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Chris Stapleton Takes Four Trophies At 55th Annual CMA Awards

Stapleton was crowned Male Vocalist of the Year, his ‘Starting Over’ Album of the Year and its track ‘Starting Over’ as both Single and Song of the Year.

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Chris Stapleton photo: John Russell/CMA
Chris Stapleton photo: John Russell/CMA

Chris Stapleton was the biggest winner at the 55th CMA Awards last night (10) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Luke Combs won the prestigious CMA Entertainer of the Year award for the first time, and there were double victories for Stapleton’s producer Dave Cobb and mix engineer Vance Powell.

Stapleton’s Starting Over was named Album of the Year and its title track as both Single and Song of the Year (sharing the latter with co-writer Mike Henderson). Stapleton was also crowned Male Vocalist of the Year.

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Brothers Osborne were named Vocal Duo of the Year, with T.J. Osborne proclaiming: “It really does feel like love wins tonight.” Jimmie Allen, who was New Artist of the Year, performed “Freedom Was A Highway” and told the audience that it was a mere five years ago that he spent his last $100 to buy a ticket for the CMAs, to be able to see his hero Charley Pride perform.

Carly Pearce was brought to tears as she won Female Vocalist of the Year for the first time, while Old Dominion won Vocal Group of the Year for the fourth straight year. Before the live broadcast commenced, Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney took Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year for their collaboration “half of my hometown.” Fiddle, mandolin and acoustic guitar player Jenee Fleenor was honored as Musician of the Year.

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“Country Music as an artform has always been about storytelling,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer, “and this year’s CMA Awards broadcast, from performances to acceptance speeches, featured an incredibly wide range of stories – deeply personal stories, unifying stories, and fun and lighthearted stories.

“That is what makes this genre truly special, and we are so proud to have provided a platform for all of the incredible artists featured on this year’s CMA Awards to share their authentic selves with viewers around the globe. There was something poetic about returning to our home at Bridgestone Arena this year, and I am positive that I am not alone in wanting to relive the evening’s many magical moments.”

Highlights among the night’s performances included Miranda Lambert’s career-spanning retrospective of hits and Jennifer Hudson’s CMA Awards debut with “Night Life” and surprise duet with Stapleton of “You Are My Sunshine.” He also gave a stirring rendition of his song “Cold.”

Mickey Guyton was joined by Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards to perform Guyton’s new song “Love My Hair,” Brothers Osborne sang “Younger Me,” Eric Church performed “Heart On Fire,” and Pearce and Ashley McBryde joined forces on “Never Wanted to Be That Girl.” Keith Urban was out in the streets of downtown Nashville to sing “Wild Hearts,” walking down Broadway and into Bridgestone Arena.

The full list of winners is as follows:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Luke Combs

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s)
“Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s)
Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

SONG OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Songwriter(s)
“Starting Over”
Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Carly Pearce

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Chris Stapleton

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Old Dominion

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Brothers Osborne

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s) and Producer(s)
“half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s) and Director(s)
“half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
Director: Patrick Tracy

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jimmie Allen

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