The 51st Annual Country Music Association Awards, commonly known as the 51st CMA Awards, was held on November 8, 2017, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The ceremony recognizes some of the best country music released during the eligibility period (between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017). It is the twelfth ceremony to be held at the arena, the eighteenth to be held in November and the tenth night to be co-hosted by country stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. The ceremony will be directed by Paul Miller.
The nominations for the 51st CMA Awards were announced on September 4, 2017, on Good Morning America by Lauren Alaina, Dustin Lynch and Brothers Osborne. The nominees were lead by Miranda Lambert (5) and followed by Keith Urban and Little Big Town (4).
Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 10, 1983) is an American country singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and "Before He Cheats", it became the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the fastest-selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history and the best-selling country album of the last 14 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist.
Her second album Carnival Ride followed in 2007. It had one of the biggest ever opening weeks by a female artist and earned Underwood two Grammy Awards. Her next album, 2009's Play On, was a commercial success led by the single "Cowboy Casanova". Underwood's fourth album, Blown Away (2012), earned her a Grammy Award and was that year's second best-selling release by a female artist. Her first compilation album (2014) was a chart and sales success and earned her a Grammy Award. Her fifth album, Storyteller (2015), made her the only country artist to have all first five studio albums reach either numbers one or two on the Billboard 200.
One of the most successful artists in any musical genre, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Recognized by Billboard as Country Music's reigning Queen and by Rolling Stone as "the female vocalist of her generation of any genre", she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Underwood is the top country artist of all-time on the RIAA's Digital Singles ranking and the highest certified country album artist to debut in the 21st century. She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100, and the woman with most number-one hits in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart (15). She is the most successful American Idol winner of all time, per Forbes. Her album Some Hearts was named the number-one country album of the 2000s by Billboard, and she was the top-ranked female artist on Billboard's Best Country Artists of the 2000s list. Underwood has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. She has earned numerous accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, 15 Billboard Music Awards, 12 ACM Awards, 11 American Music Awards, eight CMA Awards and a Guinness World Record.
Brad Douglas Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Starting with his 1999 debut album, Who Needs Pictures, he has released ten studio albums and a Christmas compilation on the Arista Nashville label, with all of his albums certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. He has scored 32 top 10 singles on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, 19 of which have reached number 1. He set a new record in 2009 for most consecutive singles (ten) reaching the top spot on that chart.
Paisley has sold over 12 million albums and won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, and two American Music Awards. He has earned country music's crowning achievement, becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Paisley also wrote songs for Pixar's Cars franchise ("Behind the Clouds", "Find Yourself", "Collision of Worlds" (along with Robbie Williams), "Nobody's Fool", etc).