The Song of the Year award is one of the most prestigious awards the CMA has to hand out at its annual awards ceremony. This award is given to the songwriter(s) who crafted the winning song.
Since this award is given to the song’s writers, that means the recording artist doesn’t always receive the trophy. They only do if they wrote or co-wrote the song.
This is how the Song of the Year award differs from the similarly named Single of the Year award. The latter award is given to the recording artist, regardless of if they wrote the song or not.
In 2021, all of the songs nominated in the Song of the Year category at the CMA Awards were co-written by the artists who recorded them. The nominees were as follows:
- “Forever After All” written by Luke Combs, Drew Parker, and Robert Williford (Recorded by Luke Combs)
- “The Good Ones” written by Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, and Jim McCormick (Recorded by Gabby Barrett)
- “Hell Of A View” written by Casey Beathard, Eric Church and Monty Criswell (Recorded by Eric Church)
- “One Night Standards” written by Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally and Ashley McBryde (Recorded by Ashley McBryde)
- “Starting Over” written by Mike Henderson and Chris Stapleton (Recorded by Chris Stapleton)
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All of these songs made quite the impact this year. So it was anyone’s guess as to which one would win.
Last year’s Song of the Year award went to Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz for “The Bones,” which was recorded by Morris. Other songs that have won the award in the past include “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Strawberry Wine,” and “I Hope You Dance.”
Now, “Starting Over” has joined that elite list of songs. That’s right, “Starting Over” won the 2021 CMA Award for Song of the Year!
“Starting Over” was co-written by Mike Henderson and Chris Stapleton. Stapleton released the song off of his album of the same title in August 2020.
— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 11, 2021
The song claimed the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and reached the second spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. It also crossed over to snag the 25th position on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. In other words, Stapleton and Henderson wrote a huge hit.
Congratulations to the songwriters behind this CMA Award-winning track! Give it a listen below.