Country Music Association Awards

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Country Music Association Awards
Current: 55th Annual Country Music Association Awards
Country Music Association Awards logo.png
50th anniversary logo
Awarded forAchievements in country music
CountryUnited States
Presented byCountry Music Association
First awarded1967
Websitewww.cmaawards.com
Television/radio coverage
NetworkNBC (1968–1971)
CBS (1972–2005)
ABC (2006–present)

The Country Music Association Awards, also known as the CMA Awards or CMAs, are presented to country music artists and broadcasters to recognize outstanding achievement in the country music industry.[1][2] The televised annual presentation ceremony features performances and award presentations by popular country music artists, with occasional appearances from pop and rock artists.[1] The CMA Awards were first presented in 1967, and televised for the first time the following year.

History[edit]

The first CMA awards were presented at an untelevised ceremony at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in 1967; the Entertainer of the Year award that night went to Eddy Arnold. The second annual CMA awards were presented in October 1968; NBC taped the ceremony and televised it a few weeks later. Since then, the awards have been televised live, usually in October or November, by NBC from 1969 through 1971, by CBS from 1972 through 2005, and by ABC beginning in 2006. Starting in 1968 they were held at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry (initially at Ryman Auditorium, and from 1974 through 2004 at the new Grand Ole Opry House).

In 2005, the awards show was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Since 2006, they have been held at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.[3] In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 54th CMA Awards were held at Nashville's Music City Center.[4]

Prior to 2017, the awards were generally held on the first Wednesday in November. However, since then the awards have been rescheduled for later in the month to avoid conflict with a possible game seven of Major League Baseball’s World Series, since the 2016 ceremony aired the same night as Fox’s eventual telecast of game seven of the 2016 Series, which beat the CMA Awards in the ratings.

Eligibility and voting[edit]

Albums and songs released between July 1 of the previous calendar year and June 30 of the award show's year are eligible for consideration.[5] More than 7,300 individuals from the Country Music Association trade group vote for the nominees and winners through three rounds of balloting.[5]

Awards[edit]

Annual awards are given in the following twelve categories: Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist, New Artist (previously known as the Horizon Award until 2008), Vocal Group, Vocal Duo (introduced in 1970), Single, Album, Song, Musical Event (split off from the Vocal Duo award in 1988 as Vocal Event), Music Video (introduced in 1985), and Musician.[1] The distinction between the Duo and Event awards is that the former is presented to two artists who normally perform together, while the latter was specifically created to honor one-off collaborations. Nine awards are also given to radio broadcasters for Station of the Year and Personality of the Year (divided into four categories each, based on market size), as well as National Personality of the Year to the host of a nationally syndicated show.[1] Since 2012, the ceremony features a Lifetime Achievement Award.[6] Vince Gill, and Alan Jackson are the only individuals to win Entertainer of the Year, Male/Female Vocalist of the Year or Group/Duo of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year all in the same year.

Categories[edit]

Defunct categories

  • Comedian of the Year (1967-1970)
  • Instrumental Group of the Year (1967-1986)

Radio awards

  • National Personality of the Year
  • Major Market Personality of the Year
  • Large Market Personality of the Year
  • Medium Market Personality of the Year
  • Small Market Personality of the Year
  • Major Market Station of the Year
  • Large Market Station of the Year
  • Medium Market Station of the Year
  • Small Market Station of the Year

Major awards[edit]

