Brits Guide to Enjoying The CMA Awards

Don’t turn us in but last year we may have dabbled in some dodgy measures to try and watch the CMA Awards live online. This year, there’s enough thread chat to suggest many others will be staying up till the wee hours trying to do the same, but we’ve decided to focus on some less sleep-depriving ways of experiencing the ceremony buzz.

What are the CMA Awards?

In case you’re new to the scene, the Country Music Association Awards are pretty much country’s Grammys. You’ll be bombarded with many, MANY other related awards throughout the year with confusingly similar acronyms. There are the American Country Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Country Music Television awards and that’s before all the international and Americana music ones get involved. But the CMA Awards, which began back in 1967, is the big glossy one with best outfits, performances and incredible red carpet build up and outfits.

For the 10 year in a row the event will be hosted by banter loaded country mega stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood (pictured). As well as performances from country A-Listers like Eric Church and Lady Antebellum, Pink will appear and our own Niall “One Direction” Horan has managed to get on the bill.

When are the CMA Awards?

The 51st edition of the glitzy ceremony is taking place Wednesday November 8th 2017 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. It’s 7pm US central time but inconveniently the action doesn’t start till 01:00 UK time. If you are unable to A) get a last minute flight to the USA or B) wait up and live vicariously through social media updates, there is hope.

How can a humble Brit revel in the CMA Awards mania?

10 years ago I taped the 1997 CMA Awards on VHS from BBC Two. At the time, as I replayed the Martina McBride & Clint Black duet an embarrassing number of times, I had no idea it would be absent form my telly box for the next decade. But this year, CMA Awards action is creeping back onto the BBC. Here’s what not to miss on this side of the pond is November.

WEDNESDAY 8TH 14:00-17:00, BBC Radio 2

The Steve Wright Show show is hosting a CMA Awards special, live from Nashville. He’ll be interviewing Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Kelsea Ballerini, plus there’ll be live music from Dan and Shay.

WEDNESDAY 8TH 23:00, Online

Taste of Country will be live streaming the red carpet arrivals and we’re hopeful this footage will work internationally like it did last year. It’ll be hosted by Burning House singer Cam and be on their website, youtube and facebbook.

THURSDAY 9TH 01:00, Social Media

The CMA Awards ceremony finally takes place. We know if you really look you’ll find a link to watch US TV live, but we’re not going to help your search. Sorry. Instead, we’ll advise that if you’re hoping to avoid spoilers till the highlights are on UK TV, you should stay off of social media feeds, news channels, and google… in fact you should probably draw your curtains too and start browsing Zoopla for a nice rock to live under.

THURSDAY 9TH 06:00 – 09:00, Chris Country Radio

On Thursday the Chris Country breakfast show will be a full on CMA Awards special celebrating the news and highlights from the night.

SATURDAY 11TH, 18:00 – 20:00, BBC Radio 2

This week we get a double dose of Bob Harris. In addition to his usual Thursday night country hour, there’ll be a 2-hour CMA Awards highlights programme.

SUNDAY 19TH, 22:00 – 23:00, BBC Four

After shamelessly hounding the BBC to find out the broadcast date of this promised 1-hour CMA Awards special on British TV we have one! We know that by the time The Country Music Awards Highlights 2017 does air we’ll already know all the winners and have seen the standout performances via social media (remember how quickly the Chris Stapleton & Justin Timberlake performance spread?), but still – better late than never. Here’s hoping this snippet show heralds the return of the full awards to our screens, eliminating the temptation of dodgy streaming links.

In the meantime all the nominees are here. Who are you rooting for?

Brits in Boots


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