CMT vs CMA Awards: Understanding the Key Differences


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CMT vs CMA Awards: Understanding the Key Differences

The CMT Awards and the CMA Awards are two award ceremonies that stand out when it comes to praising the best in country music. There are noticeable contrasts between the two, despite the fact that they both honour the best artists in the genre. The differences between the CMT and CMA Awards, including their histories, voting procedures, and categories, will be discussed in this article.

CMT vs CMA Awards

A Synopsis of the CMT Awards

The Music City News Awards, which were the original name of the CMT Awards, were started in 1967. The CMT (Country Music Television) production features a lot of the network’s performances and music videos. The programme has gained popularity over the years and is currently regarded as one of the top awards programmes for country music.

A Synopsis of the CMA Awards

Since 1967, the most esteemed ceremony for awarding country music has been the Country Music Association Awards or CMA Awards. The Country Music Association produces the programme, which celebrates the best in the business.

Electoral Process

Voting for the CMT Awards is a rather simple procedure. Voting for favourite musicians may be done online or via text message. In the weeks before the performance, voting is allowed. Based on the number of votes cast, winners are selected.

Voting for the CMA Awards is more involved. The voting method for the programme consists of three steps: nomination, ballot voting, and final vote. A panel of business experts chooses the nominations, and then CMA members vote to choose the final nominees. The winners are then chosen by a second round of voting by CMA members.


With prizes including Video of the Year, Collaboration Video of the Year, and Performance of the Year, the CMT Awards mainly recognise music videos and live performances.

With prizes like Entertainer of the Year, Male and Female Vocalist of the Year, and Song of the Year, the CMA Awards categories span a wider spectrum of country music.

Stream Format

The CMT Awards are renowned for their exhilarating collaborations and performances. The objective of the programme, which mixes live and recorded acts, is to delight the audience.

The CMA Awards have a more formal and conventional style. While there are live performances on the programme, the focus is on honouring industry achievement.


Actors, comedians, and artists have all hosted the CMT Awards at various times throughout the years. Kane Brown, Sarah Hyland, and Ashley McBryde have all recently hosted.

With Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood co-hosting the CMA Awards for 11 years, the hosting lineup has been more reliable. Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire were two more recent hosts.


The CMT Awards are renowned for their exhilarating collaborations and performances. With a focus on entertaining viewers, the programme combines live and recorded performances. Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Dan + Shay are recent performers.

Live performances are also part of the CMA Awards, although they take a more conventional style. Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, and Reba McEntire have all recently performed.

Attendance and audience

The CMT Awards tend to attract a younger audience and have a more relaxed, party-like vibe. The CMA Awards feature a more formal, black-tie setting and tend to lure older viewers. Some of the greatest personalities in country music are also known to attend the performance.

The CMA Awards typically exceed the CMT Awards in terms of viewership. The 2021 CMT Awards attracted little over 1 million viewers, compared to the almost 8 million that watched the 2021 CMA Awards.


Both the CMT Awards and the CMA Awards have seen their fair share of controversy, as with every award event. The CMT Awards faced criticism in 2020 for the lack of diversity among its candidates. In response, the programme added a brand-new category called CMT Equal Play Award to honour female and other underrepresented performers.

The CMA Awards have also come under fire for its lack of diversity, especially when it comes to their Entertainer of the Year nominations. The 2019 awards event received criticism for the category’s lack of female candidates.

Effect of Awards on Career

A country artist’s career may be significantly impacted by both the CMT Awards and the CMA Awards. Gaining recognition may enhance record sales and publicity, as well as open up additional options for touring and collaborations.

Yet receiving an honour does not guarantee success on the pitch. Several prominent country musicians have achieved success without ever receiving a CMT or CMA Award; some have even gone on to get Grammy Awards without ever receiving a CMT or CMA Award.


The CMA Awards and the CMT Awards are two separate award ceremonies that honour the best in country music, to sum up. The two competitions have several features in common, such as live performances and the honouring of outstanding performers, but they also vary significantly in terms of voting procedures, categories, and show structure. In the end, both programmes are crucial to the country music business and provide a venue for honouring talent and success.

You can also take a dive into What Does CMT Stand for in Country Music?

Which award show is considered more prestigious: the CMT Awards or the CMA Awards?

The CMA Awards are generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Who votes for the CMA Awards?

The voting for the CMA Awards is done by members of the Country Music Association.

Who can vote for the CMT Awards?

Fans can vote for the CMT Awards online or via text message.

Have the CMT Awards and the CMA Awards ever faced controversy?

Yes, both award shows have faced criticism for the lack of diversity in their nominees.

Do winning a CMT or CMA Award guarantee success in the country music industry?

While winning an award can have a significant impact on an artist’s career, it is not the only way to succeed in the industry.