N. Entertainer of the Year Male Vocalist of the Year Female Vocalist of the Year New Artist of the Year / Horizon Award Song of the Year Album of the Year
2020 Eric Church Luke Combs Maren Morris Morgan Wallen Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz — "The Bones" What You See Is What You Get
2019 Garth Brooks Kacey Musgraves Ashley McBryde Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford - "Beautiful Crazy" Girl
2018 Keith Urban Chris Stapleton Carrie Underwood Luke Combs Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson – "Broken Halos" Golden Hour
2017 Garth Brooks Miranda Lambert Jon Pardi Taylor Swift – "Better Man" From A Room: Volume 1
2016 Carrie Underwood Maren Morris Lori McKenna – "Humble and Kind" Mr. Misunderstood
2015 Luke Bryan Miranda Lambert Chris Stapleton Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey – "Girl Crush" Traveller
2014 Blake Shelton Brett Eldredge Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, Brandy Clark – "Follow Your Arrow" Platinum
2013 George Strait Kacey Musgraves Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Jimmy Yeary – "I Drive Your Truck" Based on a True Story...
2012 Blake Shelton Hunter Hayes Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton – "Over You" Chief
2011 Taylor Swift The Band Perry Kimberly Perry – "If I Die Young" My Kinda Party
2010 Brad Paisley Zac Brown Band Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin – "The House That Built Me" Revolution
2009 Taylor Swift Brad Paisley Taylor Swift Darius Rucker Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto – "In Color" Fearless
2008 Kenny Chesney Carrie Underwood Lady Antebellum Jennifer Nettles – "Stay" Troubadour
2007 Taylor Swift Bill Anderson, Jamey Johnson, Buddy Cannon – "Give It Away" It Just Comes Natural
2006 Keith Urban Carrie Underwood Craig Wiseman, Ronnie Dunn – "Believe" Time Well Wasted
2005 Keith Urban Gretchen Wilson Dierks Bentley Bill Anderson, Jon Randall – "Whiskey Lullaby" There's More Where That Came From
2004 Kenny Chesney Martina McBride Gretchen Wilson Craig Wiseman, Tim Nichols – "Live Like You Were Dying" When the Sun Goes Down
2003 Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Joe Nichols Doug Johnson, Kim Williams – "Three Wooden Crosses" The Man Comes Around
2002 Rascal Flatts Alan Jackson – "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" Drive
2001 Tim McGraw Toby Keith Lee Ann Womack Keith Urban Larry Cordle, Larry Shell – "Murder on Music Row" O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2000 Dixie Chicks Tim McGraw Faith Hill Brad Paisley Mark D. Sanders, Tia Sillers – "I Hope You Dance" Fly
1999 Shania Twain Martina McBride Jo Dee Messina Beth Neilsen Chapman, Annie Roboff, Rob Lerner – "This Kiss" A Place in the Sun
1998 Garth Brooks George Strait Trisha Yearwood Dixie Chicks Steve Wariner, Billy Kirsch – "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" Everywhere
1997 LeAnn Rimes Matraca Berg, Gary Harrison – "Strawberry Wine" Carrying Your Love with Me
1996 Brooks & Dunn Patty Loveless Bryan White Vince Gill – "Go Rest High on That Mountain" Blue Clear Sky
1995 Alan Jackson Vince Gill Alison Krauss Alison Krauss Gretchen Peters – "Independence Day" When Fallen Angels Fly
1994 Vince Gill Pam Tillis John Michael Montgomery Alan Jackson, Jim McBride – "Chattahoochee" Common Thread
1993 Mary Chapin Carpenter Mark Chesnutt John Barlow Jarvis, Vince Gill – "I Still Believe in You" I Still Believe in You
1992 Garth Brooks Suzy Bogguss Max D. Barnes, Vince Gill – "Look at Us" Ropin' the Wind
1991 Tanya Tucker Travis Tritt Tim DuBois, Vince Gill – "When I Call Your Name" No Fences
1990 George Strait Clint Black Kathy Mattea Garth Brooks Don Henry, Jon Vezner – "Where've You Been" Pickin' on Nashville
1989 Ricky Van Shelton Clint Black Max D. Barnes, Vern Gosdin – "Chiseled in Stone" Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume II
1988 Hank Williams, Jr. Randy Travis K. T. Oslin Ricky Van Shelton K. T. Oslin – "80's Ladies" Born to Boogie
1987 Reba McEntire Holly Dunn Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz – "Forever and Ever, Amen" Always & Forever
1986 Reba McEntire George Strait Randy Travis Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz – "On the Other Hand" Lost in the Fifties Tonight
1985 Ricky Skaggs Sawyer Brown Lee Greenwood – "God Bless the USA" Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
1984 Alabama Lee Greenwood The Judds Larry Henley, Jeff Silbar – "Wind Beneath My Wings" A Little Good News
1983 Janie Fricke John Anderson Wayne Carson Thompson, Johnny Christopher, Mark James – "Always on My Mind" The Closer You Get...
1982 Ricky Skaggs Ricky Skaggs Always on My Mind
1981 Barbara Mandrell George Jones Barbara Mandrell Terri Gibbs Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman – "He Stopped Loving Her Today" I Believe in You
1980 Emmylou Harris No award presented Coal Miner's Daughter Soundtrack
1979 Willie Nelson Kenny Rogers Barbara Mandrell Don Schlitz – "The Gambler" The Gambler
1978 Dolly Parton Don Williams Crystal Gayle Richard Leigh – "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" It Was Almost Like a Song
1977 Ronnie Milsap Ronnie Milsap Roger Bowling, Hal Bynum – "Lucille" Ronnie Milsap: Live
1976 Mel Tillis Dolly Parton Larry Weiss – "Rhinestone Cowboy" Wanted! The Outlaws
1975 John Denver Waylon Jennings John Denver – "Back Home Again" A Legend in My Time
1974 Charlie Rich Ronnie Milsap Olivia Newton-John Don Wayne – "Country Bumpkin" A Very Special Love Song
1973 Roy Clark Charlie Rich Loretta Lynn Kenny O'Dell – "Behind Closed Doors" Behind Closed Doors
1972 Loretta Lynn Charley Pride Freddie Hart – "Easy Loving" Let Me Tell You About a Song
1971 Charley Pride Lynn Anderson I Won't Mention It Again
1970 Merle Haggard Merle Haggard Tammy Wynette Kris Kristofferson – "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" Okie from Muskogee
1969 Johnny Cash Johnny Cash Bob Ferguson – "The Carroll County Accident" Johnny Cash at San Quentin
1968 Glen Campbell Glen Campbell Bobby Russell – "Honey" Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
1967 Eddy Arnold Jack Greene Loretta Lynn Dallas Frazier – "There Goes My Everything" There Goes My Everything

