Every year, the Country Music Association acknowledges emerging talent with its New Artist of the Year trophy, a tradition that began at the 1981 CMA Awards, when the honor was named the Horizon Award. While the new talent some years was stacked so thick that, looking back, the choice seems nearly impossible (think: Alan Jackson vs. Garth Brooks), there are other years in which some of country's now-biggest stars were passed over in what now seem surprising snubs.

Click through the photo gallery below to learn about 15 artists -- now major players in country music -- who, somehow, never won a New Artist of the Year trophy from the CMA. A few of them even got passed over twice!

The 2020 CMA Awards are scheduled to take place on Nov. 11 and will air live from Nashville on ABC beginning at 8PM ET. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the show be hosted at Nashville's Music City Center, not Bridgestone Arena as is customary, and there will be no live audience.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2020 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

WATCH: Test Your CMA Awards Knowledge!