Carrie Underwood is the first woman nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards since, well, the last time she was nominated in 2017. Will she win? She has the potential to set a new record if she does, but she also had a chance to take top honors last fall at the Country Music Association Awards, only for them to leave her stranded.
Underwood has won Entertainer of the Year twice at the ACM Awards (2009-2010). Those victories were followed by back-to-back wins for Taylor Swift (2011-2012), which makes them the only women ever to win that prize multiple times. So if Underwood wins again she will stand alone as the only woman with three Entertainer of the Year titles. But Underwood and Swift’s victories all came when fans decided the top category. In 2016 the academy went back to picking the winner, and it has been all men ever since.
The country music industry has been criticized for discriminating against women, especially when it comes to radio airplay. The 2019 CMA Awards devoted time to celebrating women in the industry. They were hosted by Underwood with special co-hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. And there was a special group performance honoring legendary women in country music history, including Tanya Tucker, Martina McBride and Crystal Gayle. It looked like the show was building to Underwood finally winning her first Entertainer of the Year prize … but then the CMAs gave it to Garth Brooks for the seventh time even though he only had one other nomination. Underwood was unexpectedly shut out.
So what will the ACMs do? Last year’s winner Keith Urban isn’t nominated this year. Neither is Jason Aldean, who won the three years in a row before that. Instead, Underwood is up against two-time champ Luke Bryan (2013, 2015), two-time nominee Eric Church and first-timers Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett. Visit our predictions center to let us know how you think it’ll go.
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