Which Artist Won the First Entertainer of the Year CMA?

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The very first CMA Awards took place in 1967, which means this year, the Country Music Association will crown its 54th Entertainer of the Year. But which artist was the first to take home the prestigious award?

That honor belongs to Eddy Arnold, a pioneer of the “Nashville Sound.” Nicknamed the “Tennessee Plowboy,” Arnold had 145 songs make the country charts during his 60-year career, 28 of which went to No. 1; that feat puts him second only to George Jones for number of songs to appear on the charts. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966 and died in 2008.

Loretta Lynn was the first woman to win the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year, in 1972. Only six other female performers have won the award in the history of the show — seven if you count the Dixie Chicks – but Taylor Swift has won twice, in 2009 and 2011.

Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney have the most Entertainer of the Year trophies to their names. Brooks took the award home in 1991 and 1992, and then again back to back in 1997 and 1998 and 2016 and 2017, and in 2019; Chesney won in 2004, and then three times in a row, in 2006, 2007 and 2008. (Editor’s Note: At the time this video was originally created, Brooks and Chesney were tied with four wins in the category each.)

Check out the video above — part of Taste of Country‘s You Think You Know Country? series — for even more CMA Awards trivia.

The 2020 CMA Awards are scheduled to take place on Nov. 11 and will air live from Nashville on ABC beginning at 8PM ET. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the show be hosted at Nashville’s Music City Center, not Bridgestone Arena as is customary, and there will be no live audience.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2020 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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