CMA Awards hosts[edit]

The first ceremony in 1967, which was not televised, was co-hosted by Sonny James and Bobbie Gentry. Vince Gill hosted the awards from 1992 to 2003. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have co-hosted the ceremonies from 2008 to 2018. For the 2019 ceremony, Carrie Underwood hosted alongside Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. McEntire returned to host the 2020 ceremony with Darius Rucker.

Award Milestones[edit]

Most awarded[edit]

Artist Awards[7]
Brooks & Dunn 18
Vince Gill
George Strait 17
Alan Jackson 16
Garth Brooks 14
Brad Paisley
Miranda Lambert 14

Most nominated[edit]

Artist Nominations[8]
George Strait 83
Alan Jackson 81
Miranda Lambert 58
Brad Paisley 58
Vince Gill 54

Won four main awards in single year[edit]

Only two artists have won the top four awards in a single year: Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Male Vocalist/Female Vocalist/Group/Duo of the Year and Song of the Year: Vince Gill, in 1993 and Alan Jackson, in 2002.[9] For the most recent ceremony in 2021, Eric Church and Chris Stapleton are nominated for all four awards.

Ceremony Entertainer Album Vocalist/Group/Duo Song
36th Alan Jackson Drive – Alan Jackson Alan Jackson "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" – Alan Jackson
27th Vince Gill I Still Believe in You – Vince Gill Vince Gill "I Still Believe in You" – Vince Gill and John Barlow Jarvis

Controversies[edit]

Charlie Rich "lights up" John Denver[edit]

When presenting the Entertainer of the Year award at the 1975 ceremony, Charlie Rich, who appeared to be intoxicated after drinking backstage and was allegedly taking pain medication for a broken foot, opened the envelope to reveal the winner. When he saw that country pop star John Denver had been chosen, Rich pulled out his lighter and burned the envelope, sarcastically declaring that the winner was "my friend, Mr. John Denver". Many saw Rich's actions as a protest towards pop artists crossing over into country music and it remains one of the most talked about moments in CMA history.[10]

