Eric Church, Maren Morris Big Winners At 54th Annual CMA Awards

Eric Church was named Entertainer of the Year for the first time during last night's (Wednesday, Nov. 11th) 54th annual CMA Awards, which was hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker and held at Nashville's Music City Center before a very limited, socially distanced audience made up mostly of nominees and performers. He has been nominated in this category three times prior.

Maren Morris took home three of the four awards for which she was nominated — Female Vocalist and both Song and Single for "The Bones," which she also performed live.

Luke Combs was the night's other multiple award-winner, taking home his second consecutive Male Vocalist win, as well as Album of the Year for What You See Is What You Get.

Some of the night's big news was who wasn't at the CMA Awards. Scheduled performers Lady A and Rascal Flatts were last-minute dropouts after family or band members tested positive for COVID-19. Both acts shared the news on social media right before the live broadcast.

Tributes to Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, and Kenny Rogers were sprinkled throughout the show. The music world lost all three this year.

Another highlight performance was Charley Pride singing "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'" with Jimmie Allen before being presented with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

New Artist nominee Ingrid Andress gave an emotional performance of her hit single "More Hearts Than Mine." She burst into tears towards the end of the song but managed to pull it together to finish.

Here is the list of CMA Awards winners:

Entertainer of the Year

Eric Church

Luke Combs

Miranda Lambert

Carrie Underwood

Keith Urban

Single of the Year

"10,000 Hours," Dan + Shay (with Justin Bieber)

"Beer Never Broke My Heart," Luke Combs

"Bluebird," Miranda Lambert

"The Bones," Maren Morris

"I Hope," Gabby Barrett

Album of the Year

Heartache Medication, Jon Pardi

Never Will, Ashley McBryde

Old Dominion, Old Dominion

What You See Is What You Get, Luke Combs

Wildcard, Miranda Lambert

Song of the Year

"Bluebird," Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert

"The Bones," Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz

"Even Though I'm Leaving," Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Ray Fulcher

"I Hope You're Happy Now," Luke Combs, Randy Montana, Carly Pearce, Jonathan Singleton

"More Hearts Than Mine," Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis, Derrick Southerland

Female Vocalist of the Year

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Maren Morris  

Kacey Musgraves

Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year

Eric Church

Luke Combs  

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady A

Little Big Town


Old Dominion 

Rascal Flatts

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay 

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

Musical Event of the Year

"10,000 Hours," Dan + Shay (with Justin Bieber)

"Be A Light," Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban

"The Bones," Maren Morris with Hozier

"Fooled Around And Fell In Love," Miranda Lambert (feat. Maren Morris, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes & Caylee Hammack)

"I Hope You're Happy Now," Carly Pearce and Lee Brice

Music Video of the Year

"10,000 Hours," Dan + Shay (with Justin Bieber)

"Bluebird," Miranda Lambert

"Homemade," Jake Owen

"I Hope You're Happy Now," Carly Pearce and Lee Brice

"Second One To Know," Chris Stapleton

New Artist of the Year

Jimmie Allen

Ingrid Andress

Gabby Barrett

Carly Pearce

Morgan Wallen  


In clip one, Dan and Shay accept for Vocal Duo.

  • ["Wow. This is absolutely incredible. So thankful to be here with so many incredible people. I thank god that we can do music. In a time like this, it's important to say I love you. I love you, dude. Thank you to my wife, to my little boys watching us at home. I'm so thankful to do this. Thank you so much to country radio, and our fans. This is amazing man."] SOUNDCUE (:27 OC: . . .This is amazing man.)

In clip two, Eric Church accepts for Entertainer of the Year.

  • ["If there was ever a year not to win this award. I was thinking about this when I walked up here, this award this year, at least for me, has been about the loss of this year. Loss of life, loss of playing shows, loss of freedom, loss of kids being in school. And you know what the win is? The win is, we all were here tonight together, as country music. In person, live, not on zoom. And I think, I believe this, I really believe this. It's going to be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that is going to save the entire world. Politicians are about division. Music is about unity. And I promise you, it's going to take everybody in this room to unite. And I got to bunch of stuff to say, but I didn't think I was going to win this. Thank you guys very much."] SOUNDCUE (1:10 OC: . . .you guys very much.)

