CMA Awards nominees: Chris Stapleton, Eric Church share top nominations

The 55th annual CMA Awards will air Wednesday, Nov. 10, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Country stars Chris Stapleton and Eric Church will go toe-to-toe with each other at this year's Country Music Association Awards, with both vying in the same five categories, including entertainer of the year.

In nominations announced on Thursday, Stapleton has nominations in male vocalist, album of the year, single and song of the year, and could take home additional trophies as producer both on his album and single. Church, who put out a three-part album in April collectively called "Heart & Soul," also earned five nominations.

They join Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs as entertainer of the year nominees. Lambert, who is also nominated for female vocalist and musical event, was already the most nominated female artist in CMA history and now ties with Brad Paisley for third in overall nominations, the CMA said in a news release. The CMA Awards will air on Nov. 10 on ABC.

Gabby Barrett had another good year with the success of the No. 1 hit country song, "The Good Ones" and she earned four nominations for female artist of the year, new artist, single and song of the year.

Disgraced country star Morgan Wallen, who was caught earlier this year yelling a racial slur, still got enough votes to secure a nomination in one of the top prizes, album of the year. The CMA Board of Directors announced earlier that Wallen would be disqualified for individual awards, but he would be eligible for awards that honor an artistic work. Wallen's "Dangerous: The Double Album" spent 10 consecutive weeks on the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, making it one of the best selling albums of 2021.
Carly Pearce is the lone female artist in the album category with her record "29." The first part of Church's trilogy called "Heart" was nominated in album category and "Skeletons" by Brothers Osborne also earned an album nod.

Combs could add another male vocalist of the year trophy to his shelf. He took home the award the past two years and is nominated again, as well as for song of the year for "Forever After All."

Chris Young and Kane Brown are not only friends, but co-nominees too, as their duet "Famous Friends," is nominated in three categories, including single of the year, musical event and music video. Young could take home two additional awards if he won because of his role as producer. Despite having a string of multiplatinum country hits, like "What Ifs" and "Heaven," this is the first-ever CMA nominations for Brown.

The 55th annual CMA Awards will air Wednesday, Nov. 10, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Check out the full list of 2021 CMA Awards nominees below:

Entertainer of the year



  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood


Single of the year



  • "Famous Friends" - Chris Young with Kane Brown (Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young; Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt)
  • "The Good Ones" - Gabby Barrett (Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale; Mix Engineers: Chris Galland, Manny Marroquin)
  • "Hell Of A View" - Eric Church (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • "One Night Standards" - Ashley McBryde (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • "Starting Over" - Chris Stapleton (Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; Mix Engineer: Vance Powell)


Album of the year



  • "29" - Carly Pearce (Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy Robbins; Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore)
  • "Dangerous: The Double Album" - Morgan Wallen (Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi; Mix Engineer: Joey Moi)
  • "Heart" - Eric Church (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • "Skeletons" - Brothers Osborne (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • "Starting Over" - Chris Stapleton (Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; Mix Engineer: Vance Powell)


Song of the year


  • "Forever After All" - Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford
  • "The Good Ones" - Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick
  • "Hell Of A View" - Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell
  • "One Night Standards" - Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
  • "Starting Over" - Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton


Female vocalist of the year



  • Gabby Barrett
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Maren Morris
  • Carly Pearce


Male vocalist of the year



  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton


Vocal group of the year



  • Lady A
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band


Vocal duo of the year



  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae


Musical event of the year



  • "Buy Dirt" - Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan, Producer: Paul DiGiovanni
  • "Chasing After You" - Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer
  • "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" - Elle King & Miranda Lambert, Producer: Martin Johnson
  • "Famous Friends" - Chris Young with Kane Brown, Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
  • "Half of my hometown" - Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney), Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins


Musician of the year



  • Jenee Fleenor, fiddle
  • Paul Franklin, steel guitar
  • Aaron Sterling, drums
  • Ilya Toshinskiy, banjo
  • Derek Wells, guitar


Music video of the year



  • "Chasing After You" - Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, Director: TK McKamy
  • "Famous Friends" - Chris Young with Kane Brown, Director: Peter Zavadil
  • "Gone" - Dierks Bentley, Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske
  • "Half of my hometown" - Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney), Director: Patrick Tracy
  • "Younger Me" - Brothers Osborne, Director: Reid Long


New artist of the year



  • Jimmie Allen
  • Ingrid Andress
  • Gabby Barrett
  • Mickey Guyton
  • HARDY
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