Every Country Music Entertainer of the Year Since 1967

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1987
> Entertainer of the Year: Hank Williams, Jr.
> Most popular song in 1987: Born To Boogie

Hank Williams, Jr. received the Entertainer of the Year award for the first time in 1987 — an honor that many felt was overdue. Williams’ album “Born to Boogie” topped the Country Albums chart that same year. The CMA would also recognize his video for “My Name is Bocephus,” off his previous album, “Montana Cafe,” granting it the award for Music Video of the Year.

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1988
> Entertainer of the Year: Hank Williams, Jr.
> Most popular song in 1988: Young Country

Hank Williams, Jr. was named CMA Entertainer of the Year for the second consecutive year in 1988, defeating The Judds, Reba McEntire, George Strait, and Randy Travis. His “Young Country” single spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Williams’ album “Wild Streak” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and was one of his nine albums to top the country chart.

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1989
> Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
> Most popular song in 1989: What’s Going On In Your World

By 1989, George Strait had already charted enough hits to release numerous greatest hits compilations. He released the hugely popular album “Beyond the Blue Neon” that year, featuring chart-toppers “Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye,” “What’s Going on in Your World,” and “Ace in the Hole.” Strait’s competition for Entertainer of the Year in 1989 consisted of Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Ricky Van Shelton, and Hank Williams, Jr.

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1990
> Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
> Most popular song in 1990: Love Without End, Amen

George Strait, purveyor of traditional country music, was CMA Entertainer of the Year for the second straight year in 1990, besting Clint Black, Kathy Mattea, Randy Travis, and Ricky Van Shelton. Strait’s song “Love Without End, Amen” was No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart for five weeks and was one of two chart-toppers for Strait in 1990, with “I’ve Come to Expect It From You” the other No. 1. Strait had an eye-popping total of 44 No. 1 country hits throughout his career.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1991
> Entertainer of the Year: Garth Brooks
> Most popular song in 1991: The Thunder Rolls

Garth Brooks received the first of his exceptional six Entertainer of the Year awards in 1991, following the release of his Certified 17x Platinum second album “No Fences.” The album featured numerous No. 1 country hits — “The Thunder Rolls,” “Two of a Kind, Workin’ On a Full House,” and “Friends In Low Places.” The latter song took home Single of the Year in 1991 and “No Fences” won Album of the Year.