Tag Archive for: Awards

New Procedures For Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame

Updated 2/27: From the CMA “We received several questions about the criteria for the Modern Era and Veterans Era categories from the original release that went out on 2/25/09. After consulting with the Chairman and Co-Chairman of the CMA Awards & Recognition Committee, we have corrected and updated these two paragraphs to what is written below.”

The Country Music Association is instituting new category and voting procedures for coveted entry into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Three new members will continue to be inducted every year, with one each coming from the new categories, which will be renamed and defined as follows beginning with the 2010 ballots:

Modern Era: An artist becomes eligible for induction in this category 20 years after they first achieve national prominence. They will remain eligible for that category for the next 25 years. This replaces the former “Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present” category.

Veterans Era: An artist becomes eligible for induction in this category 45 years after they first achieve national prominence. This combines the former “Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975” (which was voted on annually) and “Career Achieved National Prominence Prior to World War II” (which was voted on every third year in rotation) categories into one.

Rotating Categories: The third slot will continue to be a rotating category, with each group in the spotlight every third year. The Recording and/or Touring Musician and Non Performer slots will remain, joined by a new Songwriter category.

“In the past, songwriters and industry executives shared the same category that rotated every three years,” explains Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “With these new changes, the songwriters and non-performers now have their own rotating categories. This allows these talented and influential men and women a more frequent opportunity to join this intimate fraternity.”

For the first time, the Veterans Era and Modern Era categories will have separate Nominating Committees, each made up of 12 industry leaders who serve three-year terms. The Modern Era Nominating Committee will also oversee the Rotating Categories. Two anonymous Panels of Electors will be established, with one panel voting for the Modern Era and Rotating Categories, while the second votes for the Veterans Era category. Among all voters, there will be two rounds of ballots. In the first round, each voter will choose five candidates from the nominated list of 10-20 candidates. In the second round, voters will select one nominee from the top five.

These changes were approved by the CMA Board of Directors during the February Board meeting in Orlando, Fla. last week. The Hall’s 2009 class—made up of Roy Clark, Barbara Mandrell, and Charlie McCoy—will be officially inducted in May.

ACM Radio Award Winners Revealed

Radio award winners for the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were notified of the good news this morning by Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, who is also an ACM Board member. Winners were revealed ahead of time because the awards will not be given out during the live awards broadcast on April 5.

Local honorees include WSIX FM, which was named Large Market Station of the Year, and On-Air National Personality of the Year Lon Helton. Winners will be invited to participate in the telecast as the voices for bumpers leading into commercials during the ACM Awards.


National: Lon Helton, Country Countdown USA
Major Market: Dorsey Gang, KSCS-FM, Dallas, TX
Large Market: JD Cannon, WFMS-FM, Indianapolis, IN
Medium Market: Andy Ritchie, Alison West and Jimmy Holt, WIVK-FM, Knoxville, TN
Small Market: Brent Lane and Dana Cervantes, WYCT-FM, Pensacola, FL

Major Market: WSOC-FM, Charlotte, NC
Large Market: WSIX-FM, Nashville, TN
Medium Market: WIVK-FM, Knoxville, TN
Small Market: WYCT-FM, Pensacola, FL

Oscar Ratings Up, But Still Low

Last night’s (2/22) Academy Awards saw a 9 percent increase in ratings following an all-time low in 2008. An estimated 36.3 million people tuned in to see sleeper hit Slumdog Millionaire win eight statutes, including Best Picture. This is an increase of more than 4 million from last year, but still among the bottom three least-watched Oscars ever.

Zap2It.com reports the show on ABC won the night, averaging a 16.9 rating/26 share, dominating in every hour of primetime. Last year’s awards came in at 15.5/24. (The household rating considers all television sets in the US, while the share measures televisions sets that are turned on.) Also showing growth was viewership in the coveted adults 18-49 category, improved to last night to 9.5, from 8.4 in 2008.

By comparison, the recent Grammy Awards drew a 11.3 rating/18 share and about 20 million viewers. Last year’s season finale of American Idol was watched by an estimated 31.7 million viewers.

