CMA Awards Show Highlights During the 2000s

Tim McGraw Photo Courtesy of Curb Records

2000

• "The 34th Annual CMA Awards," was the network's fourth best show of the week, helping CBS win its first season premier week since 1991. CBS estimated that 38 million viewers watched all or part of the broadcast.

• For the ninth consecutive year, Vince Gill hosted the show, which featured Lance Bass of 'N Sync appearing on stage with Sara Evans to present Tim McGraw with his second Male Vocalist of the Year Award; Montgomery Gentry performing alongside Charlie Daniels; and Brad Paisley won the Horizon Award.

• Montgomery Gentry ended Brooks & Dunn's eight-year winning streak when they captured Vocal Duo of the Year honors.

• Charley Pride and Faron Young were named to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

• The Dixie Chicks took home the Entertainer of the Year Award, as well as Awards for Music Video, Vocal Group and Album of the Year for Fly.

Keith Urban Photo Courtesy of Capitol Nashville

2001

• The CMA Awards moved to the more competitive November sweeps time period and attracted 1.2 million more viewers than the previous year.

• The soundtrack to the hit movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? was the big winner of the night, taking home Album of the Year as well as Single of the Year for "I am A Man of Constant Sorrow."

• Vince Gill returned to host for the 10th consecutive year. The show featured superstar Garth Brooks performing alongside Country legend George Jones and Willie Nelson singing with Sheryl Crow.

• To coincide with the opening of the state-of-the-art Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville, 10 special inductees and two regular inductees were named to the prestigious Hall: Bill Anderson, The Delmore Brothers (Alton Delmore, Rabon Delmore), The Everly Brothers (Don Everly, Phil Everly), Don Gibson, Homer and Jethro (Henry "Homer"
Haynes, Kenneth "Jethro" Burns), Waylon Jennings, The Jordonaires (Hoyt Hawkins, Neal Matthews, Jr., Gordon Stoker, Ray Walker), Don Law, The Louvin Brothers (Charlie Louvin, Ira Louvin), Ken Nelson, Sam Phillips and Webb Pierce.

• Patriotism and tribute were prominent themes of the evening. Brooks & Dunn opened the show with "Only In America;" Diamond Rio paid tribute to the heroes of September 11th with their song, "One More Day;" Alan Jackson performed "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" for the first time; and a chorus of Country Music's brightest stars closed the show with "America the Beautiful."

• Tim McGraw was named Entertainer of the Year; Toby Keith won Male Vocalist of the Year; Lee Ann Womack won Female Vocalist; and the Horizon Award went to Keith Urban. All were first-time winners in their respective categories.


2002

• "The 36th Annual CMA Awards" continued its ratings win in its November sweeps time slot. An estimated 38 million viewers tuned in for all or part of the broadcast, which featured a record 26 musical performances. Vince Gill hosted for an unprecedented 11th year.

• Shania Twain opened the show, riding onto the Grand Ole Opry House stage on a motorcycle to launch her single "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" The performance marked Twain's first television performance in three years.

• Backed by the Christ Church Choir of Nashville, Dolly Parton turned in a show-stopping performance of "Hello God." Faith Hill received a standing ovation for "When The Lights Go Down." Toby Keith brought the house down with the rambunctious "Who's Your Daddy." Travis Tritt paid tribute to the late Waylon Jennings with "You Can't Count Me Out Yet."

• Alan Jackson made history when he was nominated for 10 Awards, breaking Merle Haggard's 1970 record of nine. Jackson also became one of three artists to win five Awards in a single night when he won Entertainer; Male Vocalist; Album of the Year for Drive; and Single and Song of the Year for "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)."

• Porter Wagoner and "Jumpin'" Bill Carlisle were inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame.

• Martina McBride won her second Female Vocalist trophy, the Dixie Chicks reclaimed the Vocal Group Award and Rascal Flatts won the Horizon Award.

Vince Gill Photo Courtesy of MCA Records

2003

• The November sweep broadcast of "The 37th Annual CMA Awards" became the highest rated CMA Awards broadcast since 1996, delivering more than 40 million viewers, winning the night and becoming the third most watched program of the week, the show's highest ranking since 1992.

• Vocal collaborations highlighted the evening. Female Vocalist nominee Dolly Parton enlisted multi-Platinum GRAMMY winner Norah Jones for "The Grass Is Blue," a song Jones performed on Just Because I'm A Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton tribute album. Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett teamed for "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" before walking away with the Vocal Event of the Year trophy, Buffett's first music award in his legendary career. Twelve-time CMA host Vince Gill performed "Young Man's Town," with background vocals from his daughter Jenny Gill.

• A heartwarming tribute to the late Johnny Cash featured performances by Sheryl Crow and Travis Tritt, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Hank Williams Jr. on classic Cash tunes like "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," "Jackson" and "Ring of Fire."

• Martina McBride picked up her third Female Vocalist of the Year trophy.

• Alan Jackson repeated wins in the Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year categories; Rascal Flatts earned their first Vocal Group Award; Joe Nichols won the Horizon Award; and Johnny Cash was honored posthumously with three Awards – Single and Music Video for "Hurt;" and Album for American IV: The Man Comes Around.

• Floyd Cramer and Carl Smith are inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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