In clip three, Luke Combs accepts for Album of the Year.

  • ["Wow. I have watched a lot of incredible people win this award. And I have a lot of incredible people to thank for this award. My co-writers on this album, my producer Scott, my team, my wife, my family, my parents, the fans, country radio, everybody watching this tonight is just as important as I am in this. And I'm just happy to be the guy standing up here holding this trophy for all of us. I love you guys. Thank you so much."] SOUNDCUE (:32 OC: . . .Thank you so much.)

In clip four, Luke Combs accepts for Male Vocalist.

  • ["I never know what to say up here. I won't write speeches for these things. Let me tell you, my beautiful wife, thank you for always being there for me, thank you thick and thin. My family, my parents. I talked to me grandma on the phone yesterday. I know you're watching. I love you. I told you I would say I love you if I won anything. But there's nobody in this category… I don't deserve this any more than anybody else in this category. Especially this year, it's been so crazy. I know everybody in this category worked their… off, Thomas, Eric, everybody watching. I'm just lucky. I'm a lucky guy. And thank god for what you do for me. And thank you to the fans for what you do for me. I love country music, I I love everybody in this category. And I wish we could all win. I love you guys so much. Thank you guys."] SOUNDCUE (:57 OC: . . .much. Thank you guys.)

In clip five, Maren Morris accepts for Female Vocalist.

  • ["Oh, my god. I love you. So much. All the women in this category, my god. I'm really going to try not to curse, sorry, Robert, if I do. I'm really not going to. Thank you so much to my team, I have a lot of people to thank, and they're the typical ones that lift me up and made this dream come true with me. But there are some names in my mind that I want to give recognition to, because I'm just a fan of their music, and they're country as it gets. And I just want them all to know how much we love them back. And just check out their music after this. It's Linda Martell, yola, Mickey, Brittany Spencer, there are so amazing black women who continue to pioneer this genre, I want you to know that we see you. Thank you for making me so inspired as a singer. And this has been the most magical night. I get to go see my baby after this. Thank you, country music. This means the world. Thank you."] SOUNDCUE (1:20 OC: . . .the world. Thank you.)

In clip six, Maren Morris accepts for Single of the Year.

  • ["Thank you so much. This is very weird. But I love this kind of setup, because we can all hang out all night with each other. It's a cool first. I had a baby eight months ago, so just being out tonight is a win in itself. Thank you, country music, and my peers forominating us and voting for us. Thank you, Greg. I hope you're watching at home in Hawaii. Thank you so much for making this song sound so good. And thank you to my writers, who are here tonight, Laura and Jimmy, for writing this love song with mee that has kind of been a medicine for this crazy year. Yeah. Thank you so so much. This is amazing."] SOUNDCUE (:44 OC: . . .much. This is amazing.)

In clip seven, Morgan Wallen accepts for New Artist.

  • ["Well, I did not expect to get this. I'd like to thank the good lord, my mama for always being the one to push me to sing. For my dad, for always making the sacrifices for me and my family so I could sing. And for my team, and for Nashville, for accepting me into your family. It's been a great five years since I moved here. And thank you guys so much. God bless you."] SOUNDCUE (:33 OC: . . .God bless you.)

In clip eight, Old Dominion accepts for Vocal Group.

  • ["Thank you guys, this is obviously a strange year. But this is… here, you hold. Yes, sir. It's just very humbling, you know, so humbling to be here. Just looking at this whole room of people who all moved here to do what we're all doing, and how amazing is that. We're so happy to be here, and to our fans, our families, our loved ones, our team, thank you so much. What an amazing gift, the life we have. Thank you all so much for this."] SOUNDCUE (:37 OC: . . .all so much for this.)


