Industry Honors

Chairman’s Award of Merit

Created in 2005 to honor outstanding careers and contributions to Country Music.
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CMA Chairman’s Award

This award, given at the discretion of the incumbent Chairman of the Board, 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.
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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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CMA President’s Award

This award, given at the discretion of the incumbent President, is not an annual award, but given when the President 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. Award was changed to the CMA Chairman’s Award in 2010.
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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. The award shall not be presented more often than annually.

Candidates shall be considered when a letter of recommendation, signed by three or more CMA Officers or members of the Board, is submitted to the CMA President or Chairman prior to June 15 of the award year. The President and Chairman shall at that time appoint a select Committee consisting of the President and Chairman plus six current Directors and four current Officers to study the candidates. It shall require a majority of the Committee to certify the eligibility of the candidates, and a nomination shall require the vote of 80 percent of the Committee.

The nominee’s name is then to be submitted to the CMA Officers and Directors by certified mail ballot sent to the home addresses no later than August 1, to be returned to the accounting firm supervising the elections. The winner of the award must receive an 80 percent affirmative vote of the total eligible voters and if so, is to be included during the broadcast of the CMA Awards.

If an Officer or Director of the Board is a nominee, he or she shall receive a dummy ballot to protect confidentiality.
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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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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) in recognition of an initiative or long-term contribution deemed to qualify by the CMA Board of Directors. This is not intended to be an annual award, but rather one that may be presented at any time deemed to be appropriate.
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Triple Play Award

Initiated by CMA in 1991, the Triple Play Awards recognize CMA composer members who have attained three number-one songs within a 12-month period, based on the Country singles charts from Billboard, Country Aircheck and Music Row.
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Global Artist Award

The Global Artist Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a country music artist — originally signed outside of the United States – in both furthering the popularity of country music and bringing attention to the country music format in their foreign based territory. This award is to be presented at an appropriate time and place during the annual CMA Music Festival celebrations. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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International Artist Achievement Award

Formerly the International Touring Artist Award, this award recognizes outstanding achievement by a US based artist who contributes to the awareness and development of Country Music outside the United States. The award is intended to be presented prior to the beginning of the CMA Awards so that it can be given in front of the industry audience and taped for the International edit. If this is not possible it will be presented at an appropriate place and time. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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International Country Broadcaster Award

Recognizes outstanding achievement by radio broadcasters outside the United States who have made important contributions for the development of Country Music in their country. Usually up to three recipients may be named in any year, but no more than two from one country in one year. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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International Talent Buyer/Promoter of the Year Award

Category eliminated in 2008, candidates are now eligible for the Jo Walker-Meador International Award.
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Jo Walker-Meador International Award

Recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting Country Music’s marketing development in territories outside the United States. Media Executives would be eligible if their involvement reached outside of their primary role, otherwise their eligibility for the Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award would exclude them. The award will be presented at CMA’s annual membership meeting, or at another appropriate place and time. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award

Recognizes outstanding achievements in the media, which contribute to the development of Country Music outside the United States. Radio, TV, print journalists, authors, editors, television writers, producers and PR companies who reside outside the United States are eligible to win this award. The award will be presented at CMA’s annual membership meeting, or at another appropriate place and time. The award does not have to be presented annually.
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