Review: ‘Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story,’ starring Cyntoia Brown, Ellenette Brown, Kathryn Evans Sinback, Paul Bruno, Charles Bone and Georgina Mitchell

April 29, 2020

by Carla Hay

Cyntoia Brown and Charles Bone in “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story”

Directed by Daniel H. Birman

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in Tennessee, this true-crime documentary tells the story of biracial Cyntoia Brown, who was adopted by a working-class black family; was convicted in 2006 of murdering a prostitution customer when she was a teenager; and spent years in a legal system of white prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and psychiatrists.

Culture Clash: Brown and her lawyers filed appeals over the years to have her life sentence reduced, because she claimed that she killed out of self-defense and that she should not have been tried as an adult because the killing happened when she was 16.

Culture Audience: “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” will appeal mostly to people interested in true-crime cases that explore issues over how different legal standards should or should not be applied to criminal defendants who are under the age of 18.

Kathryn Evans Sinback and Cyntoia Brown in “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Filmed from 2004 to 2019, the true-crime documentary “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” (directed by Daniel H. Birman) makes it clear from the start that it’s on the side of Nashville native Cyntoia Brown. She shot a man to death in 2004, when she was 16, and was convicted of first-degree murder two years later. Brown claimed the killing was in self-defense.

Her case and its final outcome have received a lot of media attention, so there’s really not much suspense in watching this film, which chronicles her 15-year saga to have her life-in-prison sentence reduced. (And if people don’t know the final outcome of the case, the title of this documentary pretty much gives it away.)

The film (which unfolds in chronological order) includes interview footage from the beginning of Brown’s case in 2004, when she was arrested for murdering real-estate agent Johnny Allen, who hired her for a prostitution encounter in his home. Allen was shot in the back of his head, while lying in bed with his hands clasped in front of him. Brown said she shot him because he threatened her, and she has never wavered from that story in her legal proceedings.

The beginning of the film shows Brown interviewed in juvenile detention, while awaiting trial. The main source of contention in her case was the sentencing she faced if found guilty. Under Tennessee law at the time, an underage person convicted of first-degree murder would get either a prison sentence of life without parole or a prison sentence of 60 years with the possibility of parole after 51 years.

Kathryn Evans Sinback, who was a defense-attorney advocate for Brown from the beginning, fought vigorously to prevent Brown from being transferred from juvenile detention to an adult jail. She lost that battle, but the documentary shows how the psychiatric evaluations of Brown were crucial to her defense. As Evans Sinback says in the film, “My job is to show the judge that Cyntoia is worth saving.” Evans Sinback, who at the time had to represent juveniles in the juvenile court system, was removed from the case when Cyntoia was transferred to the adult court system.

With a lot of up-close access, the documentary shows Brown’s evaluation sessions with forensic psychiatrist William Bernet and forensic psychologist James Walker in the months before she goes to trial. One of her meetings with Walker includes a Robert’s Apperception Test, where a patient is shown a drawing or a picture and asked to tell what they think is the story behind the picture. Her stories, as shown in the film, involve a lot of negative thoughts about betrayal and mistrust.

The teenage Cyntoia Brown reveals in these evaluation sessions that mood swings are very common for her and that she gets angry when she thinks people are trying to control her or tell her what to do. Viewers also are taken inside the meetings that the defense lawyers have to prepare for the trial, which include discussing with Bernet and Walker the results of Brown’s psychiatric evaluations.

Both doctors say that Brown was a very troubled person, with a mindset full of chaos, anger and paranoia. The consensus was that Brown has a serious personality disorder that required therapy in a residential program. But she was on trial for first-degree murder, and this wasn’t a charge that she could get off the hook for with a light sentence.

How did Brown end up in this mess? Although it’s already been covered in her trial and in the media reports about the case, the documentary shows that Brown had a very dysfunctional background. Her biological mother, Georgina Mitchell, came from a family with a history of alcoholism, mental illness and suicidal acts. Mitchell, who also spent time in prison, got pregnant with Cyntoia at the age of 16.

In the documentary, Mitchell says that she abused alcohol, marijuana and crack cocaine during the pregnancy. She eventually gave up custody of Cyntoia, because she said she couldn’t handle being a single mother. While still a toddler, Cyntoia was fostered and later adopted by Ellenette Brown (a teacher) and Thomas Brown (a truck driver), who is not interviewed or mentioned in the documentary. It’s implied that Ellenette and Thomas Brown eventually got divorced.

The documentary shows that Mitchell didn’t come back into Cyntoia’s life until after Cyntoia was arrested. Part of the reason was because the defense needed information about Cyntoia’s biological family background to explain why Cyntoia turned out the way that she did. The film also shows Mitchell visiting with her own mother, Joan Warren, because Mitchell says that she wants prove to the filmmakers how “crazy” her mother is and how her mother knows how to “push her buttons.” The two women don’t get into any big arguments on camera, but it’s clear that they have a very tension-filled relationship.

Ellenette, the quintessential fiercely loyal mother, says in the documentary that Cyntoia began to rebel as a teenager. She was expelled from public school, and she was enrolled in an alternative school, where she ran away. Cyntoia eventually dropped out of school, and moved out of her parents’ home. In documentary interviews, Cyntoia admits to being a rebellious drug abuser in her teen years and that she sought the wrong kind of attention, particularly from men.

By the time she was 16 years old, when the crime happened, Cyntoia was living in a motel with what she describes in the documentary as her boyfriend-turned-pimp Gary McGlothen, also known as Kut-Throat or Kut, where they would spend most of their time “getting high and having sex.” Cyntoia says that he pressured her to start prostituting herself, which led to her encounter with Allen, who picked her up from the street and took her back to his place.

According to Cyntoia, it was very unusual for her to go to a customer’s home for a prostitution job, since most of what she did as a prostitute took place in motels. She claims that during the encounter with Allen, she was very nervous because no one else knew that she was there, and he intimidated her because he seemed to be very controlling. She says she got even more frightened when he showed her his guns, but she wasn’t frightened enough to leave, because she was hoping he would fall asleep.

And at one point, when they were in bed together, she claims that Allen reached for what she thought was one of his guns, and that’s when she shot him with a gun that she kept in her purse. Courtroom footage shows that assistant district attorneys Jeff Burke and Lisa A. Naylor put a lot of emphasis on the fact that Allen was shot in the back of the head and then robbed by Cyntoia, as proof that it was first-degree murder. Although Cyntoia never denied that she killed Allen, she and her attorneys couldn’t convince a jury that she acted in self-defense. The jury came back with the guilty verdict in just six hours.

One of the core issues of Cyntoia Brown’s appeals in her case was whether or not Tennessee’s laws were too harsh in how juveniles were judged and sentenced in first-degree murder trials. The documentary also mentions that at the time she was convicted of murder, underage children involved in prostitution were treated the same as adults accused of the same crimes, but the law was eventually changed to classify underage children involved in prostitution as victims of child sexual abuse and/or sex trafficking.

The documentary moves along at a deliberate and meticulous pace, showing the dates and locations of each segment of footage. A great deal of time is devoted to courtroom footage (cameras were allowed in the trial, appeals and parole hearings), as well as interviews with the defense attorneys that Cyntoia has had over the years. In addition to Evans Sinback, Cyntoia’s other defense attorneys who are interviewed include Wendy Tucker and Rich McGee (who were the defense attorneys during the trial) and post-trial attorneys Paul Bruno, Charles Bone and J. Houston Gordon.

One of the major arguments in the defense’s appeal was that Cyntoia’s criminal actions were largely because she had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), due to her biological mother’s abuse of alcohol while she was pregnant with Cyntoia. Studies have shown that FASD negatively affects judgment, and a high percentage of criminals have FASD. Cyntoia’s defense attorneys argued that this was crucial evidence that should have been introduced in her trial.

The documentary includes footage of forensic and criminal psychiatrist Richard Adler testifying during Cyntoia’s appeal that he examined her in 2011 and determined that she had FASD. The state of Tennessee countered with the argument that there was no medical proof (only the word of Cyntoia’s biological mother Mitchell) that Cyntoia was born with damaged health due to Mitchell’s alcohol abuse during the pregnancy.