Tony Brown To Be Honored

Tony Brown

Tony Brown

Tony Brown will be honored for his contributions to the music industry with the 2009 Cecil Scaife Visionary Award on Mon., March 2 at The Musicians Hall Of Fame. Among those set to pay tribute to the acclaimed producer are musical guests, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn. A silent auction will include autographed items from Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame member James Burton, who will be in attendance; as well as George Strait, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and others. Email [email protected] to request an invitation to the event which benefits The Cecil Scaife Music Business Scholarship Endowment. A $200 donation secures admission.

With credits on over 100 million albums sold and 100 No. 1 singles, Brown most recently produced hit albums including Reba McEntire‘s Reba Duets, Heidi Newfeld’s solo debut, and George Strait’s Troubador, for which Brown won CMA and Grammy Awards. Brown started his career as a piano player with Elvis Presley, and eventually spent two decades helming MCA Nashville, where signed and/or produced superstars such as Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd and Gill.

LaRawn Scaife Rhea founded the The Cecil Scaife Visionary Award to honor her father who was one of the first people to envision a music business program at Belmont University. His career included time at Sun Records alongside legendary producer Sam Phillips and a young Presley, as well as later work with Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and others.

Latocki Garners ADDY Award

Latocki Team Creative (LTC) picked up a Gold ADDY® Award on Saturday night (2/21) at the American Advertising Federation Nashville ceremony at local hotspot Limelight. The group was recognized for its excellent work on Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll 4-Disc Box Set.

“When Sony Legacy asked us to produce the Roy Orbison box set, it was an honor, and my team wanted to create a piece worthy of his legacy and his fans,” says Luellyn Latocki, owner and creative director for LTC. “Winning an ADDY® means that our peers think we got it right, and in Nashville, that means something.”

Orbison’s career encompassing set, which was also released in a limited-edition deluxe version, includes a book of liner notes, celebrity testimonials and previously unreleased photos.

    (L-R): LTC's Jeff Crump (graphic design & art direction), Luellyn Latocki (art direction), and Rebekah Lee Beard (production management).

(L-R): LTC's Jeff Crump (graphic design & art direction), Luellyn Latocki (art direction), and Rebekah Lee Beard (production management)

Dove Awards: Tomlin Leads Noms, GMA Starts Fan Voting

Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin

Chris Tomlin is the top artist nominee for the 2009 Dove Awards. The reigning three-time Male Vocalist of the Year scored seven nominations, revealed at this morning’s press conference, including Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist, Song, Praise & Worship Album, Worship Song, Special Event Album, and Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song. The 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards will be held April 23 at the Grand Ole Opry House and will be broadcast nationwide live on the Gospel Music Channel at 7 PM/CT.

Natalie Grant, Casting Crowns and newcomer Francesca Battistelli each received five nominations. Grant, the current three-time Female Vocalist of the Year, received another nomination in that category, as well as nods for Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Album, Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song, and Worship Song. Four-time Group of the Year winners Casting Crowns are again up in that category, as well as Artist of the Year, Christmas Album, Short Form Video and Long Form Video. Battistelli, who burst on the Christian music scene in the summer of 2008, is up for Female Vocalist, New Artist, Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song, and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year.

In a growing awards show trend, fans will be able to vote on awards for the upcoming show. For the first time, fans will vote for Artist of the Year and New Artist of the Year through www.gospelmusicchannel.com and www.doveawards.com. Voting opens Feb. 26—the same day online voting opens for GMA members—and continues through the live Dove Awards broadcast. It will account for one-third of the total vote in those two categories, while GMA member votes will account for the remaining two-thirds.

Tickets to the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 615-242-0303. Select nominations are below, or click here for a complete list.


