CMA Crashers

CMA Crashers

CMA Crashers

Over the years, as I have interviewed many CMA Awards show nominees, and country stars love the Entertainer category that is known as the night’s most significant award. Still, many artists are most impressed and want the Album of the Year nomination more than anything else.

As many nominated artists have told me over the years, it’s the ultimate honor for the hard work they put into an album project.

CMA Album of the Year winners over the past six years have been Luke Combs, Growin’ Up (2022), Chris Stapleton, Starting Over (2021), Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get (2020), Maren Morris, Girl (2019), Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour (2018), and Chris Stapleton, From A Room Volume 1 (2017).

Stapleton told us of his 2021 CMA Album of the Year Starting Over, “There are a lot of great records that have this theme and this overlying thread that kind of runs through them. Maybe the thread for me is just I’m singing. I wrote the bulk of the songs. It’s the same guys playing all the songs.”

He continued, “If there’s a theme, hopefully, there’s a theme of truth somewhere in it, and what I mean by that is hopefully we’re conveying in the songs some experiences that feel real, and hopefully people can find themselves in those songs, and in the Album. For me, if I’m looking for a theme, it’s that kind of, I don’t know, that thing that binds us all together as humans.”

Musgraves won the Top Album Grammy in all genres for Golden Hour in 2019. She said when she also won the Grammy for Best Country Album the same year, “I never dreamed that this record would be met with such love, such warmth, such positivity. I love country music with everything that I am, and I’m really proud to get to share that with the world. Thank you so much to my family. Thank you to all the fans that have spread nothing but positivity about this Album, and you really gave it wings. It means so much to me; thank you so much.”

RELATED: Lainey Wilson: ‘How You Treat Somebody Will Go Really Far’

  • Lainey Wison - Bell Bottom Country

    This won the 2023 Album of the Year award at the ACM Awards in May and is a hot contender for this award from the CMA. Lainey said when she heard about this nomination and her eight others this year, “Being nominated in each of these categories amongst my friends means the world to me. And the coveted Entertainer Of The Year category?! It’s absolutely surreal. We bust our butts out there on the road every dang night to give y’all the best show possible, and I have the time of my life doing it. All I gotta say is thank y’all. I love country music.”

  • Luke Combs - Getting Old

    Getting Old is a continuation of his 2022 CMA Album of the Year winner Growin’ Up. Luke told us how the two albums connect, “All the songs that were on Growin’ Up and the songs that are now on this one, Getting Old, were all recorded in the same era. And what I mean by that is we were in the studio a bunch and recording what was then going to be my third album. I began to compile this list of songs; we must have recorded forty (songs) over two years.”

    He continued, “As I began to compile the track list that was going to be ‘Growin’ Up,’ I was having so much trouble coming up with this track list because there were two sets of songs that were so different from each other. I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got this song called ‘Growin’ Up and Getting Old,’ which the hook was ‘in the middle of growing up and gettin’ old,’ and that is really where I feel like I am.”

  • Ashley McBryde - Lindeville

    When Ashley got a Grammy-nominated for the same album, she told us, “I’m so proud to be able to share these nominations with so many friends and collaborators – for a duet we wrote and took to No. 1 with Carly and the entire cast of Lindeville, where we gave ourselves the opportunity to change the approach and make decisions based solely on serving the songs.” She added, “I’ve always said that recognition from the Recording Academy and joining the Grand Ole Opry are the two best things that could ever happen to you as an artist, so here I stand just in awe of this moment. It’s such an honor to be right here right now. And especially in such good company.”

  • Kelsea Ballerini - Rolling Up The Welcome Mat

    Just minutes after she learned of the nomination in early September (9/7), Ballerini was on her Insta Stories in a raw video clip she made on her phone. An emotional Kelsea, who appeared to be lying on the floor in her home, said, “Hey, good morning. um, CMA nominations came out this morning.” She pauses and smiles, “Rolling Up The Welcome Mat is nominated for Album of the Year. It’s the little EP that keeps on giving. Oh, my little heart’s gonna explode and implode at the same time. I am also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year at the CMAs. Good morning!” Ballerini then posted the announcement from the CMA of Album of the Year on her Insta Stories and wrote over it, “Nah, I’ll never get over this!”

  • Morgan Wallen - One Thing At A Time

    This album has been huge for Morgan and could very well win the award on Wednesday (11/8). It set a record in all genres of music when, in the week of the album’s release, all 36 tracks entered the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record set by Drake in 2018 for most songs by an artist on the chart at one time, as well as the record for most debuts on the chart, with 27.

    Wallen said of the album when it came out in March, “This record represents the last few years of my life, the highs and the lows. It also brings together the musical influences that have shaped me as an artist – country, alternative, and hip-hop. There are 36 songs on this album because we just kept exploring with fresh lyrics, music, and production ideas, and these are the songs that felt right to me. It was a blast to create, and I was so grateful to be back in the studio to lay this out for my fans.”

Sign me up for the XTU Nation email newsletter!

Join XTU Nation and get the latest music and local news, exclusive presales, contests, and more straight to your inbox!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.