LEADING UP TO THE LARGEST COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE U.K., CMA ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF INTERNATIONAL AWARDS
NASHVILLE – Leading into the largest Country Music festival in the U.K. – C2C, Country to County – the Country Music Association announced today the recipients of the organization’s International Awards.
“Advancing Country Music around the world is at the very foundation of CMA’s mission,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Being able to acknowledge the exhaustive efforts of our international and domestic colleagues outside of U.S. borders is very rewarding and central to our strategic objective of growing the business and developing new territories for Country Music.”
The timing of the announcement coincides with the return of the CMA Songwriters Series tonight, and the third C2C London event (March 7-8), which is presented by AEG Europe and SJM Concerts in association with the Country Music Association with more than 30,000 Country Music fans expected to attend a weekend of live performances from the biggest names in Country Music, alongside emerging artists from the U.K. and Europe.
CMA has been associated with C2C since the inaugural event in 2013. CMA-sponsored activities this year include an acoustic performance and “CMA Talk” with Sam Palladio, the British actor and musician who plays “Gunnar” on the ABC Television Network series “Nashville”; CMA screenings in Cineworld at The O2 of the CMA Songwriters Series Public Television specials featuring Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum, along with CMA’s own annual ABC special, 2014’s “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock”; autograph signings in the CMA booth in Town Square; and the very popular return of the CMA Songwriters Series, which had its international debut in London in 2012.
CMA will present the CMA Songwriters Series at indigo at The O2 in London tonight, hosted by Kix Brooks with Jessi Alexander, Brandy Clark, Palladio, and Jon Randall. The CMA Songwriters Series is now in its 11th season and showcases the best of Country Music’s hit songwriters. The show presents songwriters and artists together on stage, taking turns telling the stories behind their hits and performing them acoustically as originally written.
“With so much attention on Country Music in this burgeoning international marketplace, it was the perfect opportunity for us to make these prestigious and highly-anticipated announcements,” Trahern said. “These are the people on the frontline of advancing Country Music around the globe and they are all deserving of these honors.”
C2C performers and three-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum helped break the good news by recording individual messages for each of the winners. Award recipients in alphabetical order by category:
GLOBAL COUNTRY ARTIST AWARD – Morgan Evans
The 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.
The winner of a record three Country Music Channel Music Awards this year, Morgan Evans was recently signed as a presenter, host, and ambassador for the Country Music Channel in Australia. He has toured with Country superstars including Alan Jackson and Taylor Swift, as well as headlining his own tours in Australia and New Zealand. Evans was recently signed to William Morris Endeavour Agency.
INTERNATIONAL ARTIST ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Brad Paisley
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.
Since being the recipient of this award in 2011, Brad Paisley has remained dedicated to including the international market place in his schedule. In 2014, he headlined the C2C Festival in London and Dublin as well as recorded the special “Brad Paisley & Friends” for BBC Radio 2 before going on to headline shows in Norway and Sweden.
INTERNATIONAL COUNTRY BROADCASTER AWARD – Ricky Ross
The International Country Broadcast 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.
Singer/songwriter Ricky Ross, who regularly visits Nashville, presents the BBC Radio Scotland’s “Another Country.” With a mix of classics and new Country releases, Americana, and alternative Country, he has won two Sony Radio Awards, the first in 2011 and the second the following year.
JO WALKER-MEADOR AWARD – Scott Borchetta
Named for Country Music Hall of Fame member and longtime Executive Director of CMA, the Jo Walker-Meador Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting Country Music’s marketing development in territories outside the United States.
As the founder and CEO of Big Machine Records, Scott Borchetta has supported artist development internationally early in artists’ careers. His philosophy has been a major force in changing the perception of Country Music internationally. Borchetta previously won the Jo Walker-Meador Award in 2012.
WESLEY ROSE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Bob Shennan
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.
Since Bob Shennan took over as Controller of BBC Radio 2 in 2009, he has driven exposure opportunities and was instrumental in bringing Country Music into the mainstream arena. Now Director of Music, Shennan chairs the newly formed CMA U.K. Advisory Group and serves on the CMA Board of Directors.
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.