Following the success of CMA’s involvement in the largest Country Music festival in the U.K. – C2C, Country to County – the Country Music Association announced today the 2016 recipients of the organization’s International Awards.
“Advancing Country Music around the world is central to CMA’s mission and we are delighted to acknowledge the exhaustive efforts of our international and domestic colleagues and their dedication to developing new territories and fans for Country Music beyond our U.S. borders,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer.
The timing of the announcement coincided with the return of the CMA Songwriters Series and the fourth C2C London event, which is presented by AEG Europe and SJM Concerts in association with the Country Music Association. More than 60,000 Country Music fans attended a weekend of live performances from the biggest names in Country Music, alongside emerging artists from the U.K. and Europe.
During the event, Kacey Musgraves was presented the International Artist Achievement Award from BBC Radio 2 personality Bob Harris and then surprised the respected broadcaster with the Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award.
International superstar Reba congratulated Musgraves and Harris and notified recipients Gord Bamford and Paul McGuire of Canada via personalized email messages.
“Access to Country Music has never been easier or more prevalent,” Trahern said. “Utilizing email and social media to have one of our format superstars notify the winners of our international honors brings it all home.”
CMA has been associated with C2C since the inaugural event in 2013. CMA-sponsored activities this year included the popular CMA Talks series, which featured “Live with Charles Esten” followed by a signing and “Nashville Heavy Hitters” with Susan Bank, Mike Dungan, Ali Harnell, and Randy Goodman. CMA Cinema returned with a screening of CMA Music Festival and CMA Songwriters Series shows featuring Little Big Town and Darius Rucker. The joint CMA/Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation (NCVC) booth was the hot spot for autograph seekers in Town Square. And the popular CMA Songwriters Series featuring Charles Esten, Lori McKenna, Ashley Monroe, Charlie Worsham, and host Shane McAnally – with a surprise appearance by Miranda Lambert – was a sold-out success. The Series made its international debut in London in 2012.
Following is a list of the 2016 Recipients of the CMA International Awards:
Jeff Walker Global Country Artist Award – Gord Bamford
The Jeff Walker Global Country 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.
Gord Bamford is a 22-time Canadian Country Music Award winner – including winning the CCMA Male Vocalist of the Year trophy for the third time in 2015. He has had 18 Top 10 singles in Canada during his career and among his many accolades was winning the CMA Global Country Artist Award in 2013. Beginning in April, Bamford will tour across Canada with Joe Nichols and his seventh studio album will be released on Sony Music Canada this month. His humanitarian efforts include the creation of the Gord Bamford Foundation, which benefits youth across Canada including initiatives for music.
International Artist Achievement Award – Kacey Musgraves
Formerly the International Touring Artist Award, the CMA International Artist Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a U.S.-based artist who contributes to the awareness and development of Country Music outside the United States.
Building a strong following internationally, Kacey Musgraves wrapped up the European leg of her “Same Trailer Different Park” tour in October 2013 with rave reviews and sold out shows in Sweden, Norway, and the U.K. She also performed on the acclaimed “Later with Jools Holland” TV show. Musgraves performed in front of a 50,000 strong audiences at “BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park” in London and in 2015 she performed at sold out shows in Europe and Australia, as well as appearing in major Country Music festivals in several territories and appeared on the “The Royal Variety Performance.”
International Country Broadcaster Award – Paul McGuire
The International Country Broadcast Award recognizes outstanding achievement by radio broadcasters outside the U.S. who have made important contributions to the development of Country Music in their country. When Paul McGuire returned to Corus Entertainment in 2005, Paul hosted “CMT’s Central,” “CMT30,” “Karaoke Star,” “Karaoke Star Jr.,” “CMT’s Greatest,” and “The Show.” Currently, in addition to the two-hour weekly show “Chevy Top 20 Countdown,” McGuire hosts two weekly radio programs “CMT Weekend” and “CMT Top 20 Countdown” on Alberta’s Country 105 and CISN along with Southwestern Ontario’s Country 104. As one of the hosts of “One 2 One,” he has interviewed the biggest names in Country Music, including Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Trace Adkins, and Reba.
Jo Walker-Meador International Award – Jeff Walker
Named for Country Music Hall of Fame member and longtime Executive Director of CMA, the Jo Walker-Meador Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting Country Music’s marketing development in territories outside the United States.
A beloved member of the CMA Board of Directors, Jeff Walker worked tirelessly to advance Country Music in foreign markets and served on the boards of prominent International Country Music associations like the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA), and the CMA’s Global Market Task Force. Walker was at the forefront of the development of the CMA and AristoMedia Global Events including CMA GlobaLive! held to standing-room-only crowds each year during CMA Music Festival. His international vision resulted in his being named one of 2009’s International Country Music Ambassadors by the International Country Music Day Organization as well as being honored with the Jo Walker Meador award in 2013 as well as many other accolades. The Award will be presented posthumously. Walker passed away in 2015.
Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award – Bob Harris
The Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements in 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. Bob Harris is an industry veteran with more than four decades of experience covering music. He was described by the Radio Times, UK as being, “One of the greats of British contemporary music broadcasting and an independent champion of great music.” Well-known and highly regarded for his passion for Country Music, Harris has been the recipient of three CMA International Awards. He hosts CMA Awards coverage for BBC Radio 2, the most listened to radio station in the U.K. and has two shows on the network including “Bob Harris Country.”
CMA International Awards are voted on by CMA International Membership as well as a panel of domestic U.S.-based industry.