2018 CMA Awards Information 


Voting Schedule

Nomination Ballot: July 2 - 12
Second Ballot: August 6 - 16
Final Ballot: October 1 - 23




CMA Awards Criteria

Eligibility Period: July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018
All Second Ballot nominees must be a Top 20 qualified vote recipient and have received a
minimum of 10 votes, with the exception of Category 1.





CATEGORY NO. 1 - ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the artist. The Award is for the act displaying the greatest competence in all aspects of the
entertainment field. Voter should give consideration not only to recorded performance, but also to the in-person
performance, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership, and overall contribution to the Country Music image.
In this category, the Second Ballot will include the Top 15 qualified nominees.


CATEGORY NO. 2 - SINGLE OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the artist, producer, and mix engineer. The Award is for individual tracks only. This category will
include both digital releases as well as physical releases. The track must have reached the Top 50 of Billboard's
Country Airplay Chart, Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, or Country Aircheck Chart for the first time during the
eligibility period. If the single charted in the Top 50 on the above charts and was released prior to the eligibility
period but achieved its highest chart position during the eligibility period, it is eligible unless it has previously
appeared on a Final Ballot in this category.


In this category, the Second Ballot will contain the eligible nominations from the First Ballot and the Top 5 songs
from the combined tabulation of the Country Singles Charts from Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, Billboard’s Hot
Country Songs Chart, and Country Aircheck Chart.

CATEGORY NO. 3 - ALBUM OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the artist and producer. The Award is for a Country album as a whole unit as defined by the
Billboard Album charts. The album should be judged on all aspects including, but not limited to, artist's performance,
musical background, engineering, packaging, design, art, layout and liner notes. At least 75% of the recordings on
the album must have first achieved national prominence during the eligibility period.


CATEGORY NO. 4 - SONG OF THE YEAR
The Award goes to the songwriter(s) and is for artistic achievement in songwriting. Any Country Music song with
original words and music is eligible based upon the song's Country singles chart activity during the eligibility period.
In this category, the Second Ballot will contain the eligible nominations from the First Ballot and the Top 5 songs
from the combined tabulation of the Country Singles Charts from Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, Billboard’s Hot
Country Songs Chart, and Country Aircheck Chart. The 2017 Winner is ineligible for nomination in 2018.


CATEGORY NO. 5 - FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the artist. The Award is based on individual musical performance on a solo Country single or
album release.


CATEGORY NO. 6 - MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the artist. The Award is based on individual musical performance on a solo Country single or
album release.


CATEGORY NO. 7 - VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the group. A group is defined as an act, composed of three (3) or more people, all of whom
normally perform together and none of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist. This Award is
based on the musical performance of the group as a unit on a Country single or album release.

CATEGORY NO. 8 - VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the duo. A duo is defined as an act composed of two people, both of whom normally perform
together and neither of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist. This Award is based on the
musical performance of the duo as a unit on a Country single or album release.

CATEGORY NO. 9 - MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to each artist. An event is defined as a collaboration of two or more people either or all of whom
are known primarily as a Country artist. They must have performed together, as a unit, on a Country single or
Country album initially released domestically during the eligibility period with each artist prominently featured and
credited on the initial recording as a collaboration. Live performance events and background vocals are not eligible.

CATEGORY NO. 10 - MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the musician. The Award is for a musician known primarily as an instrumental performer. In
order to qualify, a musician must have played on at least three albums or singles that have appeared in the Top 10
of the Country album or singles charts from Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, or
Country Aircheck Chart, or be certified Gold by RIAA during the eligibility period.

CATEGORY NO. 11 - MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
This Award goes to the artist and director. The Award is for an original Country Music video not more than ten (10)
minutes in length featuring the performance of not more than one (1) song or medley. The video must have been
first nationally broadcast in its entirety during the eligibility period. The video should be judged on all audio and
video elements including, but not limited to, the artist's performance, video concept and production.


CATEGORY NO. 12 – NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

This Award goes to the artist. The Award is to the artist, whether individual or a group, who is known primarily as a
Country artist, who has for the first time demonstrated the most significant creative growth and development in
overall chart or sales activity, live performance, professionalism and/or national media recognition related to the
launch of their career. Any artist who has previously won a CMA Award (except Song of the Year, Musical Event of
the Year and Music Video of the Year) or who has twice been a final nominee for the Horizon Award or New Artist of
the Year Award is ineligible for nomination.