CMA Awards, Music News, News

2021 CMA Awards Preview: What to Expect

The 55th Annual CMA Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee’s capital city tonight (November 10) at 8:30 pm ET / 5:30 pm PT. The event will feature a fully-vaccinated audience and show off this year's hottest new country stars - as well as legendary artists who have been shaking up the modern country scene for years.

Without further ado, here's all you need to know about the 2021 CMA Awards!

Host & Presenters:

One month prior to this year's ceremony, singer-songwriter and Georgia native Luke Bryan accepted the call to host the 2021 CMAs. Bryan will be the first person to host the event solo in 18 years.

“Being asked to host the CMA Awards was definitely something I put a lot of thought into before answering,” the American Idol judge noted in a press release following the October announcement. “The pressure that comes along with that can be overwhelming, but knowing I get to help honor and celebrate so many of my friends, I knew it was something I couldn’t turn down.”

As for presenters, Kelsea Ballerini, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, Scotty McCreery, Russell Dickerson and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley will make appearances. Darius Rucker, who hosted the CMAs last year with Reba McEntire, is also set to present.


Blake Shelton and Eric Church are each set to take the stage at the Bridgestone Arena, along with Dan + Shay and Brothers Osborne. Mickey Guyton — CMT's Breakout Artist of the Year — will perform a compilation of songs from her debut record, Remember Her Name. Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards will join her in the number.

There's also another lineup of musicians that will perform ahead of the show. That group includes Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND, HARDY, Jennifer Hudson, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band.


Eric Church and Chris Stapleton lead the pack with 5 nominations each. They're also both nominated for one of the biggest awards of the night: Entertainer of the Year.

Gabby Barrett and Thomas Rhett are up for Female Vocalist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, respectively. Gabby Barrett and Mickey Guyton are also in the running for New Artist of the Year alongside Jimmie Allen, HARDY and Ingrid Andress.

Below are the nominees for some of the biggest awards of the night:

Entertainer of the Year
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Miranda Lambert
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood

Female Vocalist of the Year
Gabby Barrett
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris
Carly Pearce

Male Vocalist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year
Jimmie Allen
Ingrid Andress
Gabby Barrett
Mickey Guyton

Album of the Year
29 - Carly Pearce
Dangerous: the Double Album - Morgan Wallen
Heart - Eric Church
Skeletons - Brothers Osborne
Starting Over - Chris Stapleton

Song of the Year
“Forever After All” - Luke Combs, Drew Parker & Robert Williford
“Hell Of A View” - Casey Beathard, Eric Church & Monty Criswell
“One Night Standards” - Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally & Ashley McBryde
“Starting Over” - Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton
“The Good Ones” - Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis & Jim McCormick

How to Watch:

The 55th annual CMA Awards will air on Wednesday (Nov. 10) at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. If you have cable, you can watch the CMA Awards on TV through your local ABC affiliate.

For those without cable, ABC can be streamed online via Signing up for free trials of fuboTV or SlingTV can also give you access to ABC as well, as both services include ABC, to let you stream the CMA Awards live.

ABC is also available to watch with the Hulu+Live TV feature with a Hulu subscription. The streaming service is currently offering a 30-day free trial which you can use to watch the 2021 CMA Awards online free.

Pre-Show Information:

Viewers can stream “On The Red Carpet at The CMA Awards” on Wednesday, Nov. 10, by tuning into ABC or their streaming provider early. The red carpet event will start 7:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. CT, and 4:30 p.m. PT. Good Morning America's Lara Spencer, CMA Award nominee Jimmie Allen and ABC7 Los Angeles/KABC-TV Los Angeles’ George Pennacchio will report from the red carpet and interview many of this year’s CMA Awards nominees and hottest stars.

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Article Image: Luke Bryan, this year's host of the 55th CMA Awards, poses on the red carpet for the ACM Awards in 2017. (Jean_Nelson via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey