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Brooks wins CMA's biggest honor

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – The emphasis was on the women of country at the CMA Awards on Wednesday, but the winner of the Entertainer of the Year Award was Garth Brooks.

Luke Combs and Kacey Musgraves won two awards apiece. Combs won for Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for "Beautiful Crazy." Musgraves took the Female Vocalist and Music Video of the Year for "Rainbow."

"Very sweet," Brooks said before praising Reba, Kelsea Ballerini for her singing performance and Combs, who he said would win this honor in the future.

The night kicked off with an opening montage of country songs from country's leading women

Carrie Underwood, who hosted the show, with help from Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, kicked off the night with Those Memories of You," recorded by Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.

They were joined on stage from the likes of The High Women, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Tanya Tucker, Crystal Gayle, and Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town for a rousing start.

As for the awards, Blake Shelton took the first one for Single of the Year for "God's Country," which also went to producer Scott Hendricks and mix engineer Justin Niebank. Shelton dedicated the award to the late producer and songwriter busbee and singer Earl Thomas Conley.

Luke Combs won Song of the Year for "Beautiful Crazy" with fellow writers Wyatt B. Durrette III and Robert Williford. Combs thanked his "beautiful fiance" for being the inspiration for the song."

He also took Male Vocalist of the Year without a baseball hat. "This is pretty unbelievable stuff," he said. "I remember sitting on my parents porch when I was a little kid and watching Vince Gill come up here and win this same award."

"Country music means everything to me, and this means everything to me and my family. Thank you guys so much. This is a moment I will never forget," he said.

Dan + Shay took home Duo of the Year. Shay Mooney said, "This is a little overwhelming man...this is absolutely incredible...I'm so thankful for this."

Old Dominion won its second Vocal Group of the Year honor. Lead singer Matthew Ramsey said, "What an amazing thing we get to be a part of. I keep thinking tonight of how back in the day, we operated under the mantra of self preservation where any time anything good would happen to us, we would look at each other and say, 'this is never going to work anyway.'"

Citing those who supported and backed the band, "We should have been saying, of course, we're going to make it. Of course, it's going to work."

Ashley McBryde won the New Artist of the Year honor.

Jenee Fleenor, longtime fiddle player for Shelton and "The Voice" house band, became the first-ever woman to win a CMA Award for Musician of the Year.

On Wednesday morning, "Old Town Road (Remix)" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus (Producers: YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross) was announced as winner of CMA Musical Event of the Year.

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