Kathy Mattea's AIDS speech[edit]

During a time when the rest of the entertainment industry were wearing red ribbons to signify solidarity and promote awareness of the AIDS epidemic, in an attempt to steer clear of controversy, the CMA instead encouraged guests to wear green ribbons to signify environmental awareness. This did not sit well with Kathy Mattea, who had lost several friends to the disease, and she requested to CMA's help in drafting a short speech on the issue but they ignored her request and she took matters into her own hands. At the 1992 ceremony while presenting an award, Mattea wore three red ribbons and one green one and announced the names of her friends who had passed and delivered an impassioned speech that created a discussion and elevated AIDS awareness among the Nashville community. Mattea went on to become a staunch advocate for the cause, releasing the album Red Hot + Country two years later to raise funds for AIDS charities.[11][12]

Alan Jackson's 1999 performance[edit]

On May 8, 1999, country music legend George Jones released "Choices", a song written by Mike Curtis and Billy Yates, that featured an accompanying music video which depicted his struggles with substance abuse. The song subsequently became a Top 30 hit for Jones and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 1999 CMA Awards, with the CMA inviting him to perform a shortened version at the ceremony. Jones felt insulted that the CMA requested he remove part of the song and so he passed on the invitation. Alan Jackson, who was slated to perform his current single "Pop a Top", was offended that the CMA had denied Jones the opportunity to sing the full song and so, during his performance, he stopped his own band mid-song and instead sang a chorus of "Choices", which went on to earn a standing ovation from the crowd.[13]

Dixie Chicks 50th anniversary performance[edit]

At the 50th CMA Awards in 2016, the Dixie Chicks returned the CMA stage for the first time since their comments about George Bush resulted in them being blacklisted from the industry. They were joined by global superstar Beyoncé to perform a medley of "Daddy Lessons" from her 2016 Lemonade album and their own 2002 hit "Long Time Gone". While many viewers and critics praised the performance, it garnered criticism from some country traditionalists, who stated that Beyoncé, a pop/R&B artist had no place at a country music awards show. The comments polarized opinions, with some noting that they could be seen as a racist attack, as previous collaborations with non-country artists had not received the same amount of criticism and some suggesting that old grudges against the Dixie Chicks had fueled the extreme responses to their performance. Many artists including Dierks Bentley and Karen Fairchild defended the performance while others did not, including Alan Jackson who reportedly walked out of the arena.[14][15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Country Music Association Awards". Country.dj. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  2. ^ "Country Music's Biggest Night". Cmaworld.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "CMT : CMA Awards : Archive : 2005 : Country Music Association". Cmt.com. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "The CMA Awards Promise to Bring Top Country Stars Together 'Safely, All in One Room'". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "It's Balloting Season at CMA!". CMA World. Country Music Association. May 5, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  6. ^ "Kenny Rogers Presented With the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award". CMA World. Country Music Association. November 8, 2013. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  7. ^ https://cmaawards.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/CMA-Awards-Winners-by-Most-Wins-November-2019.pdf
  8. ^ https://cmaawards.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/CMA-Awards-By-Most-Nominations-November-2019.pdf
  9. ^ "Past Winners And Nominees". 2019 CMA Awards | Wednesday, November 13 on ABC. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  10. ^ "Singer Charlie Rich protests John Denver's big win at the CMA Awards". History com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  11. ^ "Classic CMA Awards Moments, #10: Kathy Mattea Makes a Difference (1992)". Countryuniverse.net. October 29, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "Now 60, Kathy Mattea Has a Legacy of Transcendent Love Songs". Alwaysmountaintime.com. June 21, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  13. ^ "WATCH: 6 Unforgettable CMA Awards Controversies". Theboot.com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "The most controversial moments CMA Awards history". Yardbarker.com. December 2, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Hudak, Joseph (November 10, 2016). "How Beyonce's CMA Awards Controversy Foreshadowed Trump's Victory". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  16. ^ "Beyonce's 'Daddy Lessons' Finding Support From Country Music Community". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2021.

External links[edit]