Special Report

Every Country Music Entertainer of the Year Since 1967

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Entertainer of the Year: Alabama
> Most popular song in 1982: Take Me Down

Alabama broke through as CMA Entertainer of the Year, topping Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, Oak Ridge Boys, and Ricky Skaggs. The band had three No. 1 country songs in 1982, including “Take Me Down” and a No. 1 album, “Mountain Music.” Alabama has 33 country No.1 hits in all.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

> Entertainer of the Year: Alabama
> Most popular song in 1983: Dixieland Delight

Alabama won again in 1983 after competing against Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, and Ricky Skaggs for Entertainer of the Year. The band was also honored with the Album of the Year award for their “The Closer You Get,” which hit No.1 on the Country Albums chart that year. The album features No. 1 singles “Lay Down on Love,” “The Closer You Get,” and “Dixieland Delight.”

Source: Lester Cohen / Getty Images

> Entertainer of the Year: Alabama
> Most popular song in 1984: If You’re Gonna Play In Texas

For the third straight year, Alabama was named the CMA Entertainer of the Year, besting Lee Greenwood, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, and the Oak Ridge Boys. Three of Alabama’s 33 country chart-toppers were released in 1984, including “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas.”

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Entertainer of the Year: Ricky Skaggs
> Most popular song in 1985: Country Boy

Country and bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs broke Alabama’s three year streak of winning Entertainer of the Year in 1985, though the band was nominated, along with Lee Greenwood, Reba McEntire, and George Strait. Skaggs’ album “Country Boy” also peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart in 1985, staying in the top position for three weeks. The Ricky Skaggs band also won Instrumental Group of the Year for the third consecutive year.

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Entertainer of the Year: Reba McEntire
> Most popular song in 1986: Whoever’s In New England

Enduring country star Reba McEntire was named 1986 CMA Entertainer of the Year ahead of The Judds, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, and George Strait. McEntire had two country No.1 hits in 1986 — “Whoever’s In New England” and “Little Rock.”

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