51st Annual Country Music Association Awards

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51st Annual Country Music Association Awards
DateNovember 8, 2017
LocationBridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Hosted byBrad Paisley
Carrie Underwood
Most awardsChris Stapleton (2)
Most nominationsMiranda Lambert (5)
Television/radio coverage
Viewership14.3 million
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The 51st Annual Country Music Association Awards, commonly known as the 51st CMA Awards, was held on November 8, 2017, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee and was hosted for the tenth time by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

The nominations were announced on September 4, 2017, on Good Morning America by Lauren Alaina, Dustin Lynch, and Brothers Osborne.[1][2]

Winners and nominees[edit]

Note: The winners are shown in Bold.

Entertainer of the Year Album of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year Female Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year Vocal Duo of the Year
Single of the Year Song of the Year
New Artist of the Year Musician of the Year
Music Video of the Year Musical Event of the Year
  • "It Ain't My Fault" — Brothers Osborne
    • "Better Man" — Little Big Town
    • "Blue Ain't Your Color" — Keith Urban
    • "Craving You" — Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris
    • "Vice" — Miranda Lambert

Special Recognition Awards[edit]

The CMA Special Recognition Award recipients were announced on 4 April 2017.[3]

Award Recipient
International Country Broadcaster Award Bob Harris
Jo Walker-Meador International Award Rob Potts
Jeff Walker Global Country Artist Award The Shires
International Artist Achievement Award Carrie Underwood
Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award Richard Wootton



Performer(s) Song(s)
Eric Church
Lady Antebellum
Darius Rucker
Keith Urban
Brooks & Dunn
Reba McEntire
Little Big Town
Thomas Rhett
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Kelsea Ballerini
Tim McGraw
Faith Hill
Tribute to the Victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting
"Amazing Grace"
"Hold My Hand"
Thomas Rhett "Unforgettable"
Dierks Bentley
Rascal Flatts
Eddie Montgomery
Tribute to Troy Gentry
"My Town"
Kelsea Ballerini
Reba McEntire
Luke Bryan "Light It Up"
Miranda Lambert "To Learn Her"
Garth Brooks "Ask Me How I Know"
Brothers Osborne Tribute to Don Williams
"It Ain't My Fault"
"Tulsa Time"
Tim McGraw
Faith Hill
"The Rest of Our Life"
P!nk "Barbies"
Old Dominion "No Such Thing as a Broken Heart"
Little Big Town
Jimmy Webb
Tribute to Glen Campbell
"Wichita Lineman"
Chris Stapleton "Broken Halos"
Maren Morris
Niall Horan
"I Could Use a Love Song"
"Seeing Blind"
Carrie Underwood In Memorium
"Softly and Tenderly"
Brad Paisley
Kane Brown
"Heaven South"
Jon Pardi "Dirt on My Boots"
Dan + Shay
Lauren Alaina
"Get Together"
Keith Urban "Female"
Eric Church
Joanna Cotten
The McCrary Sisters
"Chattanooga Lucy"
Alan Jackson "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow"
"Don't Rock The Jukebox"


Presenter(s) Award
Brittany Snow and Ruby Rose Single of the Year
Bobby Bones, Karlie Kloss, Brett Young and Luke Combs Song of the Year
Joanna Garcia-Swisher and Jason Ritter New Artist of the Year
Tyler Perry Album of the Year
Sugarland Vocal Duo of the Year
Brett Eldredge, Dustin Lynch and Lea Michele Vocal Group of the Year
Michelle Monaghan and Jimmie Johnson Female Vocalist of the Year
Trisha Yearwood Male Vocalist of the Year
Reba McEntire Entertainer of the Year

Critical reception[edit]

The 51st Annual CMA Awards received 14.29 million viewers, the highest ratings since 2014 (which received 16.1 million. Among adults 18–49, the show received a 3.2 rating, up from the 2.9 rating of the previous year.[6]

The ceremony was noted for its parody of political subject matter in awards shows, specifically in the opening monologue by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who told jokes referencing both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.[7] Paisley also performed a parody song about Trump's tweeting habits to the tune of Underwood's hit "Before He Cheats."[8]

Underwood's performance during the in memoriam segment, in which she broke down crying, received acclaim, with many citing it as one of the best and most moving and emotional performances of the night.[9][10][11] People.com referred to the performance as "heartbreaking," before describing how Underwood took to the stage to honor country music legends (such as Don Williams, Glen Campbell, Troy Gentry, and Jo Walker-Meador) and the 58 victims of the Las Vegas shooting.[12] In addition, ET called Underwood's performance "beautiful" and "gorgeous," mentioning a statement made by Paisley at the opening of the show about coming together in the face of tragedy.[13]

Garth Brooks, who won the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award, was heavily criticized for lip-syncing during his performance. Of his decision, Brooks stated that "we made a game-time call on whether to sing to a track or lip-sync and we decided to lip-sync it. My voice just isn't going anywhere, and we wanted to represent country music as best we can."[14]


  1. ^ "Brothers Osborne, Dustin Lynch & Lauren Alaina to Announce Upcoming 51st CMA Awards on "Good Morning America"". Nash Country Daily. August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Little Big Town top nominees for 2017 CMA Awards". ABC News. September 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "CMA Announces 2017 International Awards Recipients - 2017 CMA Awards". 4 April 2017. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  4. ^ "CMA Country Music Association". www.facebook.com.
  5. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (October 27, 2017). "Pink, Eric Church, Keith Urban Added to CMA Awards Performance Lineup". Rolling Stone.
  6. ^ "CMA Awards Win Night For ABC-TV With More Than 14 Million Viewers". November 9, 2017.
  7. ^ "This year's CMA Awards was one of its most political shows in years". Independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Carrie Underwood And Brad Paisley Zing Trump At The CMAs". November 9, 2017.
  9. ^ Harris, Jake. "Gone Country: Miranda Lambert gets snubbed, silence is golden and Sturgill busks for the ACLU at the 2017 CMAs".
  10. ^ "CMA Awards highlighted by political, emotional moments". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "Watch: Here's How the CMAs Honored Las Vegas Shooting Victims".
  12. ^ "Carrie Underwood Tearfully Honors Late Country Stars, Las Vegas Victims with Somber CMAs In Memoriam".
  13. ^ "Carrie Underwood Breaks Down During Emotional Musical Tribute to Las Vegas Shooting Victims".
  14. ^ "Garth Brooks admits lip-syncing at CMAs: 'My voice just isn't going anywhere'". USA Today.