Special Report

Every Country Music Album of the Year Since 1967

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The Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, or the CMAs, are one of country music’s most distinguished events. This year’s ceremony is expected to be no different and will air live Wednesday, Nov. 13, on ABC Television Network. The event will be hosted by country superstars Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire.

Along with recognizing the talents of specific artists, songs, and music videos, members of the CMA honor an Album of the Year during each event. Albums are judged on different elements, including artist’s performance, musicianship, engineering, album art, layout, and liner notes. 

As the CMA Awards have been held since 1967, there have been 52 Album of the Year winners to date. The artists behind these releases are varied, indicative of shifting trends in country music. Early winners reflect a traditional Nashville sound, which gives way to the stripped-down Outlaw country of the 1970s. The 1980s feature many easy listening-influenced albums, followed by the work of neotraditionalists such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, and early Garth Brooks.

The 21st Century has seen many artists combine pop music with country to great success, with Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert among the honored musicians to win Album of the Year. These are America’s most popular country music stars.

Because the industry professionals who vote for Album of the Year are looking at more than just sales, each year’s choice offers an interesting insight into what was most appreciated in the genre at the time. Sales alone often paint a much different picture. These are the best selling country albums of the last 10 years.

24/7 Tempo reviewed archived data from The Country Music Association (CMA) to determine the winners for the Album of the Year Award going back to the year of the award’s inception in 1967. All data is from the official CMA website.

Click here to see every country music album of the year since 1967.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: There Goes My Everything
> Artist: Jack Greene

Jack Greene was awarded Album of the Year at the very first CMA Awards in 1967, winning over fellow country legends Eddy Arnold, Sonny James, Ray Price, and Merle Haggard, thanks in part to his chart-topping version of the album’s title track. Greene also won the award for Male Vocalist of the Year that year.


Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

> Album: Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
> Artist: Johnny Cash

The Man in Black returned to the place of his incarceration in California to record a live album on Jan. 13, 1968. The album celebrated the outlaw side of country music and was a searing indictment of the penal system. Among the songs he recorded were “Cocaine Blues,” “25 Minutes to Go,” and “I Got Stripes.”

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: Johnny Cash at San Quentin
> Artist: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash followed up his Album of the Year win in 1968 with another win in 1969 — another live album recorded at a prison, “Johnny Cash at San Quentin.” Cash won five CMA Awards that year: Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Single, Album, and Vocal Duo of the Year (with his wife, June Carter Cash).

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: Okie from Muskogee
> Artist: Merle Haggard

“Okie from Muskogee” was Merle Haggard’s defiant riposte to the anti-war sentiment in the late 1960s, turning the disparaging name “Okie” into a badge of honor. The album features songs such as the title track, and “Mama Tried,” “Silver Wings,” and “Workin’ Man Blues.” It was No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart for five weeks, one of his 16 No. 1 albums on the country chart. Haggard, who died in 2016, was actually from Bakersfield, California, but his father had moved to California from Oklahoma to escape the devastation of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.


Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: I Won’t Mention It Again
> Artist: Ray Price

Ray Price won his only Album of the Year award in 1971 for “I Won’t Mention It Again,” beating out Merle Haggard, Sammi Smith, Lynn Anderson, and Jerry Reed. The majority of the album’s songs were written by Kris Kristofferson, including the popular “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: Let Me Tell You About a Song
> Artist: Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard had another big album hit with “Let Me Tell You About a Song” in 1972, a combination of covers and nostalgic tunes. Among the songs on the album are the two hits “Daddy Frank” and “Grandma Harp.” The album rose to No. 7 on the Billboard’s Top Country Album chart.


Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: Behind Closed Doors
> Artist: Charlie Rich

Charlie Rich won in 1973 with his album “Behind Closed Doors,” which includes that year’s Single of the Year — its title track. Other nominees were Jeanne Pruett’s “Satin Sheets,” Loretta Lynn’s “Entertainer of the Year,” Lynn’s and Conway Twitty’s “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” and Tom T. Hall’s “The Storyteller.”

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: Very Special Love Songs
> Artist: Charlie Rich

Charlie Rich went back-to-back with album of the year with the smash “Very Special Love Songs.” The album mixed harpsichord, acoustic guitars, and honky tonk piano. It included songs such as “Why Don’t We Go Somewhere and Love,” “Take Time to Love,” “A Field of Yellow Daisies,” and “Why, Oh Why.” “Very Special Love Songs” was Rich’s third No. 1 country album.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: A Legend in My Time
> Artist: Ronnie Milsap

Blind singer Ronnie Milsap scored a hit with his 1975 album “A Legend in My Time,” which featured a variety of different sounding songs, including “Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry,” “(I’d Be) A Legend in My Time,” and “The Busiest Memory in Town.” Milsap won over numerous country heavy hitters, including Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, and folk hero John Denver.


Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: Wanted! The Outlaws
> Artist: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, Tompall Glaser

“Wanted! The Outlaws,” headlined by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and including Jennings’ wife, Jessi Colter, became country music’s first platinum-certified LP after it sold 1 million copies. The album was a compilation of so-called outlaw country music and included hits such as “Suspicious Minds” and “Good Hearted Woman.” The album climbed to No. 10 on the Billboard 200.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

> Album: Ronnie Milsap Live
> Artist: Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap again bested Waylon Jennings and Loretta Lynn in 1977 — as well as Kenny Rogers and the duo of Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, who were nominated for their collaborative album “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You” — winning for his album “Ronnie Milsap Live.” The album was Milsap’s first live offering, recorded at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. He also took home the awards for Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year.


Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: It Was Almost Like a Song
> Artist: Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap had two consecutive No. 1 albums. In 1978 he won with “It Was Almost Like a Song.” Milsap brought a more pop sound to country music with the album, which reached No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart. Among the songs on the album are “Here In Love,” “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be,” and the title track.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: The Gambler
> Artist: Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” won at the 13th annual CMA Awards, over other nominees including John Conlee, Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, and Johnny Paycheck. The album featured two major pop crossover hits: “The Gambler” and “She Believes in Me.” Rogers also won 1979’s Male Vocalist of the Year.

Source: Bettmann / Getty Images

> Album: Coal Miner’s Daughter
> Artist: Soundtrack

The soundtrack to Loretta Lynn’s biopic had large crossover appeal, climbing to No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Sissy Spacek sang Loretta Lynn’s songs (“I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” “There He Goes,” and “You’re Lookin’ at Country”), and Beverly D’Angelo sang the Patsy Cline tracks (“Walkin’ After Midnight” and “Sweet Dream”).


Source: Stuart Nicol / Getty Images

> Album: I Believe in You
> Artist: Don Williams

“I Believe in You” was Don Williams’ best-selling album at that point, and it earned him his sole CMA Album of the Year award. Competition in 1981 was fierce, with Williams being chosen over Dolly Parton, Alabama, George Jones, and Ronnie Milsap.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Album: Always on My Mind
> Artist: Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson’s monster album sold over 4 million copies and occupied the top of the country charts for 22 weeks and produced a platinum single for the title track. It won the CMA Album of the Year over albums from Merle Haggard, Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, and George Jones. Besides the title track, the songs included “Let It Be Me” and Nelson’s covers of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The album was one of 17 No. 1 albums for Nelson.


Source: Paul R. Giunta / Getty Images

> Album: The Closer You Get
> Artist: Alabama

Alabama’s slickly produced fourth album — which includes the super-hit “Dixieland Delight” — won in 1983 over records by Ricky Skaggs, Janie Fricke, John Anderson, and Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, who had collaborated on their now classic “Pancho and Lefty.” The band also took home the awards for Group of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

> Album: A Little Good News
> Artist: Anne Murray

Canadian singer Anne Murray had much success in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Her CMA Album of the Year topped Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, Alabama, and Merle Haggard. “A Little Good News” produced No. 1 country hits such as the title track and “Just Another Woman In Love” — two of Murray’s 10 country chart-toppers.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Album: Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
> Artist: George Strait

Country superstar George Strait won his first Album of the Year award for his fourth studio album, “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind.” The country music traditionalist won out over Alabama, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and The Judds. Strait would win the award another four times.


