THE ENTERTAINERS

Every year, one star in the world of country music stands head and shoulders above the rest. And it's a star who's recognized not just for record sales or tour box-office numbers, but for overall contributions to the music industry. The reward for such accomplishments is country's most coveted prize -- Entertainer of the Year.

A pair of prestigious organizations, the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), picks a top Entertainer each year from hundreds of artists. Here's a look back at the winners from the past 10 years.

CMA

Vince Gill won the 1994 award, his second straight Entertainer prize. And a milestone was set in 2000 as the Dixie Chicks became the first female group in history to win this award. The year before, Shania Twain was the first female to score a victory since Reba McEntire in 1986.

But the big winner was Garth Brooks, whose back-to-back honors in 1997 and 1998 gave him a record four CMA Entertainer awards.

Alan Jackson could tie that mark with a win in 2004. Alan is the defending champ, and he also took home Entertainer statues in 2002 and 1995.

The complete CMA list:
1994 -- Vince Gill
1995 -- Alan Jackson
1996 -- Brooks & Dunn
1997 -- Garth Brooks
1998 -- Garth Brooks
1999 -- Shania Twain
2000 -- Dixie Chicks
2001 -- Tim McGraw
2002 -- Alan Jackson
2003 -- Alan Jackson

ACM

Unlike the CMAs, the ACM Awards are given for the previous year - so the 2003 ACM winners will actually be announced this year in the May 26 ceremony.

The ACMs do not always agree with the CMA Awards. For instance, Brooks & Dunn have won three ACM Entertainer prizes - 1995, 1996 and 2001 - while taking home only one CMA Entertainer during the same period. And the defending titlist is Toby Keith, who has never won a CMA award in the Entertainer category.

With wins in both 1997 and 1998, Garth Brooks upped his total to a record-setting six victories.

The complete ACM list:
1994 -- Reba McEntire
1995 -- Brooks & Dunn
1996 -- Brooks & Dunn
1997 -- Garth Brooks
1998 -- Garth Brooks
1999 -- Shania Twain
2000 -- Dixie Chicks
2001 -- Brooks & Dunn
2002 -- Toby Keith

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