The Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, which recognize excellence in country music, is set to air live Wednesday, Nov. 13, on ABC Television Network. Country stars Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire will be handling hosting duties this year.
Among the various awards that industry professionals — including executives, publicists, songwriters, and musicians — vote on each year since the event started in 1967 is the Entertainer of the Year award. This is in some ways the most comprehensive award as it is given to artists who excel in all aspects of their craft. This, according to the CMA, includes their recorded work, live performances, fan followings, personality, and “overall contribution to the Country Music image.”
It’s no wonder then that the list of Entertainer of the Year winners includes many of the genre’s most beloved artists. Early awards were granted to the likes of country royalty Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, while more recent winners include artists crossover stars such as Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton.
Nominees for the award this year are all fan favorites as well, consisting of Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. These are the most popular country music stars.
24/7 Tempo reviewed archived data from The Country Music Association (CMA) to determine the winners of the Entertainer of the Year Award going back to the year of its inception in 1967. All data is from the official CMA website except for each artist’s most popular song for each year, which is based on performance on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.