November 16, 2015 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) has announced that the Country Music Association (CMA) will sponsor the Music Biz 2016 Awards Breakfast on May 17, 2016, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville. CMA will use the opportunity to highlight “The 50th Annual CMA Awards,” which will take place in November 2016. The CMA Awards got its start in October 1967 as an untelevised event hosted by Sonny James and Bobbie Gentry. The ceremony was broadcast on television for the first time the following year, making it the longest running annual music awards program on network TV. A video and live performance are expected to be part of the Breakfast.
“Music Biz and CMA have been great partners for more than 40 years, collaborating closely on the CMA Awards merchandising campaigns, programming for our annual Music Biz convention, and the Give the Gift of Music campaign,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “We are thrilled to have them as a prominent sponsor in 2016 and are honored that they chose to celebrate their 50th Anniversary celebration of ‘Country Music’s Biggest Night’ with us.”
“Over the last 50 years, the CMA Awards have been part of the lifeblood of Country Music, honoring the genre’s top stars, featuring performances from some of the biggest names in the format, and introducing the world to countless Country acts that have gone on to become household names,” said Sarah Trahern, CEO of CMA. “Music Biz has been a tremendous ally throughout our history and remains committed to helping us grow Country Music, both in the U.S. and throughout the world. We are proud to sponsor the Music Biz 2016 Awards Breakfast and look forward to celebrating 50 years of CMA Awards.
Over the years, the CMA Awards has become a ratings behemoth, drawing 13.6 million viewers in 2015 with performances from the night’s big winner Chris Stapleton with Justin Timberlake, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Lindsey Stirling, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Zac Brown Band. In addition, the night featured collaborations with Eric Church joining musical forces with Hank Williams, Jr., Reba with Brooks & Dunn, Thomas Rhett with Fall Out Boy, and Keith Urban performing with John Mellencamp.
The Music Biz 2016 Awards Breakfast will feature the presentation of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to John Esposito, President and CEO of Warner Music Nashville and incoming (2016) Chairman of the CMA Board of Directors, and the Independent Spirit Award to Redeye, a leading physical and digital distributor and label services provider for some of the biggest independent artists and labels in the world. Donio and Music Biz Chairman Fred Beteille of YouTube will both speak during the event, and the 2016-2017 Music Biz Board of Directors as well as the Scholarship Foundation Class of 2016 will be announced.
Music Biz 2016, which will return to Nashville from May 16-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. Registration is open now, with early bird discounts available until March 11, 2016. For more information or to sign up for the conference, visit Music Biz 2016.