Artists / Award Shows / CMA Awards

Mac McAnally Sets Record With 10th CMA Musician Honor

Instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and recording artist Mac McAnally has received some amazing accolades over his career, but his latest is unprecedented. For him or anyone else. McAnally received his 10th trophy as CMA Musician of the Year during the 52nd CMA Awards in Nashville tonight, breaking his tie with the iconic Chet Atkins and setting the category’s all-time high water mark.

“Somehow the CMA has seen fit to honor me as Musician of the Year for the 10th time. Blessed beyond words. And now I have to go practice!” McAnally said upon accepting the award.

McAnally received the honor a record eight consecutive years from 2008 to 2015. He wasn’t up for the award in 2016 having spent the bulk of the year on tour in his longstanding gig as guitarist for Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, rather than in the studio. Winning his ninth Musician trophy last year, he tied Atkins for most wins in the category.

“I may have the same number as him, but I’m not in the same league with Chet Atkins,” McAnally told the Jackson Clarion Ledger in his home state of Mississippi after last year’s win. “He was my dad’s hero, and my dad was my hero. Chet Atkins is the reason my daddy put a guitar in my hands and got me lessons.”

Those lessons went on to benefit not just McAnally, but arguably all of music. His contributions have delighted thousands in concert as noted previously, include iconic compositions (“Back Where I Come From,” “Down The Road”) as well as multiple critically acclaimed albums. Those more visible accomplishments have landed him in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, and Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

It is harder to quantify the role he’s played in the studio on countless projects, however, that has been recognized by his peers tonight at the CMA Awards.

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