announced before the live telecast started from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year, both won by Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney

Two wins: Two of the awards were announced before the live telecast started from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year, both won by Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney

Dual wins: Ballerini and Chesney beat out "Chasing After You" by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris, "Famous Friends" by Chris Young and Kane Brown, "Gone" by Dierks Bentley and "Younger Me" by Brothers Osborne

Dual wins: Ballerini and Chesney beat out “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris, “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown, “Gone” by Dierks Bentley and “Younger Me” by Brothers Osborne

2021 Country Music Awards: WINNERS

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR 

Eric Church

Luke Combs – WINNER

Miranda Lambert

Chris Stapleton

Carrie Underwood

Eric Church has five nominations

Eric Church has five nominations

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR 

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton – WINNER

Chris Stapleton is up for five

Chris Stapleton is up for five

 

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR  

Brooks & Dunn

Brothers Osborne – WINNER

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

Brooks & Dunn is up for Vocal Duo Of The Year

Brooks & Dunn is up for Vocal Duo Of The Year

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR 

29, Carly Pearce

Dangerous: The Double Album, Morgan Wallen

Heart, Eric Church

Skeletons, Brothers Osborne

Starting Over, Chris Stapleton – WINNER 

Carly Pearce is nominated for Album Of The Year and for Female Vocalist Of The Year

Carly Pearce is nominated for Album Of The Year and for Female Vocalist Of The Year

 

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR 

“Buy Dirt,” Jordan Davis, Luke Bryan

“Chasing After You,” Ryan Hurd, Maren Morris

“Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” Elle King, Miranda Lambert

“Famous Friends,” Chris Young, Kane Brown

WINNER: “half of my hometown,” Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney

Fiddle player Jenee Fleenor is up for Musician Of The Year

Fiddle player Jenee Fleenor is up for Musician Of The Year

 

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 

Jenee Fleenor – WINNER

Paul Franklin

Aaron Sterling

Ilya Toshinskiy

Derek Wells

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR 

Gabby Barrett

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Maren Morris

Carly Pearce – WINNER

Miranda Lambert earned four nods

Miranda Lambert earned four nods

 

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR 

Lady A

Little Big Town

Midland

Old Dominion – WINNER

Zac Brown Band

Old Dominion is nominated for Vocal Group Of The Year

Old Dominion is nominated for Vocal Group Of The Year

 

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR 

Jimmie Allen – WINNER

Ingrid Andress

Gabby Barrett

Mickey Guyton

HARDY

Jimmie Allen is nominated for Best New Artist

Jimmie Allen is nominated for Best New Artist

 

SINGLE OF THE YEAR 

“Famous Friends,” Chris Young, Kane Brown

“The Good Ones,” Gabby Barrett

“Hell Of A View,” Eric Church

“One Night Standards,” Ashley McBryde

Starting Over,” Chris Stapleton – WINNER

Kane Brown and Chris Young's collab Famous Friends is up for Single Of The Year, Music Video Of The Year, and Musical Event Of The Year

Kane Brown and Chris Young’s collab Famous Friends is up for Single Of The Year, Music Video Of The Year, and Musical Event Of The Year

 

Song of the Year

“Forever After All,” Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford

“The Good Ones,” Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick

“Hell Of A View,” Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell

“One Night Standards,” Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde

“Starting Over,” Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton – WINNER

Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney's half of my hometown won Music Video Of The Year and Musical Event Of The Year

Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney’s half of my hometown won Music Video Of The Year and Musical Event Of The Year

 

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

“Chasing After You,” Ryan Hurd, Maren Morris

“Famous Friends,” Chris Young, Kane Brown

“Gone,” Dierks Bentley

“Younger Me,” Brothers Osborne

WINNER: “half of my hometown,” Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney 

 

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