When the CMA Awards celebrated their inaugural year in 1967, two of the most coveted awards of the night were Male and Female Vocalist of the Year. Nearly 55 years later, that sentiment has not changed.
Awarded to artists who have had an exemplary prior year, the awards for Male and Female Vocalist of the Year are honors to receive, not just in recognition of a single musical work, but in recognition of a year spent contributing to the country music genre as a whole. George Strait, Vince Gill and Blake Shelton are all currently tied for the most Male Vocalist of the Year wins (they each have five), while Miranda Lambert has cleaned up in the Female Vocalist of the Year category, with a record-setting seven awards.
Other repeat Male and Female Vocalist of the Year winners include Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Ronnie Milsap, all of whom have three, as well as Carrie Underwood and Loretta Lynn, who have five wins apiece. And while it may be surprising that big names such as Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks have never taken home the honor, it may be even more surprising to find that Olivia Newton-John has! She won in 1974 and remains the only non-American Female Vocalist of the Year winner in CMA Awards history.
Click through the photo gallery below to learn more about every artist who has ever been crowned Male or Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards:
The 2020 CMA Awards are scheduled for Wednesday (Nov. 11) and will air live on ABC beginning at 8PM CT. The show will take place at Nashville’s Music City Center, not at its Bridgestone Arena as usual, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Fans will not be allowed to attend, but the show’s nominees, performers and presenters have all been asked to come in person.
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.
WATCH: Test Your CMA Awards Knowledge!