Second Innovation In Music Awards Set For June 3

Some of the music industry’s top risk takers and creative thinkers will be honored June 3 in Nashville during the Second Annual Innovation in Music Awards (IMA), an event created to recognize achievements in the advancement of music through inspiration and ingenuity.

“The music industry is a shifting landscape and successful leaders are achieving results by adapting and finding creative ways to address change, all while advancing the art and supporting our creative community,” said Pete O’Heeron, Chairman of the Innovation in Music Awards. “These people are deserving of this recognition because they are setting the course for the future of the industry.”

The IMA event will be hosted by Bill Werde, a leading storyteller and media executive and personality throughout his career. He currently serves as the director of the Bandier Music Industry Program in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Werde was Billboard’s editorial director until 2014, and continues to write a column. While at Billboard, Werde’s hosting duties included the Women in Music Gala, The Billboard Touring Awards, the live-streamed backstage show from the Billboard Music Awards and a broadcast music news segment on the Fuse cable network. He began writing about the intersection of culture, business and technology more than 15 years ago; he’s been frequently published by The New York Times, Wired magazine, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and many other publications.

The inaugural IMA ceremony in June 2017 was a sell-out attended by industry leaders honoring several notable figures including Bobby Bones, Leslie Fram, Brian O’Connell, Mike McVay and the night’s big winner Innovator of the Year, John Esposito, Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Nashville.

The event features eight major awards, musical performances, presentations honoring the nominees and various other moments celebrating innovation within entertainment.

Organizers and producers for the event include O’Heeron, John Ettinger, Shanna Strassberg, Bret Wolcott, and Marie Wapelhorst.

Innovation In Music Awards will be given in categories including:

-Innovator of the Year
-Impact in Innovation Award
-Innovation in Music, Music Industry Executive
-Innovation in Music, Artist
-Innovation in Music Live/Touring
-Innovation in Music, National Media
-Innovation in Music, Digital Media
-Innovation in Music, Digital Broadcast
-Innovation in Music, National Broadcast
-Innovation in Music, Major Market Radio
-Innovation in Music, Medium Market Radio
-Innovation in Music, Small Market Radio


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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