CMT Music Awards

Last updated
CMT Music Awards
Awarded forAchievements in country music videos voted on by fans
Location Nashville, Tennessee
CountryUnited States
Presented byVarious
First awarded1967 (as Music City News Awards)

The CMT Music Awards is a fan-voted awards show for country music videos and television performances. The awards ceremony is held every year in Nashville, Tennessee, and broadcast live on CMT. Voting takes place on CMT's website,

A music video is a short film that integrates a song with imagery, and is produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. There are also cases where songs are used in tie-in marketing campaigns that allow them to become more than just a song. Tie-ins and merchandising can be used for toys or for food or other products. Although the origins of the music video date back to musical short films that first appeared in the 1920s, they again came into prominence in the 1980s when the channel MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these kinds of videos were described by various terms including "illustrated song", "filmed insert", "promotional (promo) film", "promotional clip", "promotional video", "song video", "song clip" or "film clip".

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 692,587. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 669,053 in 2018.

CMT (U.S. TV channel) US television channel

CMT, originally launched as CMTV, is an American pay television channel that is owned by Viacom Media Networks, a division of Viacom. Its name is an initialism for "Country Music Television", which has since been de-emphasized. It was the first nationally available channel devoted to country music and country music videos. Programming on the channel originally focused on country music; including music videos, taped concerts and biographies of country music stars. CMT's current programming now mainly consists of original reality programs and scripted series, off-network syndicated shows, and theatrically-released movies.



Beginning in 1967, the Music City News Awards were presented yearly by the now-defunct Music City News magazine. In 1988, The Nashville Network (TNN) began a fan-voted awards show dubbed the Viewers' Choice Awards to help the network celebrate its fifth anniversary. In 1990, the two awards shows merged to become the TNN/Music City News Country Awards.

The Nashville Network, usually referred to as TNN, was an American country music-oriented cable television network. Programming included music videos, taped concerts, movies, game shows, syndicated programs, and numerous talk shows. On September 25, 2000, after an attempt to attract younger viewers failed, TNN's country music format was changed and the network was renamed The National Network, eventually becoming Spike TV in 2003 and Paramount Network in 2018.

The TNN contract with Music City News ended in 1999, and the magazine ceased publication shortly thereafter. Country Weekly became the presenting sponsor of the awards show in 2000, and the show was known as Country Weekly presents the TNN Music Awards. In 2001, as TNN began to phase out its association with country music, the decision was made to shift the awards show to sister network CMT. The 2001 show was simulcast on both networks and was called the TNN/CMT Country Weekly Music Awards. When the show moved permanently to CMT, Country Weekly ended its brief association with the production. During this era, viewers voted for the nominees by telephone or mail in traditional categories such as "Entertainer of the Year," "Male/Female Artist of the Year," "Song of the Year," etc. Most of the categories mirrored those on the CMA Awards and ACM Awards, except all awards were fan-voted[ citation needed ].

Country Music Association Awards music award

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. The televised annual presentation ceremony features performances and award presentations by popular country music artists, with occasional appearances from pop and rock artists.

Academy of Country Music Awards award

The Academy of Country Music Awards, also known as the ACM Awards, were first held in 1966, honoring the industry's accomplishments during the previous year. It was the first country music awards program held by a major organization. The Academy's signature "hat" trophy was first created in 1968. The awards were first televised in 1972 on ABC. In 1979, the Academy joined with Dick Clark Productions to produce the show. Dick Clark and Al Schwartz served as producers while Gene Weed served as director. Under their guidance, the show moved to NBC and finally to CBS, where it remains today.

