Garth Brooks was named Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards on Wednesday (02.11.16).

The 54-year-old singer beat off competition from Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban and 2015 title holder Luke Bryan to take the coveted prize at the annual ceremony, and was presented with the accolade by Taylor Swift.

He told the audience at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee: ''Thank you for a wonderful run. We are so damn lucky to be part of this thing called country music.''

Garth also teamed up with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, for a medley of country classics, including Johnny Cash and June Carter's 'Jackson' and George Jones and Tammy Wynette's 'Golden Ring'.

Chris Stapleton picked up two awards, for Music Video of the Year for 'Fire Away', and Male Vocalist of the Year, which he also scooped in 2015.

He said: ''What a wonderful night ... I've cried just watching everybody.''

Carrie Underwood - who co-hosted the ceremony with Brad Paisley for the ninth time - broke Miranda Lambert's six-year winning streak to take home Female Vocalist of the Year and appeared overcome with emotion at the accolade.

She issued a string of thank yous, and then said: ''I've just become suddenly stupid...I just love you all. God bless you guys; thank you so much.''

Dolly Parton won the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, was honoured by Carrie, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles and Kacey Musgraves, who performed 'I Will Always Love You'.

The '9 to 5' hitmaker quipped: ''I would have cried, but I didn't want to mess up my eyelashes.''

For only the third time in the awards' history, the CMA Pinnacle Award was given out, with Kenny Chesney recognised for all he has done and ''all he will continue to do'' for country music.

Kenny - who follows in the footsteps of Garth and Taylor in winning the prize - said: ''When I think about what this means to means connections with a lot of people.''

Elsewhere at the ceremony, Beyonce made her first-ever appearance, teaming up with the Dixie Chicks to perform 'Daddy Lessons', while Jason Aldean, GEORGE STRAIT and Little Big Town were also among the musical acts.

The evening opened with 12 performances from Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Charley Pride, Roy Clark, Alabama, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam and Merle Haggard's son Ben, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards.

CMA Awards 2016 full list of winners:

Entertainer of the Year:

Garth Brooks

Female vocalist of the year:

Carrie Underwood

Male vocalist of the year:

Chris Stapleton

Album of the Year:

'Mr. Misunderstood', Eric Church

Song of the Year:

'Humble and Kind', Lori McKenna (recorded by Tim McGraw)

Single of the Year:

'Die a Happy Man', Thomas Rhett

Vocal group of the year:

Little Big Town

Vocal duo of the year:

Brothers Osborne

New artist of the year:

Maren Morris

Musical event of the Year:

'Different for Girls', Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King

Music video of the Year:

'Fire Away', Chris Stapleton

Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award:

Dolly Parton

CMA Pinnacle Award:

Kenny Chesney

Musician of the Year: Dann Huff