At the first Country Music Association Awards in 1967, Eddy Arnold was awarded with the inaugural Entertainer of the Year trophy. Since that first ceremony, a total of 32 performers have won one of the most coveted awards in the country music industry. Click through our photo gallery above of every Entertainer of the Year winner throughout CMA Awards history.
Garth Brooks is not only the reigning Entertainer of the Year, but also holds the record for the most victories in this category with an unprecedented six wins overall. Brooks first won this award in 1991.
Women have traditionally been underrepresented in this category, with only seven female artists winning the top prize. Loretta Lynn was the first female winner here, and Barbara Mandrell made history as the first artist of either gender to win the award twice. More recently, Taylor Swift repeated that feat, as well as being the youngest artist to ever win here.
Most of the winners for Entertainer of the Year have been solo artists, but the occasional duo or group has managed to break through. Supergroup Alabama became not only the first group to win here, but also was the first artist to win this award three times. The duo Brooks & Dunn won the award in 1996, while The Dixie Chicks became the only all-female group to win this award in 2000, shortly before they were ostracized by the industry following lead singer Natalie Maines‘s disparaging comments about then-President George W. Bush.
Nominations for the upcoming 52nd CMA Awards will be announced on August 28, 2018. Winners will be announced November 14 in a live telecast on ABC.