In some respects, the Country Music Association has always done better than a lot of organizations within the "Nashville machine" at incorporating women into its mission. After all, it's hard to imagine the CMA or the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's early years without the influence of longtime executive director Jo Walker-Meador.

The CMA Awards debuted in 1967 and featured a female co-host each of its first two years: Bobbie Gentry in 1967 and Dale Evans in 1968. However, the nominees list has often favored country music's men; in fact, no woman had even been nominated for Musician of the Year until 2019

Still, a few country women achieved major CMA Awards milestones, both early on and in more recent years. Read on to learn about two early accomplishments, and seven of the first artists to break the CMA's glass ceiling:

The 2021 CMA Awards are scheduled for Wednesday (Nov. 10) and will air live on ABC beginning at 8PM CT. The show will take place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and will be hosted by Luke Bryan.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2021 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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