BREAKING NEWS: Nominees Announced For 2018 Innovation In Music Awards

Nominees have been announced for the 2018 Innovation in Music Awards (IMA), which recognize music industry professionals and companies who are innovating and distinguishing themselves in music creation, music discovery and developing innovative strategies in music marketing.

The second annual ceremony will be held June 3 at the Westin Hotel in Nashville and will be hosted by Bill Werde, Director of the Bandier Music Industry Program in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Nominees and executives will gather in Las Vegas this Saturday evening, April 14, at the IMA nominee reception at the MGM Grand. Sponsored by Tito’s Vodka and the C-Grams charity app, the event will celebrate the 32 artists, producers, executives, broadcasters, and programmers up for awards.

SiriusXM Senior Vice President of Programming Steve Blatter is joined by Red Light Management founder and CEO Coran Capshaw and UMG Nashville Chairman and CEO Mike Dungan as the nominees for Innovator of the Year. Winners of this award, along with five others, will be announced prior to the awards.

“Challenges in the music industry call for creative strategies and risk taking at the highest levels to be successful and shape the future of the business,” said Pete O’Heeron, Chairman of the Innovation in Music Awards. “These nominees represent that progressive mindset.”

A committee of music professionals determines the honorees. The categories include:

1) INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
For the music professional who has demonstrated an overall commitment to new music, new music discovery and innovative programs to break new artists.

Nominees
Steve Blatter, SiriusXM
Coran Capshaw, Red Light Management
Mike Dungan, Universal Music Group Nashville

2) IMPACT in INNOVATION AWARD
For a music professional who has committed an entire career to innovative initiatives and music creation, advocacy and discovery.

To be announced at a later date.

3) INNOVATION in MUSIC, EXECUTIVE
For the executive who has shown exemplary fortitude and/or marketing savvy in bringing a new artist or artists to the market and has demonstrated unique ideas and/or programs which pioneer new music and empower the creators.

Nominees
Tatum Allsep, Music Health Alliance
Cindy Mabe, Universal Music Group Nashville
Shane Tarleton, Warner Music Nashville
Sally Williams, Opry Entertainment Group
John Zarling, Sony Music Nashville

4) INNOVATION in MUSIC, BROADCAST
An on-air individual or off-air programmer who provides a diligent voice for new and innovative music.

Nominees
Buzz Brainard, SiriusXM’s Music Row Happy Hour
Monica Escobedo, Good Morning America
Julie Gurovitsch, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Chris Thile, Live From Here

5) INNOVATION in MUSIC, RADIO PROGRAMMING
Airplay equations help the committee decide the programmer/radio station showing the strongest diligence in exposing new and ultimately successful music.

Nominees
Johnny Chiang, KKBQ/Houston
Nate Deaton, KRTY/San Jose
Shelly Easton, WXTU/Philadelphia
Lance Houston, WEBG/Chicago
Rod Phillips, iHeart Country

6) INNOVATION in MUSIC, CREATIVE/ARTIST
Individual who best displays a unique and successful creative initiative. Their music will depart from the norm and attract new fans.

Nominees
Dan Auerbach, Artist/Producer
Kenny Chesney, Artist/Producer
Dave Cobb, Producer
Midland, Artist
Kacey Musgraves, Artist

7) INNOVATION in MUSIC, DIGITAL MEDIA/MARKETING
Individual or team that best utilizes technology innovatively in programming, marketing or selling music.

Nominees
Jay Frank, Universal Music Group
John Marks, Spotify
Jennie Smythe, Girlilla Marketing

8) INNOVATION in MUSIC, LIVE PERFORMANCE
For the concert promoter, artist booker, venue, artist or touring entity who has distinguished themselves for profound innovation in the concert experience.

Nominees
Amy Howe, Ticketmaster
Louis Messina, AEG
Ed Warm, Joe’s on Weed Street & Smokeout Fest, Chicago

The Second Annual Innovation In Music Awards features award presentations, musical performances and moments honoring the nominees. For information, visit www.innovationinmusic.net.

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Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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