Wednesday, November 9, 2022
– Luke Combs won the biggest honor of the night at the 56th Country Music Association Awards - Entertainer of the Year.
"Oh my goodness," said Combs."I never ever know what to say."
"This is a dream come true," he said. "There is nobody in this category that doesn't deserve to be standing up here."
"Let me tell you one more thing. This is my fifth or sixth year of being at this awards show, and country sounded more country than it has in a long time tonight."
Combs also won Album of the Year for "Growin' Up" at the Country Music Association awards Wednesday.
"Oh man, I was not expecting this," he said.
Fellow producers Chip Matthews and Jonathan Singleton, who joined Combs on stage, also received the award.
Lainey Wilson won New Artist of the Year."With tears in her eyes, Wilson said,"If you know me, I'mm rarely speechless, and I'm speechless right now." She said the award was for the "nine year old girl who wrote her first song at nine and spent 11 years in Nashville, "not taking no for an answer."
After a lengthy list of thanks, Wilson said, "We're just getting started. Let's go."
Wilson also scored Female Vocalist of the Year in a field including Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde. Wilson wins Female Vocalist of the Year. "I was definitely not expecting this one at all," she said in praising the others nominated. "I'm so honored just to be nominated for this. This is huge."
She dedicated the honor to her father, who was in the hospital with a serious illness. Wilson said she was afraid of losing him, but he accompanied her to the awards show. "I'm so excited that you're here with me. You believed in me before anyone else...I know I'm new to a lot of folks, but I won't let you down. I promise you."
Chris Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year. This was his sixth Male Vocalist of the Year. "I'm so honored to be a member of the country music community," before wishing his daughter, Ada, a happy 12th birthday.
Brothers Osborne took home Vocal Duo of the Year. Accepting the award from Wynonna Judd, TJ Osborne said, "To be here tonight, and to be in the presence of Wynonna, while winning this award, will be one of the biggest highlights of my entire life. This is so crazy to me."
"It's an absolute honor. We have learned so much from you and your family," he said.
Brother John Osborne announced that his wife was pregnant with twins."You're going to be an amazing mom."
"It's an incredible ride," said TJ Osborne.
"Buy Dirt" won the first award for Song of the Year. The award went to the writers Jordan and Jacob Davis and Josh and Matt Jenkins. Jordan Davis had a hit with the song on which Luke Bryan also sings.
"Oh man, I did not expect that," said Jordan Davis. "We wrote about a faith and family. If that's not about country music, I don't want is."
Davis called up Bryan to join him on stage. Bryan is a co-host of the show with Payton Manning.
Vocal group of the Year went to Old Dominion for the fifth time. Lead singer Matthew Ramsey said, "Obviously we've lost a lot of legends. There's no one who would be here, in this category, without Alabama. We just lost Jeff Cook. I'm so grateful to be in a band. I can't imagine losing one of you guys." Ramsey said he was grateful for the chance to "do what we love doing."
Cody Johnson's "'Till You Can't" won Song of the Year. He said it was "one of the greatest country songs of all time....God bless country music. Thank you so much." Producer Trent Willmon, "This is not the last of these" for Johnson.