Country Music AssociationBackstage at the 53rd Annual CMA Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Garth Brooks reveled at winning his seventh Entertainer of the Year trophy, a number that’s quite famously always held special significance for him. The ever-humble superstar heaped praise on fellow winners like Luke Combs, while also celebrating Reba McEntire‘s performance of “Fancy” and the night’s female-centric theme.

Luke Combs himself seemed somewhat in disbelief at having won both Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for “Beautiful Crazy.” Garth’s “Dive Bar” partner Blake Shelton revealed he was drawn to Single of the Year winner “God’s Country” because it pushed him vocally.

After winning both Female Vocalist and Music Video of the Year for “Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves admitted that while she appreciated the night’s female-centric theme, she believed women in country music should be celebrated every year.

New artist winner Ashley McBryde used her platform to inspire others to chase their dreams, while Album of the Year winner Maren Morris told the crowd of reporters she’s decided the baby boy she’s expecting is her good luck charm, since he kicked right before she walked onstage.

Dan + Shay‘s Dan Smyers marveled at how the duo’s third album continues to change their lives and propel their career forward, while Old Dominion admitted their second Vocal Group honor in a row probably means they’re here to stay.

Musical Event of the Year winner, “Old Town Road” hitmaker Lil Nas X seemed particularly happy to hold his CMA award in his hands, still marveling that he’d been able to bring two disparate genres together.

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