Each year, the Country Music Association Awards ceremony -- known as the CMA Awards -- is one of the genre's most-anticipated events of the year. It began in 1967 as an un-televised ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., as a way of honoring the biggest achievements in country music for recording artists and broadcasters. Since then, the ceremony has grown to include a live TV aspect and a bevy of live performances in addition to the presentation of trophies. The CMA Awards have also doled out its coveted Entertainer of the Year trophy each year, with iconic acts like George Strait, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson all becoming recipients of the coveted honor in the show's early years. Garth Brooks holds the record for artist with the most Entertainer trophies, having won the award seven times.
- First Ceremony: Oct. 20, 1967
- Did You Know…: If you look at a CMA Awards trophy up close, you’ll notice a tiny circle of musical notes inscribed on its surface. Turns out, that’s not just for decoration: It notates the chorus of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” one of country music’s most important songs.
- Required Reading: Reba McEntire Looks Back on THAT CMA Awards Red Dress, CMA Awards Voting: How Does it Work?, Which Artist Have the Most CMA Awards Nominations?, Snoop Dogg + More Surprising CMA Awards Winners + Nominees, Every CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year Winner Ever, These 10 CMA Awards Photos Will Send You Down Memory Lane, Top 10 CMA Awards Moments