If the conviction couldn’t be overturned, the defense team had the goal to get Cyntoia’s sentence reduced. The defense argued that Cyntoia, who had gotten a college education in prison, was a model prisoner who had greatly matured and had turned her life around. Cyntoia, her lawyers and many of her other supporters said that she was an example of someone who was rehabilitated and worthy of being let out of prison so that she could be a productive member of society.

A series of occurrences converged to create the circumstances that led to the final outcome of the case. First, and perhaps most importantly, after years of being locked up in prison, Cyntoia’s case got international media attention in 2017, when pop star Rihanna started a social-media campaign to get Cyntoia out of prison. The hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown went viral, and other celebrities began publicly supporting the cause, including rapper T.I. and reality TV star Kim Kardashian. These celebrity endorsements were the game-changing catalyst for the case moving forward.

Secondly, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was leaving office in 2019. He was under pressure to give Cyntoia Brown clemency, as a good-will gesture before leaving office. Whichever side you’re on, the documentary makes it clear that Haslam’s decision had a lot to do with the timing of him leaving office. It’s up to viewers to decide whether or not Haslam’s decision was a political strategy for any future career ambitions he might have.

And what about the dead victim in all of this focus on Cyntoia? The documentary gives less than two minutes of screen time to show Anna Whaley, a family friend of Allen’s, speaking at Cyntoia’s final parole hearing. Whaley says about Cyntoia: “I hope sincerely that God has transformed her life.” She adds, “Johnny’s life mattered.” It’s the only time that the documentary tries to portray Allen as a human being who had a life worth living.

Although the documentary is undoubtedly sympathetic to Cyntoia, it’s clear that her case greatly benefited from celebrities who endorsed her. And although it’s not mentioned at all in the film, you also have to wonder if a lot of people would have cared as much if Cyntoia weren’t an attractive, photogenic young woman. Preston Shipp, a former Tennessee appellate prosecutor who changed his mind about Cyntoia serving out her life sentence and testified on her behalf during a parole hearing, seems to almost have a mild crush on her, by calling her “luminous” in his testimony.

The reality is that for every Cyntoia Brown, there are numerous other people in similar circumstances who don’t have the benefit of media attention or celebrity advocates for their cases. The media and celebrity attention definitely fast-tracked the final outcome of the Cyntoia Brown case. Otherwise, she would probably still be in prison, and director Birman would still be filming this documentary.

Although “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” rightfully gives credit to the defense team that didn’t give up, the documentary could have been a little more honest (and more interesting) if it explored how celebrity connections to fame, power and wealth can profoundly affect the outcome of a criminal case. In that respect, Cyntoia Brown isn’t quite the underdog that the documentary wants her to be by the end of the film.

Netflix premiered “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” on April 29, 2020.

2020 ACM Awards: postponed show moves from Las Vegas to Nashville

April 27, 2020

ACM Awards

The following is a press release from the Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions:

The Academy of Country Music® and Dick Clark Productions announced today that the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will take place in Nashville, TN for the first time in the show’s 55-year history. In an unprecedented move, the 55th ACM AWARDS® will be the first awards show to broadcast from three iconic Country Music venues including the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. The announcement was made this morning during Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s daily press conference. Hosted by reigning ACM® Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM Award winner Keith Urban, the 55th ACM Awards will be broadcast on Wednesday, September 16 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and will stream live and on demand on CBS All Access.

“While we were disappointed to postpone our April show in Las Vegas, we couldn’t be more thrilled to host the rescheduled 55th ACM Awards in the home of Country Music for the first time in the Academy’s history,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “First and foremost, we want to ensure the safety of our artists and industry, and to ease the burdens of traveling large teams; therefore, we decided to bring the ACM Awards to them this September in Nashville. Now, more than ever, is the time to bring our community together to honor the best in our genre, and there is no more special place to do that than three of the most revered venues in Country Music – The Grand Ole Opry House, The Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. A huge thank you to these historic venues and to the state of Tennessee and city of Nashville for all of the support in making this a reality!”

“Tennessee is honored to be a part of this historic event,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “Showcasing the talent and musical heritage of our state is always a source of pride, and it couldn’t be more valuable than this year. On behalf of all Tennesseans, I want to thank the Academy of Country Music for bringing this event home.”

“Country music has been our voice and our companion through so many difficult times and now it is our comfort as we confront and defeat the coronavirus,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “I’m excited to join country music fans worldwide to celebrate with the Academy of Country Music and artists that uplift and inspire us all in these extraordinary times. And I look forward to the day when we can safely welcome visitors back to enjoy all that Music City has to offer, including over 160 live entertainment venues with the best country music shows in the world.”

“We are delighted to host the 55th ACM Awards and make history alongside the Academy of Country Music as the show comes to Nashville for the first time,” said Scott Bailey, President of Opry Entertainment Group. “We look forward to sharing this moment with our friends at The Bluebird Cafe and are pleased that fans will have the opportunity to experience the most famous stages in country music in such a unique way.”

As always, the health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners is of the utmost importance. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will continue to be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by dick clark productions and the Academy of Country Music.

The 55th ACM Awards, honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music, will feature exciting performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more to be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

As previously announced, the 55TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS was originally scheduled to air on Sunday, April 5 and was postponed due to COVID-19. ACM Lifting Lives® the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, created the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to assist individuals working in the Country Music industry who are suffering a financial crisis as a result of the pandemic. Since April 1, the Fund has contributed $1.4 million thanks to the generous support of the Academy’s corporate sponsors FirstNet, Built with AT&T, Amazon Music and other individuals. For more information about the Fund or to donate, visit ACMLiftingLives.org.

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards™ is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will broadcast LIVE on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on-demand on CBS All Access. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Amy Thurlow are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

Carrie Underwood announces she will no longer host the CMA Awards

December 30, 2019

by Carla Hay

Carrie Underwood at the 53rd Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Carrie Underwood decided to end 2019 with a surprising announcement: After 12 consecutive years of being a host of the Country Music Association Awards (which is televised in the U.S. on ABC), she will no longer emcee the show. Underwood began her CMA Awards hosting stint in 2008, with Brad Paisley as her co-host. Paisley co-hosted the show with Underwood until 2018. In 2019, Underwood hosted the show with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.

On December 30, 2019, Underwood posted an Instagram message that read: “One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career was being on stage with the legends that are Reba and Dolly. I’m so proud that we could celebrate the incredible female artists that are part of the legacy of country music, past present and future, and I’m thankful for the huge audiences all over the world that tuned in to see it. It’s hard to believe that it was my 12th year hosting and I will always treasure every show, from the 11 that I was so lucky to do with my partner in crime and friend for life, Brad Paisley, to sharing the stage with two of my all-time heroes. I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone involved with the CMA Awards all these years. It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do. I’ve got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.”

The Country Music Association responded Twitter: “We love you, Carrie! You’ll always be family to us. Thanks for 12 amazing years hosting the #CMAawards. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond to help spread Country Music to fans around the world!”

Underwood has won nine CMA Awards so far, including five for Female Vocalist of the Year. Although she won the CMA Chairman’s Award in 2016, she has yet to win the top CMA prize of Entertainer of the Year, which she has been nominated for twice so far: in 2016 and in 2019. In 2019, she was nominated for three CMA Awards but didn’t win any.

Underwood ‘s first book, “Find Your Path,” will be published by Dey Street Books on March 3, 2020.

2019 CMA Awards: Garth Brooks, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson and more added to lineup of perfomers

October 29, 2019

The following is a press release from the CMA Awards and ABC:

“The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” has announced additional performances and collaborations by Kelsea Ballerini, Brooks & Dunn with Brothers Osborne, Garth Brooks with Blake Shelton, Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson, Lady Antebellum and Halsey, Old Dominion, Blake Shelton, and Thomas Rhett. Country Music’s Biggest Night(TM), hosted by Carrie Underwood with special guest hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, airs live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13 (8:00 -11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.

Brooks & Dunn, an 18-time CMA Awards winner and two-time nominee this year, will perform their hit song “Hard Workin’ Man” with Brothers Osborne, the reigning Vocal Duo of the Year and four-time nominee this year. Brooks & Dunn are also recent inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Garth Brooks, an Entertainer of the Year nominee this year, and Blake Shelton, a three-time nominee this year, will perform their CMA Musical Event of the Year nominated hit, “Dive Bar.”

