For the first time in 20 years, more than one individual woman has been nominated in the Entertainer of the Year category (as confirmed by CMA). It first happened back in 1974, when Loretta Lynn went up against Olivia Newton-John. In 1978 and ’79, Crystal “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” Gayle competed against first Dolly Parton, then Barbara Mandrell. The mid-80s saw female country stars The Judds and Reba McEntire nominated in the category at the same time, but two women haven’t been up for the award together since 2000, when Faith Hill and the (then Dixie) Chicks were nominees. (Yes, you could argue that 2010’s nominees included Miranda Lambert and Lady A, but let’s not forget that the “Lady” consists of two men and one woman.)
It’s also significant to note that in the awards show’s 53-year history, only nine women have ever won Entertainer of the Year: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell (twice), Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, the Chicks, and Taylor Swift (twice). In a year that has seen the nation’s first female vice-president elect, it would be nice to see another notch on the girls’ side.