Winners in two of the 12 CMA Awards categories were announced live on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” this morning from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, which is the site of “The 49th Annual CMA Awards.”
The news was delivered by GMA anchor Lara Spencer and welcomed by cheers from the thousands of fans gathered on the plaza at the Bridgestone Arena waiting to see three-time CMA Awards nominee Chris Stapleton, and a performance by Country superstar Tim McGraw.
“For a decade, ‘Good Morning America’ has set the tone for Country Music’s Biggest Night by jump starting the day with superstar performances from Nashville,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Announcing the winners in two of our categories is a great way to generate excitement and celebrate our artists and their music with fans across the country.”
Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” airs tonight (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Winning CMA Musical Event of the Year was Keith Urban and Eric Church for “Raise ‘Em Up.” This is Urban’s fourth win in the category. Previous wins include “Start A Band” with Paisley (2009); “Highway Don’t Care” with McGraw and Taylor Swift (2013); and We Were Us” with Miranda Lambert (2014). This win ties him with Vince Gill, McGraw, and Paisley for the most wins in the category. Urban is the only artist to win three years in a row.
“I’ve been real fortunate to get to collaborate with some great artists, but doing this song with Eric was truly magical,” said Urban. “It’s an incredible piece of songwriting, and we’re both so grateful it’s resonated the way it has! Big shout out to our fans and to Country radio and TV for all the support we’ve had along the way!”
One of the top nominees in 2015, this is Church’s second CMA Award – his first was for Album of the Year for Chief in 2012. His nominations include Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Single of the Year for “Talladega,” and Song of the Year for “Like A Wrecking Ball,” which he co-wrote with Casey Beathard.
Winning CMA Music Video of the Year was Maddie & Tae and director TK McKamy for “Girl In A Country Song,” which generated widespread talk about gender role reversals, turning the tables on male/female lyrical stereotypes. Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye, who recently turned 20, were just 17 when they penned the song. The pair received two additional nominations in 2015 including Vocal Duo and New Artist of the Year.
“I can’t even believe this!” said Marlow. “Last year, we were just excited to be going and being on the red carpet – and now we’ve got our first CMA Award?! That’s crazy, and awesome, and wow!”
Dye added, “This video was so much fun, but it also go a lot of people talking – and it says some stuff about what makes girls matter. I’m honored people saw it as we meant it: more than a joke, but proof you can speak your mind and not be mean.”
This marked the fourth year the categories were announced on “Good Morning America.”