Eric Church Triumphs as 2020 CMA Entertainer of the Year

Eric Church took home the CMA Awards’ top honor on Wednesday (Nov.11) after being crowned CMA Entertainer of the Year…


Lauren Jo Black

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November 11, 2020


10:04 pm

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Eric Church; Photo Courtesy ABC

Eric Church took home the CMA Awards’ top honor on Wednesday (Nov.11) after being crowned CMA Entertainer of the Year at the conclusion of “Country Music’s Biggest Night.”

“If there was ever a year not to win this,” he joked upon taking the stage.

“I was thinking about this when I walked up here,” he continued. “This award for this year has been about the loss of this year, the loss of life, loss of freedom…The win is we were all here tonight together as country music. In-person, live not on Zoom…It’s gonna be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing. It’s gonna save the entire world. Politicians are about division music is about unity. ”

Also nominated in the coveted Entertainer of the Year category were Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

The 54th Annual CMA Awards featured performances from Chris Stapleton, Rascal Flatts, Morgan Wallen, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Jon Pardi, Keith Urban, Jimmie Allen, Ingrid Andress, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion and Kelsea Ballerini.

Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations by Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber, Reba McEntire featuring Darius Rucker, Gabby Barrett and Charlie Puth, Carly Pearce with Charles Kelley as well as Thomas Rhett together with McEntire and Chris Tomlin. The show opener featured an all-star performance from Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne and Ashley McBryde paying tribute to the late Charlie Daniels.

Hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, “Country Music’s Biggest Night” aired on Wednesday, November 11 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET) on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.