CMA Awards 2021: Chris Stapleton and Luke Combs are among the big winners

11 November 2021, 13:46

Last night's CMA Awards was a star-studded affair.
Last night's CMA Awards was a star-studded affair. Picture: Getty

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

American country music's biggest stars were out in Nashville last night, celebrating the best in the business at the annual CMA Awards.

Last night, Wednesday 10th November, marked the 55th Annual Country Music Association Awards ceremony.

Bringing together American country music's biggest stars, it was a dazzling night of music, emotion, and glamour at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennesse.

American Idol judge Luke Bryan hosted the ceremony for the first time, as well as performing alongside the likes of Chris Stapleton and Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean, the Brothers Osborne, Luke Combs, and more.

Read more: Adele names Chris Stapleton as the one singer she really wants to duet with

Chris Stapleton and Eric Church led the way in terms of nominations, but there were plenty of surprises in terms of wins.

As expected, Stapleton was the biggest winner on the night with four wins in total including Album of the Year, Single of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.

One of the shock wins of the night went to Luke Combs, who trumped Stapleton, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood to the Entertainer of the Year award.

Read more: Carrie Underwood turned down Florida Georgia Line collaboration, band reveals

Talking about his surprise win, Combs said: "I'm really kind of at a loss. Every single person that was nominated for this award this year, and every year before, deserves to win this."

"I don't deserve to win it, but I'm sure as hell glad that I did!"

Jimmie Allen was overcome with emotion as he won the New Artist of the Year, becoming only the second black artist to win the award. Darius Rucker became the first in 2009.

Chris Stapleton and Jennifer Hudson's duet was on of the evening's highlights. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
Chris Stapleton and Jennifer Hudson's duet was on of the evening's highlights. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images). Picture: Getty
Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry had fun on stage together. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA).
Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry had fun on stage together. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA). Picture: Getty
Chris Stapleton was the night's biggest winner. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Chris Stapleton was the night's biggest winner. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images). Picture: Getty

There were epic performances from Chris Stapleton who brought on Respect star Jennifer Hudson for a soulful rendition of 'You Are My Sunshine'.

Stapleton then joined Hudson on guitar for as she sang 'Night Life', the Willie Nelson song that Aretha Franklin herself covered.

Read more: Jennifer Hudson interview: 'Respect' star recalls amazing moment Aretha Franklin picked her to play herself

Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood did their utmost to leave no dry eyes in the house, with a powerful duet of 'If I Didn't Love You'.

Brothers Osborne also contributed a poignant performance with 'Younger Me' which preceded with T.J. Osborne fearing he'd never be accepted within the CMA's due to his sexuality. He came out earlier this year.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban the 2021 CMA Awards. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban the 2021 CMA Awards. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images). Picture: Getty
Carrie Underwood wore a striking asymmetrical dress. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA)
Carrie Underwood wore a striking asymmetrical dress. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA). Picture: Getty
Jennifer Hudson looked gorgeous in her sultry dress. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Jennifer Hudson looked gorgeous in her sultry dress. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images). Picture: Getty

Read more: Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban: A timeline of their beautiful relationship and family

As you'd expect at a major awards bash, it was star-studded soirée with Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Lionel Richie, and more all walking the red carpet.

See below for the full list of winners on the night:

Album of the Year

29 - Carly Pearce

Dangerous: The Double Album - Morgan Wallen

Heart - Eric Church

Skeletons - Brothers Osborne

Starting Over - Chris Stapleton *WINNER

Single of the Year

'Famous Friends' - Chris Young with Kane Brown

'The Good Ones' - Gabby Barrett

'Hell Of A View' - Eric Church

'One Night Standards' - Ashley McBryde

'Starting Over' - Chris Stapleton *WINNER

Song of the Year

'Forever After All' - Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford

'The Good Ones' - Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick

'Hell Of A View' - Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell

'One Night Standards' - Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde

'Starting Over' - Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton *WINNER

Entertainer of the Year

Eric Church

Luke Combs *WINNER

Miranda Lambert

Chris Stapleton

Carrie Underwood

Female Vocalist of the Year

Gabby Barrett

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Maren Morris

Carly Pearce *WINNER

Male Vocalist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton *WINNER

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady A

Little Big Town

Midland

Old Dominion *WINNER

Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn

Brothers Osborne *WINNER

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year

Jimmie Allen *WINNER

Ingrid Andress

Gabby Barrett

Mickey Guyton

HARDY

Musician of the Year

Jenee Fleenor - fiddle *WINNER

Paul Franklin - steel guitar

Aaron Sterling - drums

Ilya Toshinskiy - banjo

Derek Wells - guitar

Musical Event of the Year

'Buy Dirt' - Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan

'Chasing After You' - Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris

'Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)' - Elle King & Miranda Lambert

'Famous Friends' - Chris Young with Kane Brown

'half of my hometown' - Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney) *WINNER

Music Video of the Year

'Chasing After You' - Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris

'Famous Friends' - Chris Young with Kane Brown

'Gone' - Dierks Bentley

'half of my hometown' - Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney) *WINNER

'Younger Me' - Brothers Osborne