Special Report

30 Most Famous CMA Awards Nominees

Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

Turn on a country music radio station and you can’t always tell if you tuned in correctly or if you have a pop station on. The lines between pop and country are becoming increasingly blurred, so much so that the genres can sometimes be indistinguishable. But even if some songs cross lines, no doubt country music is still a distinct style. And blurred or not, the 51st Country Music Association Awards airing Nov. 8 will honor the best of modern country music.

In anticipation of the event, 24/7 Wall St. has identified the most popular CMA nominees for 2017 based on measures such as CMA Awards history, Billboard performance, and internet popularity.

The list highlights the diversity of acts working in the industry today. While performers who are not historically known for working in the genre – such as P!nk – are featured on the list, the majority of artists are country stalwarts. Those who are among the most popular, by our measure, also happen to be nominated for the most awards this year. Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban lead the pack with five nominations each, with Little Big Town and country crooner Chris Stapleton following behind with four nominations.

Click here to see the 30 most famous CMA Awards nominees.

Perhaps somewhat surprising, many younger musicians, such as 27-year-old Maren Morris, appear to now be more popular than country legends such as Willie Nelson – now 84-years-old – and Glen Campbell, who sadly passed away in August. However, artists who rose to fame in the 1990s, including Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney, dominate most of the higher rankings on the list, showing younger acts that they still have a ways to go before they make it to the top.

That said, it is nearly impossible to fight the wide appeal of a great pop artist. Despite being nominated for only one award this year, Taylor Swift – who has continued to move away from her early country-based style – is by far the most popular artist this year. For example, Swift has nearly 74 million “likes” on Facebook. This is more than all of the “likes” of the following 10 most popular acts combined.

To determine the most popular CMA nominees, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on various measures related to CMA award history, Billboard performance, and internet presence for all artists nominated for a CMA in 2017. The number of CMA nominations in 2017, the number of lifetime CMA nominations, and the number of CMAs won were each given a one-third weight and included in the index. The position of an artist’s top performing song and album on the Billboard year-end country music charts from 2012 to 2016 were each given a half-weighting and were included in the index. Facebook fan page likes and Spotify followers as of October 31, 2017 were each given a half-weighting and included in the index. Average daily Wikipedia page views over the period of October 31, 2016 to October 30, 2017 were included in the index and given full weight. For artists who toured in 2016, the total annual tour gross and the average gross per show in North America were each given a one-fourth weight and included in the index as a boost to the artist’s overall score. Touring data came from Pollstar are for the year 2016.

30. Dann Huff
> 2017 Nominations: 2
> Nominations, all time: 31
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: N/A

[in-text-ad]

29. Dan + Shay
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 4
> Top song, 2012-2016: From The Ground Up (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Obsessed (2016)

28. Glen Campbell
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 16
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: N/A

27. Jay Joyce
> 2017 Nominations: 3
> Nominations, all time: 17
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: N/A

[in-text-ad-2]

26. Brothers Osborne
> 2017 Nominations: 2
> Nominations, all time: 5
> Top song, 2012-2016: Stay A Little Longer (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Pawn Shop (2016)

25. Jon Pardi
> 2017 Nominations: 3
> Nominations, all time: 3
> Top song, 2012-2016: Head Over Boots (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: California Sunrise (2016)

[in-text-ad]

24. Kelsea Ballerini
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 5
> Top song, 2012-2016: Peter Pan (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: The First Time (2016)

23. Old Dominion
> 2017 Nominations: 2
> Nominations, all time: 4
> Top song, 2012-2016: Break Up With Him (2015)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Meat And Candy (2016)

22. Reba McEntire
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 50
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: N/A

[in-text-ad-2]

21. Willie Nelson
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 47
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: Band Of Brothers (2014)

20. Maren Morris
> 2017 Nominations: 3
> Nominations, all time: 10
> Top song, 2012-2016: My Church (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Hero (2016)

[in-text-ad]

19. Rascal Flatts
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 19
> Top song, 2012-2016: Rewind (2014)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Changed (2012)

18. P!nk
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 1
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: N/A

17. Dierks Bentley
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 21
> Top song, 2012-2016: Somewhere On A Beach (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Riser (2014)

[in-text-ad-2]

16. Sam Hunt
> 2017 Nominations: 2
> Nominations, all time: 5
> Top song, 2012-2016: Take Your Time (2015)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Montevallo (2015)

15. Thomas Rhett
> 2017 Nominations: 3
> Nominations, all time: 6
> Top song, 2012-2016: Die A Happy Man (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Tangled Up (2016)

[in-text-ad]

14. Zac Brown Band
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 17
> Top song, 2012-2016: Homegrown (2015)
> Top album, 2012-2016: JEKYLL + HYDE (2015)

13. Florida Georgia Line
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 8
> Top song, 2012-2016: H.O.L.Y. (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Here’s To The Good Times (2013)

12. Eric Church
> 2017 Nominations: 3
> Nominations, all time: 25
> Top song, 2012-2016: Springsteen (2012)
> Top album, 2012-2016: The Outsiders (2014)

[in-text-ad-2]

11. Chris Stapleton
> 2017 Nominations: 4
> Nominations, all time: 14
> Top song, 2012-2016: Nobody To Blame (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Traveller (2016)

10. Little Big Town
> 2017 Nominations: 4
> Nominations, all time: 26
> Top song, 2012-2016: Girl Crush (2015)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Tornado (2013)

[in-text-ad]

9. Lady Antebellum
> 2017 Nominations: 2
> Nominations, all time: 21
> Top song, 2012-2016: Bartender (2014)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Own The Night (2012)

8. Luke Bryan
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 15
> Top song, 2012-2016: Kick The Dust Up (2015)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Crash My Party (2014)

7. Tim McGraw
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 45
> Top song, 2012-2016: Humble And Kind (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Two Lanes Of Freedom (2013)

[in-text-ad-2]

6. Carrie Underwood
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 28
> Top song, 2012-2016: Church Bells (2016)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Storyteller (2016)

5. Kenny Chesney
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 47
> Top song, 2012-2016: American Kids (2014)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Welcome To The Fishbowl (2012)

[in-text-ad]

4. Garth Brooks
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 33
> Top song, 2012-2016: N/A
> Top album, 2012-2016: Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences (2014)

3. Keith Urban
> 2017 Nominations: 5
> Nominations, all time: 45
> Top song, 2012-2016: John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 (2015)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Ripcord (2016)

2. Miranda Lambert
> 2017 Nominations: 5
> Nominations, all time: 44
> Top song, 2012-2016: Mama’s Broken Heart (2013)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Platinum (2014)

[in-text-ad-2]

1. Taylor Swift
> 2017 Nominations: 1
> Nominations, all time: 25
> Top song, 2012-2016: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (2013)
> Top album, 2012-2016: Red (2013)

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.