A Vintage Gallery of CMA Looks

The Leading Nominees' Best Throwbacks

When you think about some of the country stars nominated for CMA Awards this year, it’s easy to forget that that there was a time when they were coming to the show for the very first time. In other words, this ain’t their first rodeo.

So we collected some of our favorite throwback pictures — from the CMA Awards red carpet and other events leading up to the show — to remind us all that the nominees have worked hard for years to get where they are now. Nominees like Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban first went to the CMAs almost two decades ago.

You can file these between When They Sat in the Nosebleeds and When They Made It Big.

​Kenny Chesney in 2000

Frank Micelotta

Keith Urban in 2000

Frank Micelotta

​Dierks Bentley in 2003

Rick Diamond

Carrie Underwood in 2005

Michael Loccisano

Miranda Lambert in 2005

Peter Kramer

Jason Aldean in 2006

Peter Kramer

Luke Bryan in 2007

Bryan Bedder

Chris Stapleton in 2007

Rick Diamond

Thomas Rhett in 2012

Sara Kauss

Kacey Musgraves in 2013

Jon Kopaloff

Kelsea Ballerini in 2015

John Shearer

Maren Morris in 2016

Brett Oronzio

Luke Combs in 2017

Michael Loccisano