When the nominations for the 54th annual CMA Awards were announced on Sept. 1, both Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert earned CMA Entertainer of the Year nominations. This marks the first time two solo female artists have been nominated for the award in the same year since Crystal Gayle and Barbara Mandrell in 1979.
Eric Church, Luke Combs and Keith Urban round out this year’s nominees in the most-coveted category, but one former Entertainer of the Year thinks it’s Carrie’s year to shine. Reba McEntire, who won the CMA Entertainer of the Year award in 1986, shared her thoughts on the subject during a media round-robin interview on Sept. 3.
“I’m thrilled with the girls getting back in there,” says Reba. “The thing that we have to realize and remember, whether it’s a male or female, the song usually drives the situation—it drives the boat. So when anybody has such a great song that can keep them in front of the public for a while—because there’s so much competition—that’s the thing. And then them coming in with the hard work and the creativity to do different things year after year. Carrie has worked her tail off. I’ve watched her. I’ve watched her show. I’m very impressed with how much work she puts into her production and to her creativity, whether it’s the people who surround her [during] her concerts or her costuming—she puts a lot of thought into it. She sings her butt off, so I’m very, very proud of Carrie coming in and working so hard and representing country music.”
Tune in to the CMA Awards on Nov. 11 to see who takes home the trophy for Entertainer of the Year and more.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com