The Academy of Country Music is establishing a Songwriter of the Year Award, to be presented in conjunction with next year’s 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The trophy will be handed out at the ACM Honors in Nashville in fall 2012.
Among the Awards committee members who helped create the new category are Pat Higdon, Dale Bobo and Ben Vaughn. “At the ACM, we want to show as much respect for the great craft of songwriting as we possibly can,” explains Vaughn. “I’m a songwriter guy, and I don’t think they get enough recognition—ever. The entire business is built around what a songwriter crafts, so anytime we can recognize them we should. For the ACM to take the lead in this is really gratifying.”
According to Michelle Goble, ACM Sr. Vice President, Membership & Events, “The Academy has always paid tribute to songwriters, whether it was through Song of the Year, hosting songwriter No. 1 parties or honoring legends with the Poet’s Award, as we do every year. We are thrilled to dedicate this annual award to the composers that make the country music genre so special in its rich history of storytelling.”
The ACM Songwriter of the Year award was previously presented only once, to Roger Miller in 1965.
The winner will be announced with the Special Awards recipients, Industry and MBI winners next spring, prior to the televised 47th Annual ACM Awards.
Award Criteria and Nominee Selection: This award is presented to an individual known predominately as a songwriter. The Songwriter of the Year final nominees will be selected by a Blue Ribbon panel of judges comprised of songwriters, publishers, producers, and performing rights organization (PRO) representatives. The Panel will submit 5 (five) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board.
The final nominees will appear on the third ballot and be voted on by the ACM professional members in Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO, Record Company, and the Producer/Engineer/Studio Manager subcategory (contained within the Affiliated category).
The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, a commercially released single crediting the songwriter that charted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs (BDS) or Country Aircheck (Mediabase) country charts during the prior calendar year of Dec. 1 – Nov. 30. If the single was released prior to the eligibility period, but achieved its highest charted position during the eligibility period, it is eligible, unless it appeared on a final ACM ballot.
Membership to vote in the 2012 cycle: New membership applications for the ACM must be completed by 5:00 PM PT on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 for members to be eligible to vote during the 2012 Awards cycle. Existing membership renewals must be completed by 5:00 PM PT on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.
Nominees for the Academy of Country Music Awards will be revealed in February 2012 at a date to be announced. For more information on ACM Awards criteria, please click to download.