Source: Frederick Breedon IV / Getty Images

> Album: Lost in the Fifties Tonight
> Artist: Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap was honored by the CMA again in 1986 for his album “Lost in the Fifties Tonight,” topping George Strait, The Judds, Randy Travis, and Reba McIntire. The album was one of four No. 1 albums for Milsap. Milsap’s 17th studio album produced four of his 35 country No. 1 hits: “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby,” “In Love,” “How Do I Turn You On,” and the title song.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: Always & Forever
> Artist: Randy Travis

Randy Travis’ “Always & Forever” won in 1987 with other nominees being George Strait’s “Ocean Front Property,” Reba McEntire’s “What Am I Gonna Do About You,” George Jones’ “Wine Colored Roses,” and “Trio” by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris. Travis’ album stood above thanks in part to its massive singles “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “I Won’t Need You Anymore,” and “Too Gone Too Long.” The singer also won Male Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year for his song “Forever And Ever, Amen,” which he performed at that year’s awards show.


Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

> Album: Born To Boogie
> Artist: Hank Williams, Jr.

The unlikely titled album from country royalty Hank Williams, Jr. won the CMA Album of the Year over Vern Godsin, Rodney Crowell, George Strait, and Kathy Mattea. The big-beat album makes a nod to rock with covers of the Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Woman” and celebrates country with the singalong anthem “Young Country.” “Born To Boogie” was one of nine No.1 country albums for Williams Jr.

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

> Album: Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol.II
> Artist: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The bluegrass-tinged country album “Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol.II” from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band features guest appearances from Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Levon Helm, Ricky Skaggs, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, and more. It won Album of the Year over offerings from George Strait, Ricky Van Shelton, Randy Travis, and Kathy Mattea. The band was also nominated for Vocal Event of the Year for their collaboration with John Denver.

Source: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

> Album: Pickin’ on Nashville
> Artist: The Kentucky Headhunters

The Kentucky Headhunters might be considered to be more Southern rock than country, but “Pickin’ on Nashville” garnered them the 1990 CMA Album of the Year over a field that included Alan Jackson, Keith Whitley, George Strait, and Ricky Van Shelton. The album was the group’s biggest hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard country album chart. The album produced the group’s lone top-10 country song, “Oh, Lonesome Me.”


Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Album: No Fences
> Artist: Garth Brooks

One year after winning the New Artist award at the CMA Awards in 1990 — then titled the Horizon Award — Garth Brooks won Album of the Year for his second studio album “No Fences.” Brooks — who was still producing music in the neotraditionalist camp at this point — won over Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Clint Black, and Reba McEntire. The album would eventually be certified 17x Platinum by the RIAA, driven in part by the single “Friends in Low Places.” He also won Entertainer of the Year in 1991.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: Ropin’ the Wind
> Artist: Garth Brooks

Prolific hitmaker Garth Brooks won his second straight CMA Album of the Year honor with “Ropin’ the Wind,” defeating the field of Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, and Wynonna. The album was one of 17 Brooks albums to reach No. 1 on the country chart and also topped the Billboard 200 — the first of Brooks’ nine No. 1 crossover albums. Notable songs from the record include his interpretation of Billy Joel’s “Shameless,” “What She’s Doing Now,” and “The River” — three of his 19 No. 1 country hits.


Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: I Still Believe in You
> Artist: Vince Gill

Vince Gill won his sole Album of the Year award in 1993 for “I Still Believe in You,” which features four No. 1 singles — “I Still Believe in You,” “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away,” “One More Last Chance,” and “Tryin’ to Get Over You”. Other nominees that year included some of country music’s most popular artists of the 1990s: Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.” Gill also took home awards for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, and Song of the Year.

Source: Rusty Russell / Getty Images

> Album: Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles
> Artist: Various Artists

A who’s who of country artists paid homage to the Eagles to benefit Don Henley’s Walden Pond project. Among the performers were Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, and Tanya Tucker, who collaborated on the CMA Album of the Year that topped other collaborative album efforts. The album was No.1 for 13 weeks on the Billboard country chart and included Eagles’ chestnuts “Take It Easy,” Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Best of My Love.”

Source: Anna Webber / Getty Images

> Album: When Fallen Angels Fly
> Artist: Patty Loveless

Patty Loveless’ certified Platinum, seventh studio album earned her her sole Album of the Year award in 1995. Competition consisted of releases from John Michael Montgomery, George Strait, Vince Gill, and Alan Jackson. The album’s title track was penned by outlaw country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, well known for his work on Waylon Jennings’ seminal album “Honky Tonk Heroes.”


Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Album: Blue Clear Sky
> Artist: George Strait

George Strait topped a field of Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, and Martina McBride to win CMA Album of the Year. The country balladeer displayed his vocal virtuosity with songs such as “Rockin’ in the Arms of Your Memory,” “I’d Just as Soon Go,” and the jazzy “Need I Say More.” “Blue Clear Sky” was one of 27 album country chart-toppers for Strait.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: Carrying Your Love with Me
> Artist: George Strait

George Strait returned after his 1996 win to take home yet another Album of the Year award, this time for his release “Carrying Your Love with Me.” The year’s other nominees were LeAnn Rimes, Deana Carter, Trisha Yearwood, and Alan Jackson — none of whom had won the award at that point. Strait also won Male Vocalist of the Year.


Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Album: Everywhere
> Artist: Tim McGraw

“Everywhere” was one of 16 albums by Tim McGraw to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and it rose to No. 2 on the Billboard 200. He beat out Shania Twain, Patty Loveless, George Strait, and Garth Brook to get to top album honors from CMA. Notable songs from the album include the title song, “You Just Get Better All the Time,” and “I Do But I Don’t.”

Source: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

> Album: A Place in the Sun
> Artist: Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw followed up his hit album “Everywhere” with “A Place in the Sun,” his fifth studio album. He again made waves at the CMA awards taking home Album of the Year with it, over efforts from George Strait, Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, and Trisha Yearwood. McGraw also won Male Vocalist of the Year in 1999 over George Strait — among others — who had won the year prior.

Source: ShowBizIreland / Getty Images

> Album: Fly
> Artist: Dixie Chicks

“Fly” was one of four No. 1 Top Country Albums for the country trio the Dixie Chicks and one of their three albums to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The Dixie Chicks topped Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson, and Brad Paisley for top CMA album. Among the songs on the album was the country chart-topper “Cowboy Take Me Away” and “Sin Wagon,” a collaboration between Dixie Chicks Natalie Maines and Emily Robison and writer Stephony Smith.


Source: Vince Bucci / Getty Images

> Album: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
> Artist: Soundtrack

Produced by famed musician and producer T Bone Burnett, the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack won Album of the Year over releases from Sara Evans, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, and Alan Jackson. The album — which features artists including Ralph Stanley, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch — sold more than 8 million copies in its first seven years and is credited with spurring a resurgence in interest for bluegrass music in America. The soundtrack’s infectious version of “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow” won Single of the Year.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: Drive
> Artist: Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson defeated Alison Krauss & Union Station, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, and George Strait to win the CMA Album of the Year in 2002. The most famous song from “Drive” is “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” that transmitted the hurt, sadness, and chaos following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That song topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs for five weeks. “Drive” was one of Jackson’s 16 No. 1 albums on Billboard’s country chart.


Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

> Album: American IV: The Man Comes Around
> Artist: Johnny Cash

Thirty-four years after winning Album of the Year for his record “Johnny Cash at San Quentin,” the Man in Black again won the award for his Rick Rubin-produced “American IV: The Man Comes Around.” He would also take home Single of the Year in 2003 for his melancholy cover of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt.” Other Album of the Year nominees consisted of Dixie Chicks, Joe Nichols, Tim McGraw, and Toby Keith.

Source: pasphotography / Shutterstock.com

> Album: When the Sun Goes Down
> Artist: Kenny Chesney

“When the Sun Goes Down” was on one of 16 country chart-toppers for Kenny Chesney. The album spent 14 weeks atop the country chart and went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 en route to winning CMA Album of the Year over albums from Gretchen Wilson, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, and Toby Keith. Chesney’s robust tour schedule helped boost the popularity of the album, which debuted at No. 1.

Source: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

> Album: There’s More Where That Came From
> Artist: Lee Ann Womack

Lee Ann Womack’s sole Album of the Year win was for her country-pop stylings “There’s More Where That Came From” in 2005. She beat Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, and George Strait. Singles from the album include “He Oughta Know That by Now,” “Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago,” and “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” which won Single of the Year.


