12 surprising former CMA Award winners, nominees

Posted at 12:58 PM, Oct 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-27 11:37:29-04

Snoop Dogg has as many career Country Music Association Awards nominations as Leon Russell — and as many wins as Dwight Yoakam.

Since 1967, the CMA has handed out what are considered some of the highest honors in country music. But CMA Awards statues and nominations haven’t always gone to country music royalty.

In fact, some previous nominees and winners are downright stunning. Listed below are 12 people who can surprisingly be called former CMA Awards honorees.

Snoop Dogg - One nomination; Zero wins


The iconic West Coast rapper might be the last person anyone would expect to be nominated for a country music award. In 2012, Snoop Dogg was nominated for the CMA’s musical event of the year — the category that has produced the lion’s share of surprising nominees — after appearing on a track with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the song was called “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

Nelly - One nomination; Zero wins


The year after fellow rapper Snoop was nominated for a CMA Award, Nelly was also nominated for musical event of the year. The “Hot in Herre” (sic) artist’s nomination came for his part in Florida Georgia Line’s hit “Cruise.”

Ringo Starr - One nomination; Zero wins


In 1989, the former Beatles member was nominated for vocal event of the year for a new recording of the song “Act Naturally” with Buck Owens. Starr lost his only bid for a CMA Award but he’s got nine Grammy Awards at home on a shelf.

Bee Gees - One nomination; Zero wins


The Gibb brothers — Barry, Maurice and Robin — who made up the Bee Gees, were nominees for song of the year in 1984. The trio wrote the song “Islands in the Stream,” which was made famous by country music icons Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Lionel Richie - One nomination; Zero wins


Richie has long been a pop music hero but in 2012 he delved into country music and was honored with a CMA Award nomination. Richie and singer Darius Rucker were nominated for musical event of the year for the song “Stuck On You.”

Gladys Knight - One nomination; Zero wins


The legendary soul singer was nominated alongside equally surprising CMA Awards nominees like B.B. King and Al Green for her work on the album “Rhythm, Country & Blues” in 1994. The all-star record was nominated for album of the year.

Jason Alexander - One nomination; One win


George Costanza is a CMA Award winner. Actor Jason Alexander, most famous for playing the character on “Seinfeld,” won for music video of the year in 2007. His win came for directing the video for Brad Paisley’s song “Online,” which featured a cameos from William Shatner and an 18-year-old Taylor Swift.

Andy Griffith - One nomination; Zero wins


This beloved actor was also nominated for music video of the year in connection with a Brad Paisley song. Griffith co-starred in the video for Paisley’s hit “Waitin’ On a Woman,” which led to his only nomination in 2008.

Jack White - One nomination; Zero wins


The critically acclaimed rocker has won 11 Grammy Awards in his career but most people don’t know he was nominated for a CMA Award in 2009. As part of his band the Raconteurs, White was a nominee for musical event of the year with the song “Old Enough,” featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe.

Beverly D’Angelo - One nomination; One win


Actress Beverly D’Angelo won a CMA Award as part of her work singing on the soundtrack to the 1980 movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which won album of the year honors. In the film, D’Angelo played country music legend Patsy Cline. Co-star Sissy Spacek also won a CMA Award as part of the soundtrack.

Norah Jones - One nomination; Zero wins


Jones is famous for making jazz vocals mainstream again with her 2002 smash album “Come Away with Me,” but she went a bit country on her next record, leading to her only CMA Award nomination. Jones and Dolly Parton were nominated for their duet on the song “Creepin’ In” in 2004.

Ricky Schroder - One nomination; One win


Former child acting star Ricky Schroder is batting a thousand when it comes to CMA Award nominations. The “Silver Spoons” star won a trophy for music video of the year as director of the video for Brad Paisley’s “Whiskey Lullaby” in 2004.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.