With the 2020 CMA Awards right around the corner, here’s a look back at some of the most surprising wins in the awards show’s history.
CMA Winner Jason Alexander
Yes, George Costanza from “Seinfeld” has won a CMA Award. Alexander directed the Brad Paisley music video “Online.” And that netted him a Music Video of the Year Award in 2007.
“Brad and I have a mutual friend, a guy named Peter Tilden,” Alexander told TV Guide in 2007. “When Brad was looking to make a video several years ago for ‘Celebrity,’ Peter called in a bunch of his pals. And that’s how I first met Brad. We had such a fun time on ‘Celebrity’ that when [‘Online’] came around… Brad said, ‘Not only would I like you to be in it, but how would you feel about directing it?’ It was a coup for me.”
Winner Kelly Clarkson
Most people know the “American Idol” winner and daytime talk show host for her chart-topping pop rock. But she also recorded “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean. That ultimately won her a 2011 CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year.
“My producer and I were talking about who we wanted to get to sing on the song, and Kelly was the first person that I thought of. I never met her. I was just a huge fan of her voice,” Aldean later said, according to Pop Culture. “After she sang, I just took my notes and threw them in the trash… I was like, ‘This is going to be really good.'”
Winner Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails bandmates Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for their particular brand of industrial rock. Still, thanks to Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, they also received CMA awards in 2019 for “Old Town Road.” The song samples a snippet of the band’s “34 Ghosts IV.” And therefore Reznor and Ross got co-writing and co-producing credit.
“It’s very flattering,” Reznor told Rolling Stone of the song’s nod to their work. He added that the song is “undeniably hooky,” and said, “It’s been stuck in my head enough.”