35 Years Ago: Anne Murray Makes History at the CMA Awards
Thirty-five years ago, on Oct. 8, 1984, Anne Murray was the queen of the CMA Awards. The singer won Album of the Year for her 1983 album A Little Good News, with the disc's title track also winning Single of the Year. But the two awards aren't the only things that Murray was celebrating at the annual ceremony, which was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.
In addition to being the only double winner of the evening, Murray's Album of the Year win marked the first time in the history of the CMA Awards that a woman had won that honor as a solo artist. Several women, including Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, had been nominated in the category in the past, but it was Murray who earned that first "W."
"This is a real shock to me," Murray said upon receiving the trophy. "I wasn't expecting this one. It's taken a long time. This has been an elusive little critter for me. It's only taken me 14 years to get it into my hands. It feels really good."
Murray was the only female nominee for Album of the Year in 1984; she beat out Alabama, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait and Merle Haggard in the category. The singer was also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, with that honor going to Reba McEntire.
Murray won one more CMA trophy, in 1985, for Vocal Duo of the Year, along with Dave Loggins. The two earned a No. 1 song with "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do," from her Heart Over Mind record.
It would be 11 more years before another solo female artist would win Album of the Year at the CMAs. Patty Loveless was the next woman to win in the category, in 1995, with When Fallen Angels Fly. In the last 20-plus years, women have continued to make a strong showing, as Album of the Year honors have gone to Dixie Chicks' Fly (2000), Lee Ann Womack's There's More Where That Came From (2005), Taylor Swift's Fearless (2009), Miranda Lambert's Revolution (2010) and Platinum (2014), and Kacey Musgraves' Golden Hour (2018).
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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