Garth Brooks performed “Good Ride Cowboy” live from Times Square, Bon Jovi and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles rocked Madison Square Garden, and Keith Urban was crowned Entertainer of the Year at The 39th Annual CMA Awards, broadcast live November 15, 2005 from New York City on CBS-TV.
Urban won his second consecutive CMA Male Vocalist of the Year and his first Entertainer of the Year Award, making him the only Country artist in CMA Awards history to win the Horizon, Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year Awards.
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“I have been out with Kenny [Chesney] this year and last year,” Urban said of his tour mate. “So I want to thank Kenny for teaching me so much about entertaining.”
“Country Music’s Biggest Night” was an understatement for top-nominee Lee Ann Womack, who picked up three CMA Awards for Album, Single and Musical Event of the Year. “I love Country Music,” Womack said. “If you listen to music that doesn’t touch you or mean anything to you, listen to Country Music. We have songs that speak to you and songs that will touch you.”
There’s More Where That Came From, produced by Byron Gallimore and Greg Droman, garnered Womack her first Album of the Year Award. The first single from the album, “I May Hate Myself In The Morning,” was her second Single of the Year, the first being 2000’s “I Hope You Dance.” She also won her third Musical Event of the Year Award (formerly Vocal Event of the Year) for her duet with George Strait on “Good News, Bad News.” Womack performed “Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago.”
Last year’s Horizon Award winner Gretchen Wilson picked up the Female Vocalist of the Year Award, making her the first solo female artist to win that Award the year after winning the Horizon Award. Wilson performed “I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today,” from new album All Jacked Up.
“I am going to try not to be a cry baby up here,” Wilson said before tearing up. “I want to thank the fans who make all of this possible.”
Rascal Flatts received their third consecutive Award for Vocal Group of the Year. “We love you guys, we love Country Music and we love being right here,” group member Jay DeMarcus said. The group performed their No. 1 hit “Fast Cars & Freedom” from Feels Like Today.
The self-proclaimed “hardest-working man in Country Music” Dierks Bentley won his first CMA Award with the coveted Horizon Award. “I didn’t have anything prepared,” a shocked Bentley said. “I really did not expect this.” Bentley sang current single “Come A Little Closer” from his album Modern Day Drifter.
It was a lucky number for hosts Brooks & Dunn when they picked up the Vocal Duo of the Year Award for the thirteenth time. “Thank you for allowing us to stay members of this family,” said Ronnie Dunn. The duo later performed the soaring “Believe” from their album Hillbilly Deluxe.
Jon Randall won his first CMA Award for Song of the Year with co-writer, Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson for “Whiskey Lullaby,” as recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. “I am so honored to be standing up here with this legend to be getting this award,” Randall said.
“I’m supposed to be whispering but I feel like shouting,” Anderson said, referencing his famous nickname, “Whispering” Bill Anderson. “Thanks for letting me be a part of the Country Music business still after all these years.”
Kenny Chesney kicked off the show with the high-energy “Living In Fast Forward” from his new BNA Records album The Road and the Radio.
One of the most touching and rocking moments came when superstar Garth Brooks performed “Good Ride Cowboy,” a tribute to his late friend Chris LeDoux with LeDoux’s band Western Underground, live from a packed Times Square. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg welcomed Brooks back to New York, recalling Brooks’ huge Central Park show in 1997 with an estimated 750,000 people. LeDoux received the CMA Chairman’s Award of Merit from CMA Chairman of the Board Kix Brooks.
Musical Event of the Year winner Strait performed the honky tonking “High Tone Woman” from his album Somewhere Down In Texas. Seventy-two-time CMA Award career nominated Alan Jackson performed a cover of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Faith Hill and husband Tim McGraw performed “Like We Never Loved At All” from Hill’s album Fireflies. Top-nominee Paisley performed “When I Get Where I’m Going,” with background vocals by Krauss.
Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Sara Evans performed “Cheatin'” from her album Real Fine Place. Other Female Vocalist nominees who performed included Martina McBride with the Kris Kristofferson classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night” from her album Timeless; and Alison Krauss with backing by Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas on “My Poor Heart” from Lonely Runs Both Ways.
Horizon Award and Vocal Duo of the Year nominee Big & Rich performed “Comin’ to Your City,” from their album of the same name that was released today, giving their shout out to the Big Apple, changing the lyrics to “Yeah we’re comin’ to New York City.”
Horizon Award nominee Miranda Lambert ignited the stage with a pyrotechnic-heavy performance of “Kerosene.” Other Horizon nominees Julie Roberts (“First To Never Know”) and Sugarland (“Something More”) also performed, showing the world the great new talent in Country Music.
The CMA Awards has always been a place to see cross-genre performances from some of music’s biggest stars and 2005 was no exception. Willie Nelson teamed up with Paul Simon with Nelson singing Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” accompanied by Norah Jones on keys, while Simon masterfully played guitar singing Nelson’s immortal “Crazy.” Ageless rockers Bon Jovi and Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles sang “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” a track on Bon Jovi’s latest album Have A Nice Day. Country Music royalty Dolly Parton and pop legend Sir Elton John weaved their unique voices for John’s “Turn the Lights Down When You Leave” off of his Peachtree Road album, and a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which appears on Parton’s album Those Were The Days.
Twelve-time CMA Awards host Vince Gill formally inducted Alabama, DeFord Bailey and Glen Campbell as the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Bailey, a gifted harmonica player on the Grand Ole Opry during the Great Depression, was inducted in the “Career Achieved National Prominence Prior to World War II” category.
Musician, singer, songwriter and television personality Campbell was inducted in the “Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975” category. “I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to be here,” Campbell said. “I am honored to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s a thrill for me to be included with the artists that inspired me and became my friends and colleagues.”
Arguably the biggest band in Country Music history, Alabama was inducted in the new “Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present” category created earlier this year. “This is the pinnacle of the awards right here,” said band member Jeff Cook.
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who play Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in the movie “Walk the Line,” to be released Nov. 18, presented the Single of the Year Award to Womack. Other presenters included Trace Adkins, Cowboy Troy, James Gandolfini, Billy Joel, Montgomery Gentry, Olivia Newton-John, Joe Nichols, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Wynonna and Trisha Yearwood.
39th Annual CMA Awards winners:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to artist and producer)
“I May Hate Mysel
f In The Morning”
Lee Ann Womack
Produced by Byron Gallimore
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to artist and producer)
There’s More Where That Came From
Lee Ann Womack
Produced by Byron Gallimore/Greg Droman
SONG OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to songwriter and primary publisher)
Bill Anderson/Jon Randall
Sony/ATV/Mr. Bubba Music/Reynsong/Wha Ya Say Music
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Brooks & Dunn
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
George Strait (Duet with Lee Ann Womack)
“Good News, Bad News”
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Jerry Douglas – Dobro
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to artist and director)
“As Good As I Once Was”
Directed by Michael Salomon
The 2005 CMA Broadcast Award Winners:
CMA Broadcast Personality of the Year
*National – Lia Knight – “The Lia Show” – Jones Radio Networks
*Major Market – Lisa Dent – WUSN – Chicago, Ill. (Lisa Dent)
*Large Market – Gerry House and The House Foundation – WSIX – Nashville, Tenn.(Gerry House, Mike Bohan, Duncan Stewart, Al Voecks)
*Medium Market – Andy & Alison and the Morning Crew – WIVK – Knoxville, Tenn.(Andy Ritchie, Alison West, Jimmy Holt)
*Small Market – Dex & Kim – WUSY – Chattanooga, Tenn. (Bill Poindexter, Kim Carson)
CMA Radio Station of the Year
*Major Market – KEEY – Minneapolis, Minn.
*Large Market – WSIX – Nashville, Tenn.
*Medium Market – KSSN -KSSN/Little Rock, Ark.
*Small Market – WUSY – Chattanooga, Tenn.
source: Country Music Association