Every Country Music Entertainer of the Year Since 1967

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

1967
> Entertainer of the Year: Eddy Arnold
> Most popular song in 1967: Turn The World Around

Eddy Arnold had been releasing country music records for decades by the time he won the CMA Awards’ first ever Entertainer of the Year award in 1967. He bested fellow nominees Bill Anderson, Merle Haggard, Sonny James, and Buck Owens for the honor. Arnold released two studio albums in 1967: “Lonely Again” and “Turn the World Around.”

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

1968
> Entertainer of the Year: Glen Campbell
> Most popular song in 1968: I Wanna Live

Glen Campbell became CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1968, topping Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Charley Pride. That year, he released the first of his country No. 1 singles “I Wanna Live,” which occupied the top spot for three weeks. Six of his nine top-selling country albums were released in 1968.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

1969
> Entertainer of the Year: Johnny Cash
> Most popular song in 1969: Daddy Sang Bass

In 1969, Johnny Cash released “Johnny Cash at San Quentin,” his second live album to be recorded in a prison after 1968’s “At Folsom Prison.” Both records hit No. 1 on the U.S. Country Albums chart and helped solidify Cash’s reputation as a rebellious giant of country music. The nominees that lost to Cash were Glen Campbell, Roy Clark, Merle Haggard, and Charley Pride.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

1970
> Entertainer of the Year: Merle Haggard
> Most popular song in 1970: I Can’t Be Myself/Sidewalks Of Chicago

Merle Haggard overcame a hardscrabble existence in California and repeated stints in prison to defeat Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, and Charley Pride for CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1970. The outlaw country singer’s big song that year was a double-sided hit “I Can’t Be Myself/Sidewalks Of Chicago” that spent 11 weeks in Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

1971
> Entertainer of the Year: Charley Pride
> Most popular song in 1971: I’m Just Me

Charley Pride released two chart-topping albums in 1971: “I’m Just Me” and “Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs.” In addition to be declared Entertainer of the Year, he won the award for Male Vocalist of the Year. The other 1971 nominees for Entertainer of the Year were Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Reed, and Conway Twitty.