Sign up for newsletter
 

Brooks takes CMA Entertainer of the Year

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – Garth Brooks won the biggest honor of the night at the 50th Country Music Association Awards, Entertainer of the Year.

"Very sweet," said Brooks. "Wow. It's cool." He proceeded to thank his management, band, road family and his wife, Trisha Yearwood.

"Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful run," he said. "The people. Thank you so much for showing up for this tour."

"We are so damn lucky to be part of this thing called country music," he said.

Thomas Rhett won the first award of the night for Single of the Year for "Die a Happy Man." Lori McKenna won Song of the Year for "Humble and Kind."

Rhett thanked the "Lord for opening the doors to make this all happen for us." He thanked his wife who was the inspiration for the song.

"God, this is a dream come true," Rhett said. "This is going to go in a special place."

The honor came after an opening featuring current and past stars singing hits. Vince Gill strummed Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" with the Hag's youngest son "Ben, helping out. Alan Jackson sang "Don't Rock the Jukebox" and Dwight Yoakam "Guitars, Cadillacs."

The opening ended with Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever Amen" with Travis singing "Amen." Co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley seemed to give him support.

McKenna's "Humble And Kind" was a hit for Tim McGraw. He accompanied her onstage. "Oh good Lord," said McKenna." I have a job in this town because of this guy's wife...I thank god every day that I get to write for a living."

Faith Hill, who is McGraw's wife, cut several McKenna songs, giving her a break in Nashville. Hill was in tears during McKenna's speech.

Maren Morris won New Artist of the Year, ostensibly for her hit "My Church," which she had just performed. "I can't win this award after performing," she said. "This is so crazy. I have amazing seats tonight."

"Last year, I sat across the street at a bar and watched this show," Morris said through tears. "I never thought as a songwriter I'd be here today."

Eric Church won Album of the Year for "Mr. Misunderstood," released one year ago as a surprise disc. "I'm not sure what's better, winning the award or Faith Hill fixing my tie," he said after Hill, presenting the award, did so. "We started this a year ago. We surprised everybody with this album. We trusted the fans, and we gave it to the fans first. It's because of the fans that this happened, and I love you."

Brothers Osborne won New Artist of the Year. "I hate to be the one to say I didn't prepare a speech," said TJ Osborne, "I didn't." He said he expected to be thanking Florida Georgia Line. "If we can do, you can do it," said his brother John. "Whoah."

Little Big Town took the Vocal Group of the Year honor.

Kenny Chesney was honored with the Pinnacle Award, only the third act to win it - Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift were the other two.

""Standing up here in this spot tonight looking at a lot of friends and a lot of heroes that have touched my life in so many ways, take a kid from East Tennessee and show that this was possible," said Chesney.

"To me, it means connection with a lot of people that have invested a lot of their life in me," he said, adding, "Thanks for loving the music. Thanks for giving me an amazing life."

Carrie Underwood won the Female Vocalist of the Year award for the fourth time. She gave a slew of thanks. I've just become suddenly stupid," she said. "I love you all. God bless you guys. I love you so much. I don't know what else to say."

Guitarist Dann Huff previously won the Musician of the Year award.

Dolly Parton won the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. "This is such a great compliment. This is such a wonderful night."

"Referring to winning the Willie Nelson award, "This is an absolute high for me," she said to laughter.

"I really am very proud to receive this," Parton said.

"I just want to thank everybody for letting my little girl dreams come true," Parton said, adding, "I had a big speech, but they wouldn't let me give it."

Chris Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year. "I've gotten to be a fan so much tonight," he said. "I've cried just watching everybody, music I've grown up on."

"It means so much to get to be a part of country music," he said. "These are the best people in the world."

More news

CD reviews

Gunslinger CD review - Gunslinger
If naming your release "Gunslinger," you'd better let it rip and go for a harder country sound, especially if donning a black cowboy hat on the cover. The reality does not exactly match that sentiment for Garth Brooks, but at times he comes mighty close. The high points for Brooks are the three most traditional country songs - a couple of honky tonkers ("Honky-Tonk Somewhere" and "Cowboys and Friends") and a ballad ("Whiskey to Wine"). »»»
Man Against Machine CD review - Man Against Machine
After releasing his debut album in 1989, Garth Brooks released music almost every year until he announced his retirement in 2000. Since then, he has released repackaged hit collections, new music on "Scarecrow" and "The Lost Sessions" and last year's cover song collection "Blame it All on My Roots." Over the years, there have been live recordings, concert and music video collections. The country songwriter became a pop culture icon, transcending genre to become »»»
Blame It All On My Roots - Five Decades of Influences CD review - Blame It All On My Roots - Five Decades of Influences
Garth Brooks is back with his first release of "new" material since 2001's "Scarecrow." (Truth in advertising, his "The Ultimate Hits," which actually is part of the new box set, included four new songs back in 2007). And it's quite an undertaking - four CDs of covers - Country Classics, Classic Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul and Melting Pot, an amalgam of country, rock, soul and folk; the two-CD set, "The Ultimate Set" and a DVD of his live performance in Vegas. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy Linda Gail Lewis has several interesting bullet points on her lengthy resume. She released her first singles in 1963 at age 16, and her first solo album, "The Two Sides of Linda Gail Lewis," in 1969 when she was just 22; her follow up album wouldn't appear until 1990.... »»»
Hancock shows he's still "Man of the Road" Wayne Hancock exhibits his well-defined self-deprecation while describing the nature of his vinyl/digital only release, "Man of the Road." "Yeah, greatest hits," he says with a raspy chortle, the sound that every smoke-filled, whiskey-soaked roadhouse he's ever loaded into would... »»»
With "Headlights," Della Mae turns it up Ten years on, Della Mae has covered a lot of ground in the world of bluegrass, and the band is meeting the challenges of building a sustaining, long-term career with its latest release "Headlights."... »»»
The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America... »»»
2020 CD review - 2020
Eliza Gilkyson hasn't ascended to the upper ranks of todays's foremost singer/songwriters purely on happenstance alone. Her albums affirm a belief in music as an essential salve, especially in times of dire distress and turmoil.  »»»
A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer CD review - A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer
It's not uncommon for artists to tour and play complete records during album anniversary years, but Kim Richey has taken the extra (and much appreciated) step of rerecording "Glimmer," and giving it the title,  »»»
Lady Like CD review - Lady Like
When it comes to the love department, life seemingly has not very kind at all to Ingrid Andress. That's more than apparent for Andress on her eight-song EP debut. She sure thinks a lot about love and its associated problems, »»»
To Live In Two Worlds Volume 1 CD review - To Live In Two Worlds Volume 1
Fans of Eric Brace and Peter Cooper are certainly familiar with the guitarist and singer-songwriter, Thomm Jutz, who has become the third member of that trio over the past few recordings. Jutz is increasingly »»»
Blindsided CD review - Blindsided
It's appropriate that singer/songwriter Mark Erelli takes a different tack with the aptly named "Blindsided," an album exploreing the inner sanctums of the soul and the conflicts that inevitably shake one's perceptions »»»
Your Life is a Record CD review - Your Life is a Record
Whenever Brandy Clark's "Your Life is a Record" is described as the work of a smart, female singer/songwriter - an inevitable characterization - you may immediately picture 11 sophisticated pop songs. And make no mistake »»»