Three-time nominee this year, Musgraves, welcomes long-time friend and 10-time CMA Awards winner Nelson to the CMA stage to perform a heartwarming collaboration that fans will soon see has been decades in the making. Nelson last performed on the CMA Awards stage in 2012 in honor of receiving the inaugural CMA Lifetime Achievement Award. In a never-before-seen collaboration, Halsey makes her first-ever CMA Awards appearance, joining six-time CMA Awards winner Lady Antebellum to perform a genre-defying mashup.

Female Vocalist of the Year nominee this year, Ballerini is set to perform her latest hit single “homecoming queen?,” while Dan + Shay, a three-time nominee this year, will perform “Speechless” from their CMA Album of the Year nominated album “Dan + Shay.” Old Dominion, reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year and nominee again this year in the category, will bring their hit “One Man Band” to the CMA Awards stage, while Thomas Rhett, a two-time nominee this year, will perform “Remember You Young” from his CMA Album of the Year nominated album “Center Point Road.” In addition to his performance with Brooks, Shelton will also hit the stage to perform his three-time nominated single “God’s Country.”

Previously announced performers include Eric Church, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Maren Morris, Dolly Parton with for KING & COUNTRY and Zach Williams, P!NK and Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Additional performers and presenters will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer; Alex Rudzinski is the director, and David Wild is the head writer.

For more information on “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards,” please visit CMAawards.com and follow CMA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fans can listen to music featuring the CMA Awards nominees and performers on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Vevo and YouTube. To celebrate “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards,” the official merchandise line featuring tees, sweatshirts and other gifts is now available online. Fans can order by Tuesday, Nov. 5, to receive before the show. Merchandise will also be sold on-site at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

About CMA Awards

The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”

November 4, 2019 UPDATE: Radio and TV personality Bobby Bones, country artist Blanco Brown, ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars'” Hannah Brown, country artist Deana Carter, actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth, country artist Janie Fricke, actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan; country artists Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, Midland and Craig Morgan; artist and actress Jennifer Nettles; “Riverdale”‘s Madelaine Petsch; actor, comedian and writer J.B. Smoove; and country artists Pam Tillis, Morgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood are set to present at “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards.”

November 6, 2019 UPDATE: The Country Music Association has revealed its 2019 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient—iconic country music star Kris Kristofferson. A special tribute is planned during “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards,” featuring a not-to-be-missed performance of Kristofferson’s classic “Me & Bobby McGee” by Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne.

November 7, 2019 UPDATE: Women in Country Music will unite for a historic, not-to-be-missed opening performance at “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards.” The groundbreaking number led by Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton will also feature Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen (comprised of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires), Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson, each performing iconic country songs for a monumental decades-spanning medley never before seen.

Country Music’s Biggest Night will also see Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Runaway June join together for an epic performance of a recent CMA Song of the Year and CMA Single of the Year for what’s sure to be one of the night’s most-talked-about performances.

November 13, 2019 UPDATE:  “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” has announced additional performers and presenters to its previously announced lineup. Joe Walsh joins Dierks Bentley alongside Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne for a special performance honoring Kris Kristofferson, the 2019 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Additional presenters include country artists Jimmie Allen and Cody Johnson, “Good Morning America” contributor Lara Spencer, musician Joe Walsh, and actress and producer Reese Witherspoon. Visit CMAawards.com/performers-presenters for a full list of CMA Awards performers and presenters.

Country artists Carly Pearce and Michael Ray will host the CMA Awards pre-telecast, where CMA Musician of the Year will be presented to the winner. In addition, the CMA Music Video of the Year and CMA Musical Event of the Year winners will be recapped, having been announced November 13, live on “Good Morning America.” The CMA Broadcast Awards winners will also be recognized during the pre-telecast.

2019 CMA Awards: Maren Morris is the top nominee

August 28, 2019

Maren Morris
Maren Morris (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Fox)

The following is a press release from the Country Music Association and ABC:

The Country Music Association has announced the final nominees for “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards,” as Maren Morris tops the list of finalists with six nominations. Brothers Osborne receives four nominations, the second most nominations this year; while 11 garner three nominations each— Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Scott Hendricks, Dann Huff, Greg Kurstin, Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood. For the night’s highest honor, reigning Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban is nominated again in the category, alongside Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood.Jimmie Allen and Ashley McBryde revealed select nominees on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today, live from their Times Square studio in New York, followed by a performance of “If I Know Me” by Morgan Wallen.

Immediately following the broadcast, Wallen and Midland visited Billboard‘s Times Square studio to reveal the remaining eight CMA Awards categories in addition to the CMA Broadcast Awards finalists on Billboard‘s Twitter and YouTube, as well as CMA’s Twitter and YouTube.“This year, we have the privilege of honoring Country legends, new and emerging talent and even artists from outside our genre,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer. “The breadth of Country Music’s landscape is evident in this year’s nominations, and we can’t wait to celebrate our deserving nominees in November.”

MAREN MORRIS – SIX NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“GIRL”), Album of the Year (“GIRL”), Song of the Year (“GIRL”), Female Vocalist of the Year, Musical Event of the Year (“All My Favorite People”), Music Video of the Year (“GIRL”)Morris tops this year’s CMA Awards nominations with six, adding to her previous 10 nominations and one win. She scores her fourth nomination for Female Vocalist and third nomination in Musical Event of the Year for “All My Favorite People,” featuring Brothers Osborne, produced by Morris and busbee. This marks her second nomination in four categories – Single, Album, Song and Music Video of the Year. “GIRL” was written by Morris and first-time nominees Sarah Aarons and Greg Kurstin. The single was also mixed and produced by Kurstin. The album was produced by busbee, Morris and Kurstin. First-time nominee Dave Meyers directed the music video for “GIRL.”

BROTHERS OSBORNE – FOUR NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“Burning Man”), Vocal Duo of the Year, Musical Event of the Year (“All My Favorite People”), Music Video of the Year (“Burning Man”)The reigning CMA Vocal Duo of the Year returns to this year’s ballot vying for the title for the fifth consecutive year – a trophy they’ve claimed for the last three years. This marks the brothers’ first nomination for Single and second nod for Music Video of the Year, both for their featured performance on Dierks Bentley’s “Burning Man.” They won Music Video in 2017 for “It Ain’t My Fault.” The duo earns their second nomination for Musical Event of the Year with Morris’ “All My Favorite People.”

DIERKS BENTLEY – THREE NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“Burning Man”), Male Vocalist of the Year, Music Video of the Year (“Burning Man”)Adding three nominations to his previous 24 nods and three wins, “Burning Man” earns Bentley his third nominations in both Single and Music Video of the Year. The single features Brothers Osborne and was produced by Ross Copperman, Jon Randall and Arturo Buenahora Jr., and mixed by first-time nominee F. Reid Shippen. The video was directed by Wes Edwards.

ERIC CHURCH – THREE NOMINATIONS
Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year (“Desperate Man”), Music Video of the Year (“Some Of It”)With 25 prior nominations and three wins under his belt, Church claims his third nomination for both Entertainer and Music Video of the Year for “Some Of It,” which was directed by Reid Long. He also earns his fourth nomination for Album of the Year with “Desperate Man,” produced by Jay Joyce and Buenahora Jr.

LUKE COMBS – THREE NOMINATIONS
Song of the Year (“Beautiful Crazy”), Male Vocalist of the Year, Musical Event of the Year (“Brand New Man”)Combs garners three nominations on top of his previous three, nabbing his second nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. He is a first-time nominee in Song of the Year for “Beautiful Crazy,” co-written with Wyatt B. Durrette III and first-time nominee Robert Williford. He also secures a first-time nod for Musical Event of the Year with “Brand New Man,” alongside Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and the most awarded artists in CMA history – Brooks & Dunn.

DAN + SHAY – THREE NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“Speechless”), Album of the Year (“Dan + Shay”), Vocal Duo of the YearDan + Shay tally three nominations alongside their previous seven. This marks their sixth consecutive nomination for Vocal Duo and their first nomination for Album of the Year. “Dan + Shay” was produced by Hendricks and the duo’s Dan Smyers. They also earn their second nomination in Single of the Year with “Speechless,” produced by Smyers and Hendricks and mixed by Jeff Juliano. Smyers earns his second Song of the Year nomination for “Tequila” with co-writers Nicolle Galyon and Jordan Reynolds.

