During this year’s CMA Awards, which aired Wednesday (Nov. 11), all eyes were on one coveted award: Entertainer of the Year.
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This year, the star-studded list of nominees included Eric Church, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, but ultimately, it was Church who received the honor of this prestigious award.
Slated as the last category for “Country Music’s Biggest Night”, Church took the stage triumphantly with an off-the-cuff speech.
“If there were ever a year not to win this award,” he jokes lightheartedly in reference to his past losses when nominated for this category.
He goes on to recount the relatable hardships of this year while reflecting on how they have changed his outlook on the community of country music.
“This award for this year, at least for me, has been about the loss of this year. The loss of life, the loss of playing shows, loss of freedom, loss of kids being in school…You know what the win is? The win is we’re all here tonight together as country music. In-person live, not on Zoom,” he said.
Ending on a positive note with enthusiastic candor, Church emphasizes something he strongly advocates for: the power of music.
“I believe this, I really believe this, it’s gonna be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that is gonna save the entire world. Politicians are about division, music is about unity. And I promise you, it’s going to take everybody in this room to unite.”
As a final remark he adds lightheartedly that he probably had much more to say but he “didn’t think [he] was going to win this.”
In addition to securing the most sought-out award of the evening, Church performed one his newest releases, “Hell of a View.” The song is part of a project Church has been working on this year that aligns with the sentiment of his speech, as he took up the challenge of writing one song a day for nearly a month.
His prolific and passionate fervor for musical creation might have just been what finally set him apart as a nominee in this category and secured his victory.