The awards show was completely retooled in 2002 to become the CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards, named for the network's branding concept at the time for its most popular videos ("flameworthy" based on the concept of concert lighter waving to ask for the playing of a popular song, rather than the meaning of Internet flaming most associated with the term today). The show became more production-based, rather than awards-based, and was modeled after sister network MTV's Video Music Awards. In the process, the traditional awards were shifted to specifically honor the music videos of country artists. The "Flameworthy" name was coined by program development vice president Kaye Zusmann. [1]

Flaming is the online act of posting insults, often laced with profanity or other offensive language on social networking sites. This term should not be confused with the term trolling, which is the act of someone going online, or in person, and causing discord. Flaming emerged out of the anonymity that internet forums provide cover for users to act more aggressively. Anonymity can lead to disinhibition, which results in the swearing, offensive, and hostile language characteristic of flaming. Lack of social cues, less accountability of face-to-face communications, textual mediation and deindividualization are also likely factors. Deliberate flaming is carried out by individuals known as flamers, which are specifically motivated to incite flaming. These users specialize in flaming and target specific aspects of a controversial conversation.

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel that serves as the flagship property of owner Viacom Media Networks and is headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

The show included several non-traditional categories highlighting especially funny, sexy, and patriotic videos; however, these categories were phased out over the years. [2] The show further differentiated itself from the CMA Awards and ACM Awards by showcasing bluegrass performers such as Alison Krauss and Earl Scruggs. [1]

Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States Appalachian region. The genre derives its name from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass has roots in traditional English, Irish, and Scottish ballads and dance tunes, and by traditional African-American blues and jazz. The Blue Grass Boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville, North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer's and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound."

Alison Krauss American bluegrass-country singer-songwriter and musician

Alison Maria Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of 10 and recording for the first time at 14. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

Earl Scruggs American musician

Earl Eugene Scruggs was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called "Scruggs style," which is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the traditional way the five-string banjo had previously been played. This new style of playing became popular and elevated the banjo from its previous role as a background rhythm instrument to featured solo status. He popularized the instrument across several genres of music.

In 2003, the show was moved to April but returned to June in 2009 to coincide with the CMA Music Festival (the renamed "Fan Fair") and the influx of tourists to Nashville as well as capitalize on a time when many of the artists would already be in Nashville at once.

CMA Music Festival country music festival in Nashville, Tennessee, USA

The CMA Music Festival is a four-day music festival centered on country music hosted each June by the Country Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning in 1972 as Fan Fair, the event now draws over 400 artists and celebrities who hold autograph sessions and perform in one of the many concerts offered throughout the festival.

The name of the show was changed to CMT Music Awards in 2005, although the format remained largely the same as in previous years. [3]

From 2009 to 2014, the CMT Music Awards featured a live band led by John Bohlinger [ citation needed ].

Major awards

YearVideo of the YearMale Video of the YearFemale Video of the Year USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of The Year
2002 Kenny Chesney – "Young"Kenny Chesney – "Young" Martina McBride – "Blessed" Chris Cagle – "I Breathe In, I Breathe Out"
2003 Toby Keith – "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)"Toby Keith – "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)"Martina McBride – "Concrete Angel" Joe Nichols – "Brokenheartsville"
2004Toby Keith – "American Soldier"Kenny Chesney – "There Goes My Life" Shania Twain – "Forever and for Always" Dierks Bentley – "What Was I Thinkin'"
2005 Keith Urban – "Days Go By"Kenny Chesney – "I Go Back" Gretchen Wilson – "When I Think About Cheatin'"Gretchen Wilson – "Redneck Woman"
2006Keith Urban – "Better Life"Kenny Chesney – "Who You'd Be Today" Carrie Underwood – "Jesus, Take the Wheel"Carrie Underwood – "Jesus, Take The Wheel"
2007Carrie Underwood – "Before He Cheats"Kenny Chesney – "You Save Me"Carrie Underwood – "Before He Cheats" Taylor Swift – "Tim McGraw"
2008Taylor Swift – "Our Song" Trace Adkins – "I Got My Game On"Taylor Swift – "Our Song" Kellie Pickler – "I Wonder"
2009Taylor Swift – "Love Story" Brad Paisley – "Waitin' on a Woman"Taylor Swift – "Love Story" Zac Brown Band – "Chicken Fried"
2010Carrie Underwood – "Cowboy Casanova"Keith Urban – "'Til Summer Comes Around" Miranda Lambert – "White Liar" Luke Bryan – "Do I"
2011Taylor Swift – "Mine" Blake Shelton – "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking"Miranda Lambert – "The House That Built Me" The Band Perry – "If I Die Young"
2012Carrie Underwood – "Good Girl"Luke Bryan – "I Don't Want This Night to End"Miranda Lambert – "Over You" Scotty McCreery – "The Trouble With Girls"
2013Carrie Underwood – "Blown Away"Blake Shelton – "Sure Be Cool If You Did"Miranda Lambert – "Mama's Broken Heart" Florida Georgia Line – "Cruise"
2014Carrie Underwood – "See You Again"Blake Shelton – "Doin' What She Likes"Miranda Lambert – "Automatic" Cassadee Pope – "Wasting All These Tears"
2015Carrie Underwood – "Something in the Water"Luke Bryan – "Play It Again"Carrie Underwood – "Something in the Water" Sam Hunt – "Leave the Night On"
2016 Tim McGraw – "Humble and Kind" Thomas Rhett – "Die a Happy Man"Carrie Underwood – "Smoke Break" Chris Stapleton – "Fire Away"
2017Keith Urban – "Blue Ain't Your Color"Keith Urban – "Blue Ain't Your Color"Carrie Underwood – "Church Bells" Lauren Alaina – "Road Less Traveled"
2018Blake Shelton - "I'll Name the Dogs"Blake Shelton - "I'll Name the Dogs"Carrie Underwood - “The Champion" (featuring Ludacris) Carly Pearce - "Every Little Thing"
2019Carrie Underwood - "Cry Pretty" Kane Brown - "Lose It"Carrie Underwood - “Love Wins" Ashley McBryde – “Girl Goin’ Nowhere" (At Marathon Music Works)

