CMT Music Awards

CMT Music Awards
Awarded for Achievements in country music videos voted on by fans
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Country United States
Presented by Various
First awarded 1967 (as Music City News Awards)
Official website

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,


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 TNN contract with Music City News ended in 1999, and the magazine ceased publication shortly thereafter. Country Weekly would assume the role of 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 would vote 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 of the CMA Awards and ACM Awards, except all awards were fan-voted.

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 their most popular videos ('flameworthy' based on the concept of concert lighter waving asking 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 honor specifically the music videos of country artists. The "Flameworthy" name was coined by program development vice president Kaye Zusmann.[1]

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

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 capitalizing on a time when many of the artists would already be in Nashville at once.

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.

Major awards

Year Video of the Year Male Video of the Year Female Video of the Year 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"
2004 Toby 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"
2006 Keith Urban – "Better Life" Kenny Chesney – "Who You'd Be Today" Carrie Underwood – "Jesus, Take the Wheel" Carrie Underwood – "Jesus, Take The Wheel"
2007 Carrie Underwood – "Before He Cheats" Kenny Chesney – "You Save Me" Carrie Underwood – "Before He Cheats" Taylor Swift – "Tim McGraw"
2008 Taylor Swift – "Our Song" Trace Adkins – "I Got My Game On" Taylor Swift – "Our Song" Kellie Pickler – "I Wonder"
2009 Taylor Swift – "Love Story" Brad Paisley – "Waitin' on a Woman" Taylor Swift – "Love Story" Zac Brown Band – "Chicken Fried"
2010 Carrie Underwood – "Cowboy Casanova" Keith Urban – "'Til Summer Comes Around" Miranda Lambert – "White Liar" Luke Bryan – "Do I"
2011 Taylor 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"
2012 Carrie Underwood – "Good Girl" Luke Bryan – "I Don't Want This Night to End" Miranda Lambert – "Over You" Scotty McCreery – "The Trouble With Girls"
2013 Carrie Underwood – "Blown Away" Blake Shelton – "Sure Be Cool If You Did" Miranda Lambert – "Mama's Broken Heart" Florida Georgia Line – "Cruise"
2014 Carrie Underwood – "See You Again" Blake Shelton – "Doin' What She Likes" Miranda Lambert – "Automatic" Cassadee Pope – "Wasting All These Tears"
2015 Carrie 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"

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 have been 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 (though 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

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Carrie Underwood is the most awarded artist in the show's history, with fifteen wins.[7]

By category


  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.
  7. "Carrie Underwood owned the night at 2016 CMT Music Awards". 2016-06-10.
  8. Hugh McIntyre (2016-06-09). "Tim McGraw Comes Out On Top At The 2016 CMT Music Awards". Forbes.
  9. "Male Video of the Year winners". CMT.
  10. "Female Video of the Year winners". CMT.

External links

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