NASHVILLE, Tenn. — (AP) -- The Latest on the 2019 Country Music Association Awards, being presented Wednesday at the Bridgestone Arena (all times local):
Garth Brooks has won the Entertainer of the Year honor at the Country Music Association Awards.
Brooks won the top award on a night when the contributions of women to country music were front and center, starting with a powerful opening performance from some of country music's biggest female stars.
Carrie Underwood, who co-hosted and performed during Wednesday's show, was the lone female nominee in the Entertainer of the Year category.
Brooks singled out Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs during his acceptance speech as some of the country artists he respected the most. Brooks had a genre-bending hit on a remix of Lil Nas X's "Old Country Road," which also won a CMA Award for musical event of the year.
The Country Music Association Awards have kicked off with a performance by some of country's biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.
The trio performed "Until the Day They Lay Me Down" to start the show, which opened with several other medleys by performers including Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile and other members of the supergroup The Highwaywomen.
The show featured only female performers for its opening number, with Loretta Lynn in the audience getting a shout out.
The opening number ended with a performance of Martina McBride's "Independence Day."
The CMAs are airing live on ABC from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Underwood, McEntire and Parton are hosting the show.
Maren Morris is walking to the 2019 Country Music Association Awards with a lot of feelings.
As the most-nominated act at an event for a music genre dominated by its male performers, Morris has become one of the key female faces of country music. She will pay tribute to her producer busbee, who died in September at age 43 and shares nominations with Morris for his work on her acclaimed project, "GIRL." And Wednesday night's show will mark the pregnant singer's "kid's first awards show" -- as she put it.
Morris says, "Dolly Parton touched my stomach earlier when we were rehearsing, so he's been touched by an angel."
The CMAs will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.