Source: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

> Album: Time Well Wasted
> Artist: Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley plumbs traditional country music, and as evidenced by his series of insurance commercials with Peyton Manning, has a cheeky side reflected in his music. Paisley’s “Time Well Wasted” was one of nine albums that went to No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart and one of five albums to climb to No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Paisley topped Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, and Kenny Chesney for top CMA album honors. Among the album’s highlights are the ballad “Waitin’ on a Woman” and Paisley’s duet with Alan Jackson on “Out in the Parkin’ Lot”.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Album: It Just Comes Natural
> Artist: George Strait

One decade after George Strait won Album of the Year for his “Carrying Your Love with Me,” the Texan won again for “It Just Comes Natural” — his 29th album. Other nominees were Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, and industry veteran Vince Gill. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA.


Source: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

> Album: Troubadour
> Artist: George Strait

George Strait received the top CMA album honors again with “Troubadour,” outpacing Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, and Kenny Chesney. Strait stays true to his Texas honky tonk roots on “Troubadour,” although the album is mellower than his earlier efforts. “Troubadour” is one of 27 No. 1 country albums for Strait and includes the tribute to Johnny Cash “House of Cash.”

Source: Dwight McCann / Wikimedia Commons

> Album: Fearless
> Artist: Taylor Swift

Then-18 year old Taylor Swift won in 2009 with her second album, “Fearless,” over albums from artists Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Sugarland, and Jamey Johnson. It was a big year for Swift at the CMA Awards, as she won a total of four awards, including Entertainer of the Year. She also performed her single “Fifteen” at the event. The album includes two No. 1 country hits: “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me.”

Source: Erika Goldring / Getty Images

> Album: Revolution
> Artist: Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert’s “Revolution” topped albums from Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, George Strait, and Dierks Bentley to win CMA Album of the Year. “Revolution” contained 15 songs and was a crossover success. The album was one of six of the artist’s No.1 country albums, and it contained rockers such as “Only Prettier,” the easy-listening “Airstream Song,” and “The House That Built Me,” which was one of five country No. 1’s for Lambert.


Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Album: My Kinda Party
> Artist: Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean found success with his fourth album, winning Album of the Year in 2011. The collection of rocking country tracks took home the honor over fellow country music superstar acts Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, and Zac Brown Band. Aldean also won the award for Musical Event of the Year for his performance of the ballad “Don’t You Wanna Stay” along with Kelly Clarkson.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

> Album: Chief
> Artist: Eric Church

Eric Church has been a country music juggernaut since winning as Top New Solo Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards for 2010. “Chief” was the first of his three country chart-toppers, and he won CMA Album of the Year over Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, and Luke Bryan. Church co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the album. Among the more notable songs about loss and loneliness are “I’m Gettin’ Stoned” and “Springsteen.”


Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Album: Based On A True Story …
> Artist: Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton won his sole Album of the Year award to date for his seventh studio album, “Based On A True Story..” Shelton’s modern take on country, stood out among fellow nominees Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, and Little Big Town. The singer — at this point a judge on singing competition show “The Voice” — also won the 2013 award for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: Platinum
> Artist: Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert won the CMA Album of the Year with “Platinum,” defeating Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, and Eric Church. “Platinum” was Lambert’s fifth country No. 1 album and held the top spot for six weeks. “Somethin’ Bad” was one of her five overall country No. 1 hits that came from the album.


Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

> Album: Traveller
> Artist: Chris Stapleton

After working as a Nashville songwriter for years, Chris Stapleton took the industry by storm with his debut solo album “Traveller.” The collection of soulful country-rock songs won Album of the Year over releases from Jason Aldean, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, and Kenny Chesney. Stapleton was also honored with awards for Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year in 2015.

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Album: Mr. Misunderstood
> Artist: Eric Church

Eric Church’s “Mr. Misunderstood” won the CMA Album of the Year, defeating Dierks Bentley, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood. The album went to No. 2 on the country chart. The title track is somewhat autobiographical and tells the story of a teenage outsider.


Source: Mike Windle / Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

> Album: From A Room: Volume 1
> Artist: Chris Stapleton

Two years after he won Album of the Year for his solo debut, Chris Stapleton won once again with his “From A Room: Volume 1.” The album offers a collection of well-written songs presented in a subdued, and at times even stripped-down, manner, including single “Broken Halos.” Stapleton’s second album won over nominees Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and Miranda Lambert.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Album: Golden Hour
> Artist: Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves won her first CMA Album of the Year by topping Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, and Dierks Bentley. “Golden Hour” fuses traditional country sounds with lyrics containing a progressive sensibility. The album was the third country No. 1 for Musgraves.

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