51st Annual Country Music Association Awards

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.[1] The ceremony recognizes some of the best country music released during the eligibility period (between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017[2]). It is the twelfth ceremony to be held at the arena, the eighteenth to be held in November and the tenth night to be co-hosted by country stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.[3] The ceremony was directed by Paul Miller.

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

The nominations for the 51st CMA Awards were announced on September 4, 2017, on Good Morning America by Lauren Alaina, Dustin Lynch, and Brothers Osborne.[4][5] The nominees were led by Miranda Lambert (5) and followed by Keith Urban and Little Big Town (4). Chris Stapleton won his third win as a Male Vocalist. Miranda Lambert won her seventh win as a Female Vocalist, after a year hiatus.

Winners and nomineesEdit

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
  • Brothers Osborne - "It Ain't My Fault"
    • Little Big Town - "Better Man"
    • Keith Urban - "Blue Ain't Your Color"
    • Thomas Rhett ft Maren Morris - "Craving You"
    • Miranda Lambert - "Vice"

Special Recognition AwardsEdit

The CMA Special Recognition Award recipients were announced on 4 April 2017.[6]

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




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.[9]

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.[10] Paisley also performed a parody song about Trump's tweeting habits to the tune of Underwood's hit "Before He Cheats."[11]

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[12][13][14] and some declaring it one of the best CMA performances of all time.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] The performance did receive some criticism due to the cameras focusing more on Underwood, making some of the names on the screen either obscured or completely unreadable, which was seen by many as disrespectful.[18]

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."[19]


  1. ^ "Award Shows Schedule". Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  2. ^ "About - 2017 CMA Awards".
  3. ^ "Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley to Host CMA Awards for 10th Straight Year".
  4. ^ "Brothers Osborne, Dustin Lynch & Lauren Alaina to Announce Upcoming 51st CMA Awards on "Good Morning America"". Nash Country Daily. 28 August 2017.
  5. ^ News, A. B. C. (4 September 2017). "Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Little Big Town top nominees for 2017 CMA Awards". ABC News.
  6. ^ "CMA Announces 2017 International Awards Recipients - 2017 CMA Awards". 4 April 2017. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  7. ^ "CMA Country Music Association". www.facebook.com.
  8. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (27 October 2017). "Pink, Eric Church, Keith Urban Added to CMA Awards Performance Lineup".
  9. ^ "CMA Awards Win Night For ABC-TV With More Than 14 Million Viewers". 9 November 2017.
  10. ^ "This year's CMA Awards was one of its most political shows in years".
  11. ^ "Carrie Underwood And Brad Paisley Zing Trump At The CMAs". 9 November 2017.
  12. ^ Harris, Jake. "Gone Country: Miranda Lambert gets snubbed, silence is golden and Sturgill busks for the ACLU at the 2017 CMAs".
  13. ^ "CMA Awards highlighted by political, emotional moments". Archived from the original on 2017-11-18. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  14. ^ "Watch: Here's How the CMAs Honored Las Vegas Shooting Victims".
  15. ^ Trigger. "Despite Efforts to the Contrary, The CMA's Message of Unity Perseveres - Saving Country Music". www.savingcountrymusic.com.
  16. ^ "Carrie Underwood Tearfully Honors Late Country Stars, Las Vegas Victims with Somber CMAs In Memoriam".
  17. ^ "Carrie Underwood Breaks Down During Emotional Musical Tribute to Las Vegas Shooting Victims".
  18. ^ "Country Music Fans Are Not Happy About the CMAs' Memoriam Segment".
  19. ^ "Garth Brooks admits lip-syncing at CMAs: 'My voice just isn't going anywhere'".