Glen Campbell Wins 1st CMA in 49 Years, Willie Nelson 1st in 15 via Vocal Event of the Year

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Stop by Wednesday night (11-8) for Saving Country Music’s LIVE blog of the CMA Awards

If you’re looking for further evidence that the tide may be turning more in the direction of a deeper appreciation of traditional country, we just received quite a significant sign. Yes, the sympathy vote most certainly factored into this, but the achievement and its symbolic and subsnative importance shouldn’t be understated.

Ahead of Wednesday’s (11-8) 51st Annual CMA Awards, the combination of Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell walked away with the trophy for Vocal Event for the Year. It stems from their duet of “Funny How Times Slips Away” that appears on Glen Campbell’s final album, Adiós. The award was announced pre-telecast, along with Video of the Year that was awarded to Brothers Osborne for “It Ain’t My Fault.” Willie Nelson wrote “Funny How Time Slips Away,” and it was first released by Billy Walker in 1961, with subsequent cover versions making it a country music standard.

The last time Glen Campbell won a CMA Award was in 1968 for Entertainer of the Year. He also won Male Vocalist of the Year in 1968. Willie Nelson also breaks a long spell with no CMAs with the win. His last CMA was in the same category, when he won for “Mendocino County Line” in 2002 with Lee Ann Womack. Willie also had a Lifetime Achievement Award named after him in 2012 by the CMA, and became the inaugural recipient, but this is the first category win for Willie since George W. Bush was President.

To win, Glen and Willie had to beat out stiff competition from many of country’s mainstream radio stars, including Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Eric Church and Rhiannon Giddens, and Kenny Chesney with Pink. Unfortunately the CMAs chose to award this pre-telecast, as opposed to allowing Cambell’s family an opportunity to receive it in front of a television audience.

2017 CMA Musical Event of the Year

“Craving You” – Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris
“Funny How Time Slips Away” – Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson – WINNER
“Kill a Word” – Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens
“Setting the World on Fire” – Kenny Chesney with Pink
“Speak to a Girl” – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

READ: 2017 CMA Awards Complete Preview