Eric Church on winning  Entertainer of the Year: [“There’s not really been winners this year. Nobody’s played, nobody’s done the things that we normally do. It’s been a year to me of losses.  It’s been a year of managing those loses. IT’s really hard for me to accept this award, which I have wanted forever. Not for me, but for the people that work so hard and they push those carts up and down ramps. And they stay up all night long, not me or the band, but the guys that put us on stage.”] SOUNDCUE :40 (OC: that put us on stage)

Maren Morris on accepting award in front of a small audience of peers after winning Female Vocalist, Song, and Single of the Year: [“ In a way I preferred it, because it’s all my buddies in there and I could measure all the words that I was going to say. Instead of being a frazzled mess looking out into a black whole of 20 thousand people. Every artist in the room was like, ‘this is very bazar.’ I mean we’re so happy to see each other, we can actually have conversations like this in a table round. It was a weird thing, but I think considering the circumstances, they did an amazing job. The CMA’s did.”] SOUNDCUE :36 (OC: the CMA’s did)

Luke Combs on winning Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for What You See Is What You Get: [“Just to feel that sense of community and fell like we’re gonna turn that corner maybe a little bit on this thing. Making progress on figuring out on how to all be together was incredible. And to get to play with my band was amazing. And I’m just thankful for a great night, great friends and great country music.”] SOUNDCUE :17 (OC:  great country music)

Morgan Wallen on winning New Artist of the Year[“It’s a little kick in the rear towards the top I hope. It’s been tough and I’ve had a lot of good things, a lot of really good things happen this year. A lot of stuff I wouldn’t consider good but this is definitely something I put on the top of the good list for sure.”] SOUNDCUE :16 (OC: the good list for sure)

Carly Pearce on winning Musical Event with Lee Brice for “I Hope You’re Happy Now”: [“Obviously, it’s been the hardest year of my life. And to see the way that country music has had my back the whole time is something that has saved me in a lot of ways. And to be able to look at the beginning of the year and think about how low I was and now to be standing here with this, it’s a childhood dream.”] SOUNDCUE :27 (OC: a childhood dream)

Old Dominion on winning Vocal Group: [“It was great, we were nervous. There’s always that like 10 seconds when the drum roll starts happening and you get little butterflies. It felt good. Yeah.”] SOUNDCUE :12 (OC: felt good. Yeah)

Co-host Reba McEntire on all the new artist on this year’s show: [“There were so many new artists, 23 new nominees this year. A lot of them, I had never met. I thought it was a wonderful well rounded show. Great music and there was a comradery in the audience tonight that was so much fun to watch. Everybody had a great time and got to visit and mingle. And then with Johnny Lee, Micky, and Charley being there and all the newcomers, it was a wonderful evening for country music.”] SOUNDCUE :30 (OC: for country music)

Jimmie Allen on what Charley Pride means to him: [“I remember 4 years ago before I got a record deal or anything, I spent my last hundred dollars to come see Mr. Pride play at the 50th CMA Awards. So, 4 years later to be able to present him with the award and stand here next to him and have a song with him. You imagine having one of the biggest dreams you have and accomplishing that and that happened for me tonight.”] SOUNDCUE :23 (and that happened for me tonight)

2020 CMA AWARDS Dan and Shay accept for Vocal Duo :

2020 CMA AWARDS Eric Church accepts for Entertainer of the Year :

2020 CMA AWARDS Luke Combs accepts for Album of the Year :

2020 CMA AWARDS Luke Combs accepts for Male Vocalist :

2020 CMA AWARDS Maren Morris accepts for Female Vocalist :

2020 CMA AWARDS Maren Morris accepts for Single of the Year :

2020 CMA AWARDS Morgan Wallen accepts for New Artist :

2020 CMA AWARDS Old Dominion accepts for Vocal Group :

Carly Pearce On 2020 CMA Awards :

Eric Church On 2020 CMA Awards :

Jimmie Allen On Charley Pride 2020 CMA Awards :

Luke Combs On 2020 CMA Awards :

Maren Morris On 2020 CMA Awards :

Morgan Wallen On 2020 CMA Awards :

Old Dominion On 2020 CMA Awards :

Reba McEntire On 2020 CMA Awards Hosting :