Industry Honors

CMA Industry Honors

Industry Honors

CMA Founding President’s Award (In Honor of Connie B. Gay, Formerly the 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 a director of the association, and who, in the board’s opinion, has rendered the most outstanding service to the Country Music Association in the current year.

2013 – Mayor Karl Dean

2005 – Blue County (Aaron Benward and Scott Reeves)

2004 – Terri Clark

2003 – Wynonna Judd

2002 – Brad Paisley

2001 – Mayor Bill Purcell

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2000 – Wayne Halper

1999 – Martina McBride

1998 – Pam Tillis

1997 – Trisha Yearwood

1996 – Marc Oswald

1995 – Cindy Wilson

1994 – Helen Farmer

1993 – Fred Rappoport

1992 – Jim Free

1991 – Bob Saporiti

1990 – Allen Brown

1989 – Michael Sukin

1988 – Ron Huntsman

1987 – Paul Conroy

1986 – Merrill Warner

1985 – Jim Halsey

1984 – Frank Mull

1983 – Mary Ann McCready

1982 – Bob Boatman

1981 – Roy Acuff

1980 – Charlie Daniels

1979 – Ben Smathers

1978 – Bob Tubert

1977 – Hal Cook

1976 – Roy Horton

1975 – Hubert Long (posthumously)

1974 – Jack Stapp

1973 – Frank Jones

1972 – Tex Ritter

1971 – Ken Nelson

1970 – Frank Clement

1969 – Johnny Cash

1968 – Owen Bradley

1967 – Gene Nash and LeRoy Van Dyke

1966 – Pack Ackerman

1965 – Robert J. Burton

1964 – Joe Allison

1963 – Richard Frank

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. The individual recognized has evidenced commitment to worthwhile causes that are important to the Country Music Association and the Country Music community.

2017 – Vince Gill

2015 – Steve Turner

2014 – Kix Brooks

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 recognizes 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.

2016 – Dolly Parton

2015 – Johnny Cash

2013 – Kenny Rogers

2012 – Willie Nelson

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.

2016 – Kenny Chesney

2013 – Taylor Swift

2005 – Garth Brooks

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.

2016 – Steve Buchanan and Donna Hilley

2014 – Vince Gill

2009 – Walter Miller

2003 – Johnny Cash

1991 – Jo Walker-Meador

1987 – Frances Preston

1983 – Irving Waugh

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 by the CMA Board of Directors to qualify for this award.

2017 – Kitty Moon Emery

2016 – Merle Haggard

2015 – George Jones

2007 – Marty Stuart

2005 – Louise Scruggs

2004 – Janette Carter

2001 – Joe Talbot

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 and Internet journalists; columnists; authors; editors; television writers, producers and bookers; and syndicated radio reporters are eligible to win this award. Past recipients are eligible for nomination 5 years after they have last received the honor.

2017 – Brittany Schreiber

2016 – Beville Dunkerley & Joseph Hudak

2015 – Cindy Watts

2014 – Chuck Dauphin

2013 – Deborah Evans Price

2012 – Jennifer Meyer / Rey Sells

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2011 – Ashley Dvorkin

2010 – Beville Darden

2009 – Cynthia Sanz

2008 – Monica Escobedo

2007 – Storme Warren

2006 – Donna Hughes

2005 – Mark Bracco

2004 – Alanna Nash

2003 – Denis Quan

2002 – Jim Patterson

2001 – Harry Chapman

2000 – Neil Pond

1999 – Hazel Smith

1998 – Chet Flippo

1997 – Jay Orr

1996 – Tisi Aylward

1995 – Clay Smith

1994 – Judy Massa

1993 – Lynn Lester

1992 – Mark McEwen

1991 – No Award

1990 – Dick Heard

1989 – Bob Claypool

1988 – Bob Oermann

1987 – Dave Zimmerman

1986 – No Award

1985 – Red O’Donnell

1984 – Dolly Carlisle

1983 – Neil Hickey

1982 – Jack Hurst