SCOTT HENDRICKS – THREE NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“God’s Country”), Single of the Year (“Speechless”), Album of the Year (“Dan + Shay”)Scott Hendricks adds to his 16 prior nominations with three additional nods, claiming an Album of the Year nomination for his production work on “Dan + Shay,” alongside Dan Smyers. This marks his ninth nomination for Album, a category he’s won twice previously. He also secures two Single of the Year nominations for Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country,” produced by Hendricks and mixed by Justin Niebank, and Dan + Shay’s “Speechless,” produced by Smyers and Hendricks and mixed by Juliano.

DANN HUFF – THREE NOMINATIONS
Album of the Year (“Center Point Road”), Musical Event of the Year (“Brand New Man”), Musical Event of the Year (“What Happens In A Small Town”)Huff is a 35-time CMA Awards nominee and five-time winner adding three nominations to his roster. His two nominations for Musical Event of the Year mark his first-ever nods in the category for his production work on “Brand New Man,” performed by Brooks & Dunn (with Combs), and “What Happens In A Small Town,” performed by Brantley Gilbert and first-time nominee Lindsay Ell. 2019 is the first year producers are being honored in the Musical Event category. He nabs his 11th nomination for Album of the Year with Thomas Rhett’s “Center Point Road,” alongside co-producers Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes and Cleve Wilson—with the last two being first-time nominees.

GREG KURSTIN – THREE NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“GIRL”), Album of the Year (“GIRL”), Song of the Year (“GIRL”)Kurstin is a first-time CMA Awards nominee garnering nods in Single, Song and Album of the Year. He’s nominated as a songwriter, producer and mix engineer for Morris’ song “GIRL” on the album “GIRL.” He co-wrote the song with Morris and Aarons.

KACEY MUSGRAVES – THREE NOMINATIONS
Song of the Year (“Rainbow”), Female Vocalist of the Year, Music Video of the Year (“Rainbow”)With 15 previous nominations and three wins to her credit, Musgraves claims her sixth nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year. She earns a fourth nomination in Song of the Year for “Rainbow” with co-writers Natalie Hemby and Shane McAnally. She last won the category in 2014 with “Follow Your Arrow.” “Rainbow” also nabs Musgraves’ third nomination for Music Video of the Year, directed by first-time nominee Hannah Lux Davis.

BLAKE SHELTON – THREE NOMINATIONS
Single of the Year (“God’s Country”), Musical Event of the Year (“Dive Bar”), Music Video of the Year (“God’s Country”)Shelton adds three nominations to his prior 25, claiming his fifth nomination for Single and fourth for Music Video with “God’s Country,” produced by Hendricks and mixed by Niebank. The music video was directed by first-time nominee Sophie Muller. This marks Shelton’s fourth nomination in Musical Event of the Year for “Dive Bar” with Garth Brooks. Shelton is a nine-time CMA Awards winner.

CHRIS STAPLETON – THREE NOMINATIONS
Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year (“Millionaire”), Male Vocalist of the YearWith 16 prior nominations and 10 wins, Stapleton earns his fifth nod for Male Vocalist of the Year, a category he’s won consecutively since 2015. He scores his third nomination for Single of the Year with “Millionaire,” produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton, mixed by Vance Powell. This marks Stapleton’s fourth nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD – THREE NOMINATIONS
Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year (“Cry Pretty”), Female Vocalist of the YearThirty-time CMA Awards nominee and seven-time winner Underwood claims her second nomination for Entertainer of the Year, first securing the nod in 2016. She nabs a 14th consecutive nomination for Female Vocalist, a title she’s won five times, including in 2018. This marks her fifth nomination for Album of the Year with “Cry Pretty,” produced by Underwood and first-time nominees David Garcia and Jim Jonsin.

Carrie Underwood hosts “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” with special guest hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, celebrating legendary women in Country Music throughout the ceremony. Country Music’s Biggest Night™ broadcasts live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13 (8:00–11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.Winners of “The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members TUESDAY, OCT. 1. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends THURSDAY, OCT. 24 (6:00 p.m. CDT). All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization, Deloitte.

“The 53rd Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer. Alex Rudzinski is the director, and David Wild is the head writer.

“THE 53RD ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” – FINAL NOMINEES (by ballot category order): 

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Garth Brooks
  • Eric Church
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne

Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Arturo Buenahora, Jr.
Mix Engineer: F. Reid Shippen

  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris

Producer: Greg Kurstin
Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin

  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton

Producer: Scott Hendricks
Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank

  • “Millionaire” – Chris Stapleton

Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

  • “Speechless” – Dan + Shay

Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks
Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artist and Producers

  • “Center Point Road” – Thomas Rhett

Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson

  • “Cry Pretty” – Carrie Underwood

Producers: David Garcia, Jim Jonsin, Carrie Underwood

  •  “Dan + Shay” – Dan + Shay

Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks

  • “Desperate Man” – Eric Church

Producers: Jay Joyce, Arturo Buenahora, Jr.

  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris

Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin

SONG OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Songwriters

  • “Beautiful Crazy”

Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford

  • “GIRL”

Songwriters: Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin

  • “God’s Country”

Songwriters: Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy

  • “Rainbow”

Songwriters: Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves

  • “Tequila”

Songwriters: Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

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

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band

 
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

 
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artists and Producer(s)

  • “All My Favorite People” – Maren Morris (feat. Brothers Osborne)

Producers: Maren Morris, busbee

  • “Brand New Man” – Brooks & Dunn (with Luke Combs)

Producer: Dann Huff

  • “Dive Bar” – Garth Brooks & Blake Shelton

Producer: Garth Brooks

  • “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

Producers: YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross

  • “What Happens In A Small Town” – Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell

Producer: Dann Huff
 
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle
  • Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
  • Mac McAnally, Guitar
  • Ilya Toshinsky, Banjo/Guitar
  • Derek Wells, Guitar

 
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artist(s) and Director

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne

Director: Wes Edwards

  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris

Director: Dave Meyers

  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton

Director: Sophie Muller

  • “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves

Director: Hannah Lux Davis

  • “Some Of It” – Eric Church

Director:  Reid Long

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Cody Johnson
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Midland
  • Carly Pearce
  • Morgan Wallen

“THE 53RD ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” – FINALISTS FOR BROADCAST PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (by market size):

 
NATIONAL

  • “The Blair Garner Show” (Blair Garner and “Off Eric” Garner) – Westwood One
  • “The Bobby Bones Show” (Bobby Bones, Amy Brown, “Lunchbox” Dan Chappell, and Eddie Garcia) – Premiere Networks
  • “The Mayor of Music Row” (Charlie Monk) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio
  • “Nash Nights Live” (Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith) – Westwood One
  • “The Storme Warren Show” (Storme Warren) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio

MAJOR MARKET

  • “Chris Carr & Company” (Chris Carr, Kia Becht, McKaila Granning, and “Maverick” Jeffrey Bolen) – KEEY, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
  • “Mason & Remy” (Mason Schreader and “Remy” Zachary Hoesly) – WIL, St. Louis, Mo.
  • “The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister” (Matt McAllister, Emily Raines, and “Slow Joe” Wallace) – KKWF, Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.
  • “The Rob + Holly Show” (Rob Stone and Holly Hutton) – WYCD, Detroit, Mich.
  • “Tanner in the Morning” (Rob Tanner, Catherine Lane, Chris Allen, and “Captain Jim” Homa) – WSOC, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.-S.C.
  • “Tony, Jake & Jenn” (Tony Russell, Jake Byron, and Jenn Hays) – KUPL, Portland, Ore.

LARGE MARKET

  • “Amanda and Jesse” (Amanda Valentine and Jesse Tack) – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “J.R. and Beth in the Morning” (“J.R.” Jon Jaus, Beth Boehm, and Chris Cardenas) – KCYY, San Antonio, Texas
  • “Q Morning Crew” (Mike Wheless and Janie Carothers) – WQDR, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  • “The Randy, Jamie, and Jojo Show” (Randy Carroll, Jamie Martin, and Jojo Meza) – KAJA, San Antonio, Texas
  • “Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL, Milwaukee-Racine, WI

 
MEDIUM MARKET

  • “Clay & Company” (Clay Moden and Val Townsend) – WYRK, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  • “The Doc Show with Jessie” (Ken “Doc” Medek and Jessie Roberts) – WGGY, Wilkes Barre-Scranton, Pa.
  • “Mo & StyckMan” (“Mo” Melissa Wagner and “Styckman” Greg Owens) – WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • “Scott and Sarah in the Morning” (Scott Wynn and Sarah Kay) – WQMX, Akron, Ohio
  • “Tony and Kris” (Tony Randall and Kris Rochester) – WIVK, Knoxville, Tenn.

