Home / Music News / CMA Preview 2016: A Crash Course in the 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards

 

Tonight, it’s the 50th Annual CMA Awards, and anything could happen! For the first time in memory, the Country Music Association has closed rehearsals, building the excitement toward tonight’s historic show, even keeping the line blurred as to who among the considerable roster of stars will present, and who will perform.

Current stars are expected to forego promoting their upcoming albums and present-day hits in favor of paying tribute to heritage artists. Set to take the stage tonight are: AlabamaJason AldeanKelsea BalleriniDierks BentleyClint BlackGarth BrooksTrisha YearwoodBrooks & DunnLuke BryanCamEric ChurchRoy ClarkCharlie DanielsRandy TravisFlorida Georgia LineVince GillAlan JacksonElle KingMiranda LambertLittle Big TownMartina McBrideTim McGrawMaren MorrisKacey MusgravesJennifer NettlesBrad PaisleyPentatonixCharley PrideThomas RhettRebaRicky SkaggsGeorge StraitChris StapletonCole SwindellCarrie UnderwoodKeith Urban and Dwight YoakamDan+Shay will pass out the pre-televised awards.

Hall of Famers Bill AndersonBrenda LeeBarbara Mandrell, and The Oak Ridge Boys will appear, as well as past winner Lee Greenwood and 1974 Female Vocalist of the Year Olivia Newton-JohnJennifer GarnerMatthew McConaugheySharon Stone, and Lily Tomlin will represent Hollywood, with Once Upon a Time’s Josh Dallas and The Goldbergs’ Wendi McLendon-Covey and Hayley Orrantia also set to read the teleprompter. 

NFL legend Peyton Manning, Olympic gymnasts Simone BilesGabby DouglasLaurie HernandezMadison Kocian, and Aly Raisman, plus ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit and Samantha Ponder will represent the sports world.

Here’s the complete list of the nominees for The 50th Annual CMA Awards, which air live tonight from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC:

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 Blam,e” 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)

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