The Country Music Awards are often written off in favor of "bigger" music awards shows like the Billboard Awards or the Grammys. But it's important for the CMT Awards to stick around: it honors a huge genre of music and therefore proves to fans of that genre that they are valuable.
As a country music fan, you want to be able to celebrate the best and brightest in Country music. Country music is still not heard as often in general as other genres are, like Hip Hop. The CMT awards gives fans the ability to feel connected to their favorite artist and showing their appreciation for the great music.
No, the CMT awards are no longer relevant to a national audience today. Country music has gradually declined in popularity, to the point where it is now only a niche genre, primarily listened to in the southern United States. The mainstream music listener today would be hard-pressed to know the most popular country songs or artists, other than those who have made a full crossover into pop music. This is why award ceremonies such as the Grammies are much more relevant than the CMT awards.
Though actually liking and enjoying music is completely subjective, the CMT Awards do not do what they set out to do, which is celebrate and recognize country music artists. The CMT awards are not about recognition of performers and artists in the country music genre. The CMT Awards are a pageant, a spectacle created by television and music executives to get ratings and sell air time for advertisements. Many of the award recipients are not artists who are normally involved in the country music genre. Rock and pop stars, such as Cheap Trick and Pitbull, who happen to have developed some country acts, are given awards for their minor contributions while other artists who focus on country music are left without recognition.