Lainey Wilson And Carrie Underwood Seek Historic Win In Male-Dominated CMA Awards Entertainer Of The Year Category

It’s been 12 years since a female artist earned the title of CMA Entertainer of the Year.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

November 1, 2023

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Lainey Wilson, Carrie Underwood; Photos Courtesy CMA

In one week, country stars, fans, and industry members will gather at the 57th Annual CMA Awards to celebrate the year in Country music. At the end of the night, the top honor, Entertainer of the Year (EOTY), will be bestowed upon one of five acts.

When the nominees were revealed by the Country Music Association (CMA) on Thursday, Sept. 7, it was revealed that the artists up for EOTY include reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, Luke Combs, alongside Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen and Lainey Wilson. 

In past years of the CMA Awards, the Entertainer of the Year category has traditionally been male-dominated, therefore, a female securing the 2023 title would be a historic feat for country music. 

Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, Lainey Wilson; Photos Provided
Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, Lainey Wilson; Photos Provided

A Female Win Would Be A Historic Feat

This marks Wilson’s first year in the category and Underwood’s sixth as she was previously nominated for CMA Entertainer of the Year in 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

Carrie Underwood; Photo by CMA
Carrie Underwood; Photo by CMA

If either of these female stars score enough votes to take home the crown on Wednesday (Nov. 8), it will mark the first time a female artist has won the trophy in 12 years, the last being Taylor Swift in 2011. 

How Many Females Have Won CMA Entertainer of the Year?

Additionally, in the event that Wilson or Underwood wins, she will become only the eighth female artist in history to be crowd CMA Entertainer of the Year. 

The women who have won CMA Entertainer of the Year include the following.

2011 – Taylor Swift 

2009 – Taylor Swift

2000 – The Chicks 

1999 – Shania Twain 

1986 – Reba McEntire 

1981 – Barbara Mandrell 

1980 – Barbara Mandrell 

1978 – Dolly Parton 

1972 – Loretta Lynn 

Wilson Scores Historic Number Of Nods

Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy Facebook, Instagram
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy Facebook, Instagram

The “Heart Like A Truck” singer is once again headed into “country music’s biggest night” with a historic number of nods. For starters, the reigning CMA Female Vocalist and New Artist Of The Year is the only artist to top the nominations list in her first two appearances on the Final Ballot. Last year, she topped the list with six nominations as a first-time nominee.

Among her impressive nine nominations that include the EOTY award, Wilson is up for Single Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck” with HARDY & “Heart Like A Truck”), Album Of The Year (‘Bell Bottom Country’), Song Of The Year (“Heart Like A Truck”), Female Vocalist Of The Year, Musical Event Of The Year (“Save Me” with Jelly Roll and “Wait In The Truck” with HARDY) and Music Video Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck” with HARDY). 

This incredible set of honors makes Wilson the fourth artist in CMA Awards history to receive nine or more nominations in a single year, following Merle Haggard and Miranda Lambert as well as Alan Jackson, who holds the record with 10 nominations in 2002.

Not only that, but she is also the first artist in 14 years to secure double nominations for Single Of The Year in the same year with “Heart Like a Truck” and her collaboration with HARDY on “Wait in the Truck.” Miranda Lambert was the last artist to achieve this feat in 2010 when she was nominated in the same category for “The House That Built Me” and “White Liar.”

Underwood, who is a seven-time CMA Awards winner, is heading into the 2023 CMA Awards with a nomination in the Entertainer of the Year category.

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Who Will Perform At The 2023 CMA Awards?

Carrie Underwood has not yet been announced as a performer this year, however, the other four Entertainer of the Year nominees are set to perform during the star-studded broadcast. Other performers include Morgan Wallen, HARDY, Post Malone, Luke Bryan, Jelly Roll, K. Michelle, Little Big Town, Megan Moroney, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce, Tanya Tucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Alan Jackson, Cody Johnson, Mac McAnally, Ashley McBryde, The War And Treaty, Zac Brown Band and more.

Fans can tune into the 2023 CMA Awards in November to see who will take home the highest honor of the night. Co-hosted by country superstar Luke Bryan and National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, November 8 at 8/7c on ABC.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.