 
SMALL MARKET

  • “Barrett, Fox & Berry” (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry) – KKNU, Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
  • “Ben & Arnie” (Ben Butler and Arnie Andrews) – WCOW, La Crosse, Wis.
  • “Dr. Shane and Tess in the Morning” (Shane Collins and Tess Connell) – WPAP, Panama City, Fla.
  • “Mackey and Miles in the Morning” (Jim Mackey and Deb Miles) – WBYT, South Bend, Ind.
  • “Officer Don & DeAnn” (“Officer Don” Evans and DeAnn Stephens) – WBUL, Lexington-Fayette, Ky.

 
“THE 53RD ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” – FINALISTS FOR RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (by market size):  
 
MAJOR MARKET

  • KILT – Houston-Galveston, Texas
  • KPLX – Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  • WIL – St. Louis, Mo.
  • WKLB – Boston, Mass.
  • WYCD – Detroit, Mich.

LARGE MARKET

  • KCYY – San Antonio, Texas
  • KUBL – Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, Utah
  • WFMS – Indianapolis, Ind.
  • WLHK – Indianapolis, Ind.
  • WQDR – Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  • WSIX – Nashville, Tenn.

MEDIUM MARKET

  • CKRY – Calgary, Alta.
  • KXKT – Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
  • WBBS – Syracuse, N.Y.
  • WIVK – Knoxville, Tenn.
  • WXCY – Wilmington, Del.

SMALL MARKET

  • KCLR – Columbia, Mo.
  • KFDI – Wichita, Kan.
  • KKNU – Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
  • WBYT – South Bend, Ind.
  • WYCT – Pensacola, Fla.

About the CMA Awards

The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”

All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization, Deloitte.As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte & Touche LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

2019 CMT Music Awards: Carrie Underwood is the top winner

June 5, 2019

The following is a press release from CMT:

Carrie Underwood emerged as the night’s biggest winner with two trophies at tonight’s “2019 CMT Music Awards,” continuing her streak as the most awarded artist in CMT history. Winning two awards tonight for “Female Video” for “Love Wins” and “Video of the Year” for “Cry Pretty,” her overall CMT Music Awards tally now consists of 20 career wins.

Tonight’s first-time winners include Ashley McBryde and Julia Michaels, and Luke Combs and Leon Bridges. Fan favorites Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band were also winners.

The evening was filled with spectacular performances both inside and outside the Bridgestone Arena, kicking off indoors with a rousing performance of “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time” from Thomas Rhett featuring show host Little Big Town and Trombone Shorty, followed by Kane Brown’s “Short Skirt Weather,” live from the outdoor stage on Broadway.

The night was full of several exciting collaborations, including ones focusing on powerful female voices: Brandi Carlile and the legendary Tanya Tucker sang Tucker’s classic hit, “Delta Dawn,” with vocal backing provided by an all-star group of female artists that included Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Deana Carter, Carly Pearce, Lauren Alaina and RaeLynn. Maren Morris performed her newest song, “Shade,” and was joined onstage by icon Sheryl Crow, singing their collaboration “Prove You Wrong” off of Crow’s upcoming album.

The collaborations continued with R&B phenoms Boyz II Men and Brett Young who performed “Here Tonight” and “Water Runs Dry.” Toby Keith took to the outdoor stage to sing his single, “That’s Country Bro,” and brought down the house when Cole Swindell joined him on stage for his hit, “Beer For My Horses.”

Superstar group Little Big Town returned to their hosting duties for a second time this year, and performed their moving song, “The Daughters,” and Keith Urban performed his newest single, “We Were,” for the first time on television. The outdoor performances continued with Dan + Shay’s “All to Myself,” and Carrie Underwood had the outdoor crowd dancing with a dazzling performance of “Southbound,” live from the Parthenon in Centennial Park.

Nashville’s biggest party also featured show-stopping performances by Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More,” Luke Bryan, “Knockin’ Boots,” Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” and Zac Brown Band, “Someone I Used to Know.”

CMT’s Ram Trucks Side Stage featured performances by new artists Jordan Davis, Tenille Townes, Jimmie Allen, Runaway June, Morgan Wallen and Mitchell Tenpenny.

As part of this year’s “CMT Music Awards,” CMT and Save the Music committed to gifting a new band program to a deserving public school. Tonight it was announced that “Breakthrough Video of the Year” winner Ashley McBryde selected the city of New Orleans and KIPP East Community Program to be the recipients of this gift. Serving over 600 students whose entire population receives free or reduced lunches, KIPP East Community program will now be able to add a second full time music teacher and implement a full-fledged band program.

The Save The Music organization restores music education programs in public schools across the country by making grants of new band or string musical instruments, music stands and method books, and program services including professional development workshops, to K-8 public schools.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominees for the 2019 CMT Music Awards:

*=winner

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration) and the video director. Final nominees announced the morning of the show, with final voting held on social media during the live telecast.

Carrie Underwood – “Cry Pretty”*

● Chris Janson – “Drunk Girl”

● Cole Swindell – “Break Up in the End”

● Dan + Shay – “Speechless”

● Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”

● Eric Church – “Desperate Man”

● Florida Georgia Line – “Simple”

● Kacey Musgraves – “Rainbow”

● Kane Brown – “Good as You”

● Keith Urban featuring Julia Michaels – “Coming Home”

● Kelsea Ballerini – “Miss Me More”

● Luke Combs – “She Got the Best of Me”

● Maren Morris – “GIRL”

● Zac Brown Band – “Someone I Used To Know”

MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist

● Cole Swindell – “Break Up in the End”

● Eric Church – “Desperate Man”

● Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”

Kane Brown – “Lose It”*

● Kenny Chesney – “Get Along”

● Luke Bryan – “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset”

● Thomas Rhett – “Life Changes”

FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist

● Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”

● Carly Pearce – “Closer to You”

Carrie Underwood – “Love Wins”*

● Kacey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy”

● Kelsea Ballerini – “Miss Me More”

● Maren Morris – “GIRL”

● Miranda Lambert – “Keeper of the Flame”

DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a duo; awarded to the artists

● Brothers Osborne – “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)”

Dan + Shay – “Speechless”*

● Florida Georgia Line – “Simple”

● LOCASH – “Feels Like a Party”

● Maddie & Tae – “Friends Don’t”

● Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift – “Babe”

GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a group; awarded to the artists

● Eli Young Band – “Love Ain’t”

● LANCO – “Born to Love You”

● Little Big Town – “Summer Fever”

● Midland – “Burn Out”

● Old Dominion – “Hotel Key”

Zac Brown Band – “Someone I Used To Know”*

BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video from an artist’s major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo)

Ashley McBryde – “Girl Goin’ Nowhere (At Marathon Music Works)”*

● Jimmie Allen – “Best Shot”

● Jordan Davis – “Take It From Me”

● Mitchell Tenpenny – “Drunk Me”

● Morgan Wallen – “Whiskey Glasses”

● Runaway June – “Buy My Own Drinks”

● Tenille Townes – “Somebody’s Daughter”

COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video from a collaboration; awarded to the artists

● Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell – “What Happens in a Small Town”

● Darius Rucker featuring Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Charles Kelley – “Straight to Hell”

● Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”

● Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”

Keith Urban featuring Julia Michaels – “Coming Home”*

● Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift – “Babe”

CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)

Boyz II Men and Brett Young – “Motownphilly (From CMT Crossroads)”

Luke Combs and Leon Bridges – “Beautiful Crazy (From CMT Crossroads)”*

Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile – “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (From 2018 CMT Artists of the Year)”

Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor – “Let You Be Right (From CMT Crossroads)”

Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Gladys Knight – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (From 2018 CMT Artists of the Year)

Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes – “Keep Me in Mind (From CMT Crossroads)”

Returning for the second consecutive year, award-winning musical talent Little Big Town served as hosts for the evening when the “2019 CMT Music Awards” premieres LIVE from Nashville next month. The chart-topping group has graced the “CMT Music Awards” stage with multiple wins and performances under their belts and will introduce the next wave of winners in Nashville during one of the most highly-anticipated events in country music. As nominees, they’ll also vie for CMT Performance of the Year and Group Video of the Year.

