After a whirlwind month of international Country Music celebrations across Europe and Australia, CMA has announced the 2017 International Awards recipients. “CMA International Awards are a way to recognize our genre’s best ambassadors to fans globally. The recipients of these Awards are the ones on the front lines, continuously driving CMA’s mission to advance Country Music around the world,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. The announcement follows several weeks packed with festivals and other Country Music events in three different countries – first with the C2C Festival in London, Dublin, and Glasgow; and more recently with the CMC Music Awards and sold-out CMC Rocks QLD Festival in Australia.
Following is a list of the 2017 Recipients of the CMA International Awards:
International Country Broadcaster Award – Bob Harris
The International Country Broadcaster 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. A three-time CMA International Award recipient, Harris is one of the most visible proponents for Country Music abroad. As host of BBC Radio 2’s “Bob Harris Country,” the 40-year industry veteran brings CMA Awards coverage to the U.K. on the region’s most popular radio station. Harris received his Award from CMA Award winner Kristian Bush during the C2C Festival in London.
Jo Walker-Meador International Award – Rob Potts
Named for Country Music Hall of Fame member and longtime Executive Director of CMA, the Jo Walker-Meador International Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting Country Music’s marketing development in territories outside the United States. Potts, one of Australia’s leading promotors, heads Rob Potts Entertainment Edge where he has been at the forefront of Country Music’s surge Down Under. He is one of the founders of the CMC Rocks festival franchise, including CMC Rocks QLD, Australia’s first sold-out Country Music festival. Potts also serves as Chairman of the CMA Australian Advisory Group. Five-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town presented Potts his trophy backstage at the CMC Rocks QLD Festival in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Jeff Walker Global Country Artist Award – The Shires
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. Comprised of Brits Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, The Shires are among the U.K.’s most successful homegrown Country acts. Their latest album, My Universe, is the fastest-selling U.K. Country album in history, and their Gold-certified debut, Brave, was the first British Country album to hit Top 10 on the U.K. all-genre albums chart. They made their Grand Ole Opry debut in 2015. The Shires were surprised with the Award during the sold-out CMA Songwriters Series in London, which kicked off C2C weekend.
International Artist Achievement Award – Carrie Underwood
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. Underwood has made touring internationally a priority since performing her first U.K. concert with a quick sell-out at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in 2012, followed by sold-out tours throughout Australia and Canada. After first headlining C2C in 2013, she became the first artist to headline twice, performing in London, Glasgow, and Dublin in 2016, as well as adding dates in Sweden and Norway. Underwood made 3 additional trips to the U.K. in support of her recent Storyteller album for the Apple Music Festival and major TV performances including “X Factor” and “The Jonathan Ross Show.” Last winter, she reteamed with former tour mate Keith Urban for an arena/stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand, bringing her to nearly 25 international markets over the course of the year. Underwood was presented her trophy backstage at the Grand Ole Opry by CMA Board Chairman Sally Williams while celebrating her 100th performance.
Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award – Richard Wootton
The Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the 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. As the head of Richard Wootton Publicity, Wootton is at the forefront of the Country Music industry in the U.K. He has represented countless Country artists who have embarked on European careers, as well as worked with record labels and C2C. He previously won the Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award in 1991. A member of the CMA U.K. Advisory Group, Wootton received his Award from Bush during the Group’s London meeting.
CMA International Awards are voted on by CMA International Membership as well as a panel of domestic U.S.-based industry. Through honors such as these and events including the international expansion of the CMA Songwriters Series (Belfast, Dublin, London, Paris) and involvement in the popular C2C concerts since 2013, CMA seeks to recognize and empower its international membership and Country Music fans globally.