On November 8, the brightest stars from across the country music pantheon descended on Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, as the 2023 CMA Awards victors are crowned.
Lainey Wilson once again lead the way in terms of nominations, picking up NINE nods including her first for Entertainer of the Year. She would go on to win the award, the first female artist to do so since 2011.
Ahead of the ceremony, HARDY and Lainey Wilson were unveiled as the winners of the 2023 CMA Musical Event of the Year and CMA Music Video of the Year for their haunting duet, ‘wait in the truck’.
One artist that went toe-to-toe with the ‘Watermelon Moonshine’ hitmaker is first-time nominee Jelly Roll, who followed up Wilson with the second most nominations with five, including Single of the Year. He went on to win the award for Best New Artist.
Luke Combs, Tracey Chapman, Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne and Jenee Fleenor closed out the esteemed list of winners, with Wilson coming out on top with 5 awards.
The night provided a glorious who's who of some country's biggest names performing well-known favourites and surprising covers.
Post Malone joined Morgan Wallen and HARDY to perform a pair of Joe Diffie covers. The performance was introduced by Diffie's son Parker Diffie, who went on to announce that the performance was to launch the much anticipated HIXTAPE 3: DIFFTAPE - a compilation album dedicated to the work of Diffie.
If one big ensemble performance wasn't enough, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson paid tribute the late great Jimmy Buffet, performing a selection of his classic songs for those in attendance and watching at home.
In other surprises, Wallen appeared on stage earlier in the evening to perform ‘Man Made A Bar’ with Eric Church, while Wynonna joined Jelly Roll to perform his song 'Need A Favour'.
The evening's co-host, Luke Bryan, took to the stage for a special medley of some of his greatest hits, while Carly Pearce joined Chris Stapleton for a live version of their 2023 duet, ‘We Don't Fight Anymore’. Stapleton also returned to the stage for a fiery performance of his single, ’White Horse’.
For the full list of 2023 CMA awards and nominees, see below:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
SONG OF THE YEAR
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Dan + Shay - ‘Save Me The Trouble’
Jordan Davis - ‘Next Thing You Know’
Ashley McBryde - ‘Light On In The Kitchen’
The War and Treaty - ‘That's How Love Is Made’
Luke Bryan - Medley, ‘Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day’, ‘One Margarita’, ‘That’s My Kind Of Night’, ‘Play It Again’ and ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me)’
Tanya Tucker & Little Big Town - ‘Delta Dawn’
For more on the CMA Awards, see below:
Photography by Laura Ord.