For more information, follow @CMT on Twitter and Instagram, use hashtag #CMTawards and like the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

To request media credentials for the 2019 CMT Music Awards, please visit cmtmusicawardspress.com.

About CMT Awards Host: Little Big Town

GRAMMY, ACM, CMA, and AMA Award-winning group, Little Big Town — consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook — first entered the music scene over 19 years ago with hit songs “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Good As Gone” and the GRAMMY-nominated “Little White Church.” Their breakthrough albums Tornado and Pain Killer produced multiple #1 singles, including “Pontoon,” “Tornado,” and “Day Drinking,” as well as the history-making, best-selling country single of the year (2015) “Girl Crush.” Released February 24, 2017, Little Big Town’s latest studio album, The Breaker, debuted #1 on the Billboard Country Charts and Top 10 (No.4) on the Billboard 200 to critical acclaim, marking the group’s fourth Top 10 debut on the Billboard 200 chart. The album features their GRAMMY-winning, multi-week #1 single, “Better Man,” as well as “When Someone Stops Loving You.”

Little Big Town has earned more than 40 award show nominations and in the past five years has taken home nearly 20 awards, including multiple GRAMMY, AMA, People’s Choice, CMA, ACM awards, and an Emmy award. Currently the reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year, the Country Music Hall of Fame inductees (2014) went onto receive their star on the Nashville Walk of Fame in 2017. Also in 2017, Little Big Town hosted a sold-out, year-long artist residency at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville — marking the venue’s first-ever, year-long residency in its 125-year history. The band also recently launched 4 Cellars wine, their first non-musical project as a band, with Browne Family Vineyards. For more information on Little Big Town visit LittleBigTown.com or follow them @littlebigtown.

About CMT

CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT App, CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, CMT on Instagram and CMT on Twitter). CMT is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB). For more information, please visit CMT Press at cmtpress.com.

CMT Music Awards: Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Zac Brown Band are the top nominees

May 7, 2019

The following is a press release from CMT:

CMT today announced the nominations for the “2019 CMT Music Awards,” airing LIVE on Wednesday, June 5 at 8:00pm ET / 7:00pm CT. Nashville’s biggest party returns to kick off the summer with a grand celebration recognizing the most beloved names in country music. Each winner is selected by the fans, with voting open now at vote.cmt.com.

Continuing the “CMT Music Awards” tradition of embracing blended-genre collaborations among all musical formats, this year’s nominations feature a wide range of talent, from rising stars to music legends, spanning the worlds of pop, soul and R&B.

Superstars Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert and Zac Brown Band will compete for the most accolades of the evening, each with 3 nominations. Other artists with more than one nomination include Brandi Carlile, Carrie Underwood, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Julia Michaels, Kacey Musgraves, Kane Brown, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Sugarland, and Taylor Swift.

With first-time nominations, R&B legends Boyz II Men and soul singer Leon Bridges will compete for Performance of the Year. Other artists with first-time nominations this year include “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight and pop sensation Shawn Mendes, along with Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Jimmie Allen, Jordan Davis, Julia Michaels, Mitchell Tenpenny, Morgan Wallen, Runaway June and Tenille Towns.

This year, 14 acts are in the running for the highly coveted “Video of the Year” award, including Carrie Underwood, who reigns as the most awarded artist in CMT Music Awards history with 18 wins. The top five “Video of the Year” nominees will be announced the morning of the show, and fans will be able to vote all day and throughout the show on Twitter to determine the winner.

Fan voting begins today at vote.cmt.com and continues until 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 4.

The nominees for the 2019 CMT MUSIC AWARDS are:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration) and the video director. Final nominees announced the morning of the show, with final voting held on social media during the live telecast.

●       Carrie Underwood – “Cry Pretty”

●       Chris Janson – “Drunk Girl”

●       Cole Swindell – “Break Up in the End”

●       Dan + Shay – “Speechless”

●       Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”

●       Eric Church – “Desperate Man”

●       Florida Georgia Line – “Simple”

●       Kacey Musgraves – “Rainbow”

●       Kane Brown – “Good as You”

●       Keith Urban featuring Julia Michaels – “Coming Home”

●       Kelsea Ballerini – “Miss Me More”

●       Luke Combs – “She Got the Best of Me”

●       Maren Morris – “GIRL”

●       Zac Brown Band – “Someone I Used To Know”

MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist

●       Cole Swindell – “Break Up in the End”

●       Eric Church – “Desperate Man”

●       Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”

●       Kane Brown – “Lose It”

●       Kenny Chesney – “Get Along”

●       Luke Bryan – “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset”

●       Thomas Rhett – “Life Changes”

FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist

●       Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”

●       Carly Pearce – “Closer to You”

●       Carrie Underwood – “Love Wins”

●       Kacey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy”

●       Kelsea Ballerini – “Miss Me More”

●       Maren Morris – “GIRL”

●       Miranda Lambert – “Keeper of the Flame”

DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a duo; awarded to the artists

●       Brothers Osborne – “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)”

●       Dan + Shay – “Speechless”

●       Florida Georgia Line – “Simple”

●       LOCASH – “Feels Like a Party”

●       Maddie & Tae – “Friends Don’t”

●       Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift – “Babe”

GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video by a group; awarded to the artists

●       Eli Young Band – “Love Ain’t”

●       LANCO – “Born to Love You”

●       Little Big Town – “Summer Fever”

●       Midland – “Burn Out”

●       Old Dominion – “Hotel Key”

●       Zac Brown Band – “Someone I Used To Know”

BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video from an artist’s major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo)

●       Ashley McBryde – “Girl Goin’ Nowhere (At Marathon Music Works)”

●       Jimmie Allen – “Best Shot”

●       Jordan Davis – “Take It From Me”

●       Mitchell Tenpenny – “Drunk Me”

●       Morgan Wallen – “Whiskey Glasses”

●       Runaway June – “Buy My Own Drinks”

●       Tenille Townes – “Somebody’s Daughter”

COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video from a collaboration; awarded to the artists

●       Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell – “What Happens in a Small Town”

●       Darius Rucker featuring Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Charles Kelley – “Straight to Hell”

●       Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”

●       Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”

●       Keith Urban featuring Julia Michaels – “Coming Home”

●       Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift – “Babe”

CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)

Boyz II Men and Brett Young – “Motownphilly (From CMT Crossroads)”

Luke Combs and Leon Bridges – “Beautiful Crazy (From CMT Crossroads)”

Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile – “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (From 2018 CMT Artists of the Year)”

Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor – “Let You Be Right (From CMT Crossroads)”

Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Gladys Knight – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (From 2018 CMT Artists of the Year)

Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes – “Keep Me in Mind (From CMT Crossroads)”

Returning for the second consecutive year, award-winning musical talent Little Big Town will serve as hosts for the evening when the “2019 CMT Music Awards” premieres LIVE from Nashville next month. The chart-topping group has graced the “CMT Music Awards” stage with multiple wins and performances under their belts and will introduce the next wave of winners in Nashville during one of the most highly-anticipated events in country music. As nominees, they’ll also vie for CMT Performance of the Year and Group Video of the Year.

For more information, follow @CMT on Twitter and Instagram, use hashtag #CMTawards and like the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

To request media credentials for the 2019 CMT Music Awards, please visit cmtmusicawardspress.com.

About CMT Awards Host: Little Big Town

GRAMMY, ACM, CMA, and AMA Award-winning group, Little Big Town — consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook — first entered the music scene over 19 years ago with hit songs “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Good As Gone” and the GRAMMY-nominated “Little White Church.” Their breakthrough albums Tornado and Pain Killer produced multiple #1 singles, including “Pontoon,” “Tornado,” and “Day Drinking,” as well as the history-making, best-selling country single of the year (2015) “Girl Crush.” Released February 24, 2017, Little Big Town’s latest studio album, The Breaker, debuted #1 on the Billboard Country Charts and Top 10 (No.4) on the Billboard 200 to critical acclaim, marking the group’s fourth Top 10 debut on the Billboard 200 chart. The album features their GRAMMY-winning, multi-week #1 single, “Better Man,” as well as “When Someone Stops Loving You.”

