Industry Honors

Nominated Awards

CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award

The CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award is for an individual who has served as a humanitarian through community leadership, financial support, personal volunteerism and advocacy. Those recognized must be a Country Music professional who has evidenced commitment to worthwhile causes that are important to the Country Music Association and the Country Music community.
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Founding President’s Award (formerly Connie B. Gay Award)

This award was established by the Board of Directors in 1963. The award is given in recognition of that person (or persons) who is not currently serving as an Officer or Director, and who, in the Board’s opinion, has rendered the most outstanding service to the Country Music Association in the current year. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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Irving Waugh Award of Excellence

The Irving Waugh Award of Excellence is awarded to that individual who is the originator and caretaker of demonstrated ideas and actions that have dramatically broadened and improved Country Music’s influence on a national or international level for the benefit of the industry as a whole. It is the intention that these ideas and actions typically will have run a course of years and shall have a proven historical impact on Country Music.

Candidates shall be considered when a letter of recommendation by a CMA Board Member is submitted to the Membership & Balloting Department for presentation to the Awards & Recognition Committee. If approved by the committee, the nominee’s name will then be presented to the CMA Board of Directors at the next scheduled board meeting for ultimate approval.
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Joe Talbot Award

This award is presented in recognition of outstanding leadership and contributions to the preservation and advancement of Country Music’s values and tradition.  The award may be presented to a person (living or deceased) as determined by the Board of Directors to recognize an initiative or long-term contribution.
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Pinnacle Award

This award recognizes an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence through concert performances and record sales at levels unique in Country Music.  The artist has also attained the highest degree of recognition within the broad expanse of music worldwide.  The artist’s talent and presence will have a long-term positive impact on the appreciation of Country Music for generations to come.
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Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is for an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music.  The award was established to recognize an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales and public representation at the highest level. The artist receiving this award has positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre throughout a course of years that have proven to have an unprecedented and provides historical impact on fans and industry alike.

It is to be noted their presence will have a long-term positive impact on Country Music and CMA for generations to come.
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Additional Honors

CMA Chairman’s Award (formerly CMA President’s Award)

This award, given at the discretion of the incumbent Chairman, is not an annual award, but given when the Chairman feels an individual or individuals, through outstanding service to CMA, merits the recognition.  The award may be given to a current board member or non-board member.

The Award was titled and presented as the President’s Award until 2010.
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CMA Close Up Award of Merit

The Award was created in 2007 to honor the student who demonstrated the most creativity, dedication, and promise in covering the CMA Music Festival on assignment from CMA. Candidates for the CMA Close Up Award of Merit are chosen based on recommendations from department heads in Journalism or equivalent programs at universities and colleges in central Tennessee. The final team of five reporters cover all aspects of CMA Music Festival under direction from the Editor of CMA Close Up.
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CMA Media Achievement Award (Formerly Journalist Award)

The CMA Media Achievement Award was established to recognize outstanding achievements in the media as they relate to Country Music. Print journalists, authors, editors, television writers and producers are eligible to win this award. A recipient shall be chosen to receive this award, to be presented only when it is deemed that a recipient is worthy of recognition. It is not a mandatory annual award. The award will be presented at the CMA Annual Membership Meeting, or at another appropriate place and time. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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