Lainey Wilson receives top honors at the Country Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year.

November 8 (UPI) -- For the second year in a row, country music singer Luke Bryan and retired football legend Peyton Manning co-hosted the 57th annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, as Lainey Wilson took home top awards including Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year.

"This is everything I've ever wanted to do." "It's the only thing I know how to do," Wilson remarked as she won the Entertainer of the Year award at the CMAs. "It feels like country music is finally starting to love me back." "I adore it with all my heart."

Wilson knocked out other finalists Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, and Chris Stapleton, who won Male Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards. "Thank you CMAs," Stapleton said, accepting his trophy. "I've won a couple of these, and I'm always shocked that I win one." Jelly Roll, who won the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year and received five nominations, started the performance at Bridgestone Arena with his popular song "Need a Favor" and was joined onstage by country music veteran Wynonna Judd.

"There is something poetic about a 39-year-old man winning New Artist of the Year," Jelly Roll said as he accepted the award. "I don't know where you're at in your life, or what you're going through, but I want to tell you to keep going, baby." "What's in front of you is so much more important than what's behind you," he added.

Luke Combs took home the award for Single of the Year for his smash "Fast Car." Combs' first victory in the category. Tracy Chapman received Song of the Year for "Fast Car," which was featured on Chapman's self-titled debut studio album in 1988. Combs re-recorded it for his 2023 album Gettin Old as a cover.

"It's truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans of 'Fast Car,'" Chapman, who was not in attendance, wrote in a message. Old Dominion won Vocal Group of the Year for the sixth year in a row.

And, the CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year went to T.J. Osborne and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne, which is also their sixth win in the category. Before the show began, awards were already being handed out with Jenee Fleenor winning Musician of the Year during the CMA's pre-show ceremony. It is Fleenor's fifth consecutive win in that category.

Lainey Wilson, who led this year's nominees with nine nominations, also took home two early prizes with HARDY, winning Musical Event of the Year and Musical Video of the Year on Wednesday morning. "Well y'all ... this is some exciting news to wake up to. It's meant a lot to me to be on this ride with ya brother," Wilson wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

A musical homage to the late musician Jimmy Buffett, who died in September at the age of 76, was among the highly anticipated acts on Wednesday's concert. Buffett was honored by Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Alan Jackson, and Zac Brown Band, who performed a medley of Buffett's finest hits, including "A Pirate Looks at Forty" and "Margaritaville."

Bryan sang a medley of his best singles earlier in the performance, including "Huntin', Fishin', and Lovin' Every Day," "One Margarita," "Play It Again," and "Country Girl."

Kelsea Ballerini, Post Malone, Ashley McBryde, Morgan Wallen, Carly Pearce, Little Big Town and Tanya Tucker also performed during Wednesday night's show. The CMA Awards aired live on ABC. The show will be available to stream Thursday on Hulu.

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