Little Big Town has earned more than 40 award show nominations and in the past five years has taken home nearly 20 awards, including multiple GRAMMY, AMA, People’s Choice, CMA, ACM awards, and an Emmy award. Currently the reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year, the Country Music Hall of Fame inductees (2014) went onto receive their star on the Nashville Walk of Fame in 2017. Also in 2017, Little Big Town hosted a sold-out, year-long artist residency at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville — marking the venue’s first-ever, year-long residency in its 125-year history. The band also recently launched 4 Cellars wine, their first non-musical project as a band, with Browne Family Vineyards. For more information on Little Big Town visit LittleBigTown.com or follow them @littlebigtown.

About CMT

CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT App, CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, CMT on Instagram and CMT on Twitter). CMT is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB). For more information, please visit CMT Press at cmtpress.com.

2019 CMT Music Awards: Little Big Town is hosting the show

May 2, 2019

Little Big Town
Little Big Town (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

The following is a press release from CMT:

CMT announced that Grammy-winning country group Little Big Town will return to host the 2019 CMT Music Awards for the second consecutive year. The fan-voted award show airs LIVE from Music City’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 5 at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT and features country music’s biggest stars.

Little Big Town has graced the “CMT Music Awards” stage as both hosts and honorees, with three past wins in the “Group Video of the Year” category and multiple show-stopping performances over the years. The announcement of the chart-topping recording artists returning to host comes on the heels of the release of their critically acclaimed new song “The Daughters,” from their upcoming ninth studio album.

Chart-topping country singer-songwriter Carly Pearce will reveal the nominations for this year’s show on Tuesday, May 7 on NBC’s “Today with Hoda and Jenna,” along with along with a special performance of “Closer To You” (Big Machine Records). Fans can purchase presale tickets for the 2019 CMT Awards beginning Friday, May 10 at 11:00am ET/10:00am CT via Ticketmaster using password “BUCKLEUP”. General sale begins Saturday, May 11 at 11:00am ET/10:00am CT. Please visit: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/1B00569BB5AA4C4B

A limited amount of Ultimate Insider VIP Experiences are available for fans seeking celebrity treatment at the 2019 CMT Music Awards. VIPs will have the opportunity to walk the red carpet and snap a professional photo in addition to watching the show from a premium seat or the standing room pit. Before the Awards show, VIP guests will get to attend select rehearsals and soundcheck, while also having guaranteed access to a taping of CMT Crossroads, CMT New Artist Showcase, the CMT Songbird Supper Club Dinner featuring high profile chefs from around the country and some of the hottest emerging artists on the Nashville scene, and more. To view Ultimate Insider VIP Experience details, please visit:www.cidentertainment.com/events/cmt-music-awards.

Follow @CMT on Twitter and Instagram, use hashtag #CMTawards and like the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

About Little Big Town

Grammy, ACM, CMA, and AMA Award-winning group, Little Big Town — consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook — first entered the music scene over 20 years ago with hit songs “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Good As Gone” and the GRAMMY-nominated “Little White Church.” Their breakthrough albums Tornado and Pain Killer produced multiple #1 singles, including “Pontoon,” “Tornado,” and “Day Drinking,” as well as the history-making, best-selling country single of the year (2015) “Girl Crush.” Little Big Town’s last studio album, The Breaker, debuted #1 on the Billboard Country Charts and Top 10 (No.4) on the Billboard 200 to critical acclaim, marking the group’s fourth Top 10 debut on the Billboard 200 chart. The album features their GRAMMY-winning, multi-week #1 single, “Better Man,” as well as the 2019 GRAMMY-nominated, “When Someone Stops Loving You.” The band is currently in the studio working on a new album. New music is expected for release this year.

Little Big Town has earned more than 40 award show nominations and in the past five years has taken home nearly 20 awards, including multiple GRAMMY, AMA, People’s Choice, CMA, ACM awards, and an Emmy award. The Country Music Hall of Fame inductees (2014) went onto receive their star on the Nashville Walk of Fame in 2017. This past July, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville launched their new, yearlong exhibit called LITTLE BIG TOWN: THE POWER OF FOUR showcasing the bands powerful and storied 20-year history within the country music community. The band recently launched 4 Cellars wine, their first non-musical project as a band, with Browne Family Vineyards.

For more information on Little Big Town visit LittleBigTown.com or follow them @littlebigtown.

About CMT

CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT App, CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, CMT on Instagram and CMT on Twitter). CMT is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

New Year’s Eve specials ringing in 2019 will feature Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Sting and more

December 27, 2018

by Carla Hay

Watching a New Year’s Eve special on TV is a tradition for millions of people around the world. After taking a break from a New Year’s Eve Special in 2017, NBC is back with its star-studded party in New York City’s Times Square. Here’s what is planned for the four biggest New Year’s TV specials in the United States:

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019 

Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC)

Celebrating its 47th year, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (which is produced by Dick Clark Productions and airs in the U.S. on ABC) is still the most high-profile televised New Year’s Eve event. Mariah Carey headlined the show from New York City’s Times Square in 2018 and 2017. In 2018, another Grammy-winning diva—Christina Aguilera—is taking the headlining spot. Ryan Seacrest will once again host the show, which begins airing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, followed by 11:30 p.m. to 2:13 a.m. ET. Jenny McCarthy will provide on-site reporting. Other performers in Times Square include Bastille, Dan + Shay and New Kids on the Block. Airing just after midnight Eastern Time, Post Malone will perform from a stop on his current tour in Brooklyn, New York, marking the first television performance of the new year. Meanwhile, the special has partnered with YouTube Music for the first time this year for cross-promotional programming.

Ciara will once again host the Los Angeles segments of the show that will feature performances that were mostly previously recorded. Artists in the show’s Los Angeles segments will include Lauren Alaina, Kelsea Ballerini, Bazzi, Kane Brown, Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Ciara, Foster the People, Halsey, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth and Weezer, as well as collaborations from Brown featuring Alaina; Macklemore with Skylar Grey; and The Chainsmokers featuring Ballerini.

Meanwhile, actress Lucy Hale (former star of “Pretty Little Liars”) will host the show’s second annual Central Time Zone celebration from New Orleans. Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris will perform from the Allstate Fan Fest, leading up to the midnight countdown and fleur-de-lis drop near Jackson Square.  “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019” is produced by Dick Clark Productions with Seacrest, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco serving as executive producers. Larry Klein is producer.

Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square

Steve Harvey (Photo by Brian Bowen Smith/Fox)

After televising its New Year’s Eve show (hosted by Pitbull) in Miami from 2014 to 2016, Fox changed locations and hosts in 2017, with the show now taking place at New York City’s Times Square with comedian/talk-show host Steve Harvey and former E! News personality Maria Menounous. This year, Harvey and Menounous return to co-host the show, which airs on Fox from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET live; CT/MT/PT tape-delayed. Performers will include Sting, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, Florence + the Machine, Jason Aldean, Juanes and Why Don’t We. Additionally, the special will include celebrity cameo appearances by comedians Ken Jeong and Kenan Thompson, as well as “Fox NFL Sunday” commentators Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson. “Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square” is produced by IMG Original Content and Done + Dusted. Guy Carrington, Katy Mullan, Mike Antinoro, Dave Chamberlin and Orly Anderson serve as executive producers; and Eddie Delbridge serves as co-executive producer. IMG also produces Harvey’s self-titled talk show, as well as the Miss Universe Pageant and “It’s Showtime at the Apollo,” which have been hosted by Harvey over the past several years.

[December 30, 2018 UPDATE: Dierks Bentley has been added to the lineup performing in Times Square.]

NBC’s New Year’s Eve

Carson Daly, Chrissy Teigen, Leslie Jones, Keith Urban
(Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal)

Stars from NBC’s “The Voice” are all over “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” special, which begins airing at 10 p.m. ET from New York City’s Times Square. Not only is “The Voice” host Carson Daly hosting the New Year’s Eve show (with Chrissy Teigen and assistance from Leslie Jones), but “The Voice” coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and John Legend are also performing on the special. Other performers include Jennifer Lopez, Bebe Rexha, Diana Ross and Andy Grammer.  Keith Urban and  Brett Young will perform at Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville. “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt will also appear on stage before the iconic ball drop. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” will be televised from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, followed by the New Year’s countdown segment 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” is executive produced by Daly, Teigen and John Irwin through NBCUniversal Television Studio and Irwin Entertainment. It is co-executive produced by Casey Spira.