Special/Discontinued awards

All of the traditional categories awarded during the TNN/Music City News/Country Weekly era were discontinued following the 2001 show when the production was moved to CMT and retooled to honor music videos.

Several categories were removed after only one year, including the Love Your Country Video (2002), LOL (Laugh Out Loud) Video (2002), Fashion Plate Video (2002), Special Achievement (2003), Cocky Video (2003), Cameo of the Year (2004), Comedy Video (2008), Tearjerker Video (2008), and Supporting Character of the Year (2008). The Most Inspiring Video Award was presented only two years (2004–05).

In 2004, the Johnny Cash Visionary Award was introduced to honor innovation and vision in creating music (a similar award, "Video Visionary", was presented in 2002). Reba McEntire was the first recipient of the award. [4] [5] It was discontinued after 2007.

The Hottest Video of the Year award was discontinued after 2006 (and was split into Male/Female categories in 2003 alone). It honored videos featuring especially sexy performances by the artists or supporting cast.

In 2007, the Wide Open Country Video Award (named for the CMT Pure Country video block of the same name) was introduced to recognize music not normally played on country radio. Jack Ingram's "Love You" was the first recipient. [6] It was discontinued after 2009.

In 2009, the CMT Performance of the Year (to honor a CMT-exclusive performance by an artist or a collaboration) and Nationwide Is On Your Side awards (to honor an up-and-coming artist/group) were introduced. The Nationwide award is awarded off-camera, but the recipient offers a brief (taped) acceptance as the broadcast cuts to a commercial break.

Winning records

Carrie Underwood is the most awarded artist overall in CMT Music Awards' history (2005-present), with 20 wins. [7]

By category

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  1. 1 2 Havighurst, Craig (June 12, 2002). "Front-row video". The Tennessean.
  2. Cooper, Peter (May 15, 2002). "Look for sexy, funny, patriotic at CMT video awards show". The Tennessean.
  3. Cooper, Peter; Brad Schmitt (April 11, 2005). "You might be a redneck if you prognosticate correctly". The Tennessean.
  4. Cooper, Peter (April 22, 2004). "'American Soldier' wins top Flame". The Tennessean.
  5. Keel, Beverly (April 17, 2007). "Kristofferson honored for innovation and vision". The Tennessean.
  6. Cooper, Peter (April 17, 2007). "Fans crown Underwood star of the night at CMTs". The Tennessean.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Carrie Underwood Is Now The Most Awarded Artist In CMT History". Forbes. 7 June 2017.
  9. "Male Video of the Year winners". CMT.