New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper (Photo courtesy of CNN)

For the second year in a row, longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which begins at 8 p.m. ET. CNN’s 11th annual New Year’s Eve Show, which is telecast live from New York City’s Times Square has a more star-studded lineup this year than in previous years. Gwen Stefani is scheduled to perform from her Las Vegas residency, while Keith Urban (who also appears on NBC’s New Year’s Eve Special), Dave Chappelle, Patti LaBelle and Jack Black also round out the show’s celebrity lineup.  New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will also spotlight Broadway musicals such as “The Band’s Visit,” “Wicked,” “Tootsie” and “Come From Away.” CNN’s New Year’s Eve Show begins at 8 p.m. ET, and will end at approximately 1:05 p.m. ET. CNN anchors Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin will host a countdown from New Orleans at 12:30 a.m. ET. In 2017, Cohen replaced Kathy Griffin, who was notoriously fired from the show in May of that year for publicly posting a photo of herself holding up a fake bloody head of President Donald Trump. Griffin and Cooper had co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Show since 2007, but the Cooper/Cohen duo brought in the show’s highest ratings so far. Cooper and Cohen have an established rapport, since they have done numerous speaking engagements together.

2018 CMA Awards: Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton win big

November 14, 2018

by Carla Hay

Keith Urban was named Entertainer of the Year, while Chris Stapleton won the most prizes (three) at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, which took place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018. Stapleton was named Male Vocalist of the Year, while his “Broken Halos” single (which he co-wrote) was named Song of the Year and Single of the Year.

Carrie Underwood, who hosted the CMA Awards for the 11th consecutive year with Brad Paisley, took the prize for Female Vocalist of the Year. Kasey Musgraves was the only other female artist to win at the 2018 CMA Awards: She won Album of the Year for “Golden Hour.”

Other winners were Old Dominion (Group of the Year), Brothers Osborne (Duo of the Year) and Mac McAnally (Musician of the Year).

Performers included Urban, Stapleton with Maren Morris, Underwood, Paisley, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Kacey Musgraves, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Eric Church, Lauren Alaina, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs and Mavis Staples.

Presenters included Jimmie Allen, Bobby Bones, Kane Brown, Sharna Burgess, Olivia Culpo, Mackenzie Foy, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride and Carly Pearce, Dennis Quaid, Lionel Richie, Noah Schnapp, Lara Spencer, Rita Wilson and Trisha Yearwood.

Here is the complete list of nominees and winners of the 2018 CMA Awards:

*=winner
Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban*

Single of the Year
Award goes to artist, producer(s) and mix engineer(s)

Chris Stapleton – “Broken Halos”*
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

Midland – “Drinkin’ Problem”
Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank

Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”
Producer: Michael Knox
Mix Engineer: Jeff Braun

Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
Producer: Willshire
Mix Engineer: Serban Ghenea

Dan + Shay – “Tequila”
Producers: Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers
Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

Album of the Year
Award goes to artist and producer(s)

Chris Stapleton – “From a Room: Volume 2”
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton

Kacey Musgraves – “Golden Hour”*
Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian, Kacey Musgraves

Keith Urban – “Graffiti U”
Producers: Keith Urban, Dan McCarroll, J.R. Rotem, Josh Kerr, Jason Evigan, Greg Wells, Benny Blanco, Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Jesse Shatkin, Jimmy Robbins, Oscar Holter, Matt Rad, Eric Valentine, Ian Kirkpatrick, Mike Elizondo, Captain Cuts, Ross Copperman, Dann Huff, Peter Karlsson

Thomas Rhett – “Life Changes
Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett

Dierks Bentley – “The Mountain”
Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall Stewart, Arturo Buenahora Jr.

Song of the Year
Award goes to songwriter(s)

“Body Like a Back Road”
Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

“Broken Halos”*
Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

“Drowns the Whiskey”
Songwriters: Brandon Kinney, Jeff Middleton, Josh Thompson

“Drunk Girl”
Songwriters: Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas, Chris Janson

“Tequila”
Songwriters: Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood*

Male Vocalist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton*
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
LANCO
Little Big Town
Midland
Old Dominion*

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brothers Osborne*
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
Sugarland

Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas, Dobro
Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
Dann Huff, Guitar
Mac McAnally, Guitar*
Derek Wells, Guitar

Award winners announced prior to the 2018 CMA Awards telecast:

Musical Event of the Year
Award goes to each artist

Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne – “Burning Man”
Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill – “Dear Hate”
Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert – “Drowns the Whiskey”
David Lee Murphy with Kenny Chesney – “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”*
Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”

Music Video of the Year
Award goes to artist and director(s)

Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift – “Babe”
Director: Anthony Mandler

Carrie Underwood– “Cry Pretty”
Director: Randee St. Nicholas

Chris Janson – “Drunk Girl”
Director: Jeff Venable

Thomas Rhett – “Marry Me”*
Director: TK McKamy

Dan + Shay – “Tequila”
Director: Patrick Tracy

New Artist of the Year
Lauren Alaina
Luke Combs*
Chris Janson
Midland
Brett Young

Broadcast Personality of the Year

National
“American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) – Westwood One
“Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40” (Bob Kingsley) – Westwood One
“Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One*
“The Mayor of Music Row” (Charlie Monk) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio
“The Music Row Happy Hour” (Buzz Brainard) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio

Major Market
“Bud and Broadway” (Bud Ford, Jerry Broadway, Kelly Rebal, “Captain Mac Douglas” Gregory Paul Ford, “T.Wall” Tom Wall, and “Sweet Becca” Walls) – WIL St. Louis, MO*
“Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX Phoenix, AZ
“Hawkeye in the Morning” (“Hawkeye” Mark Louis Rybczyk, Jasmine Sadry, and “Connected K” Katelyn Maida) – KSCS Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
“KYGO Morning Show” (Tracy Dixon, Guy David, and Patrick Knight) – KYGO Denver-Boulder, CO
“Tim, Ben and Brooke” (Tim Hattrick, Ben Campbell, and Brooke Hoover) – KNIX Phoenix, AZ

Large Market
“Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt, and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS Indianapolis, IN*
“Obie & Ashley in the Morning” (Obie Diaz and Ashley Stegbauer) – WWKA Orlando, FL
“Q Morning Crew” (Mike Wheless and Janie Carothers) – WQDR Raleigh-Durham, NC
“The Randy, Jamie, and Jojo Show” (Randy Carroll, Jamie Martin, and Jojo Meza) – KAJA San Antonio, TX
“Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL Milwaukee-Racine, WI

Medium Market
“The 97.5 WPCV Breakfast Club” (Roger Todd, “Julie K.” Kansy, and “D.J. Thee Trucker” Dale Sellers) – WPCV Lakeland-Winter Haven, FLA
Brent Michaels – KUZZ Bakersfield, CA
“Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” (Ken Hicks, Kelley Bradshaw, and Daniel Wyatt) – WUSY Chattanooga, TN*
“The Odd Squad” (Roger Rhodes, Robyn Adair, and Dan Carson) – CKRY Calgary, AB
“Scott and Sarah in the Morning” (Scott Wynn and Sarah Kay) – WQMX Akron, OH

Small Market
“Barrett, Fox & Berry” (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry) – KKNU Eugene-Springfield, OR
“The Cat Pak Morning Show” (Brent Lane and Candy Cullerton) – WYCT Pensacola, FL
“The Eddie Foxx Show” (Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green) – WKSF Asheville, NC
“The Good Morning Guys” (Todd Harding, Susan Moore, and Brian Gary) – KUAD Ft. Collins-Greeley, CO
“Steve and Jessica Mornings” (Steve Waters and Jessica Cash) – WFLS Fredericksburg, VA*

Radio Station of the Year

Major Market
KKBQ Houston-Galveston, TX*
KNIX Phoenix, AZ
KUPL Portland, OR
WKKT Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
WSOC Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

Large Market
KCYY San Antonio, TX
KUBL Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT
WQIK Jacksonville, FL
WUBE Cincinnati, OH*
WWKA Orlando, FL

Medium Market
KUZZ Bakersfield, CA
WBBS Syracuse, NY
WHKO Dayton, OH
WUSY Chattanooga, TN*
WYRK Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY

Small Market
KCLR Columbia, MO
KKNU Eugene-Springfield, OR
KTTS Springfield, MO*
WCOW La Crosse, WI
WKSF Asheville, NC