Casting Crowns
Steven Curtis Chapman
Marvin Sapp
Third Day
Chris Tomlin

Addison Road
Francesca Battistelli
Jonathan Nelson
Remedy Drive
Chris Sligh
Tenth Avenue North

“Did I Make A Difference”; Front Row Seats; The Oak Ridge Boys; Rob Crosby, Bill Anderson; Spring Hill Music Group
“Good Side Of Goodbye”; Home For Now; Living Waters Trio; Wayne Haun, Dave Clark; Vine Records
“I Saw God Today”; Troubadour; George Strait; Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby; MCA Nashville
“I Wish”; How You Live Deluxe Edition; Point of Grace; Cindy Morgan, Phil Madeira; Word Records
“Jesus And John Wayne”; Lovin’ Life; Gaither Vocal Band; Gloria Gaither, William J. Gaither, Doug Johnson, Kim Williams, Benjamin Gaither; Gaither Music Group

Around the Bend; Randy Travis; Kyle Lehning; Warner Bros. Records
Home For Now; Living Waters Trio; Terry Thompson; Vine Records
Hymned Again; Bart Millard; Brown Bannister; INO Records
I Turn To You; Richie McDonald; Frank Myers, Gary Baker, Tommy Lee James; Lucid Entertainment
Runaway Train; Crabb Revival; Ben Isaacs, Tre’ Corley; Daywind Records

Billy: The Early Years Official Motion Picture Soundtrack;
Brooks & Dunn, Mac Powell, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, China Edelman, Patty Griffin, Brandon Heath, Gregory Page, Michael W. Smith, Melinda Doolittle, Roy Orbison, Brad Paisley, Josh Turner, Sierra Hull, John Cowan, Harry Stinson, Ronnie Bowman, Ronnie McCoury, John Wesley Ryles; Anastasia Brown; Arista Nashville, Essential Records

Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume One; Gaither Vocal Band, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, The Grascals, Buddy Greene, The Isaacs, Gordon Mote, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Booth Brothers, George Jones, Wesley Pritchard, Reggie & Ladye Love Smith, Brittany Allen, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Charlotte Ritchie, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Jimmy Fortune, Dailey & Vincent, Jason Crabb, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Cherryholmes, Lisa Daggs-Charette, Vince Gill, Sonya Isaacs, Becky Isaacs Bowman; Bill Gaither; Gaither Music Group

How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites from the Grand Ole Opry; The Charlie Daniels Band, Mac Powell, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, Ronnie Milsap, Ricky Skaggs & The Whites, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood; Steve Gibson; Sony BMG Nashville
Passion: God of This City; Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, David Crowder*Band, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Fee, Matt Redman; Nathan Nockels; Sparrow Records, sixsteps Records

Your Name; Joel Auge, Leeland Mooring, Paul Baloche, Aaron Shust, Phil Wickham, Josh Reedy, Ayiesha Woods, Ian Eskelin, Mark Stuart, Vicky Beeching, Jared Anderson, Christy Johnson, Sean Loche, Aaron Boyd, Jason Roy, Wes Willis, Lincoln Brewster, Adam Agee; Ian Eskelin; Integrity Music

Photo courtesy: Judy Nelson Group

At today's nomination announcement: (L-R) Lisa Kimmey, Gospel Music Channel; Dan Evans and Jackie Evans, of NBC's Biggest Loser. Photo courtesy: Judy Nelson Group

Is Fan Voting The Future? ACM Enlists Fans To Validate Industry Choices

Like it is for all Awards shows, the ACM final nominees announcement was a cause of joy and pain for various artists whose names did and did not appear on the coveted list. Some mainstream brands were missing in categories where they seemed essential and a few relative newcomers caught a wave that some might say was larger than the stage of their career. But the ACMs have a built in reality meter—the fans—who this year will again vote for Entertainer and for the first time also choose a Top New Artist.

So what is the case for and against fan voting? Years ago, there was no practical way to reach and tabulate votes from millions of fans in a short time. Today’s new media encourages a one-on-one relationship which makes voting easy and has the added benefit of possibly continuing the dialog with each fan during the year. Awards shows and networks are also dedicated to winning the ratings wars, so it makes sense to find out directly from the fans who they consider entertaining and will tune in to watch. It also seems reasonable to assert that regardless of the purity of the process or safeguards taken, industry voters will stretch to affirm their vested interests.

To balance these issues, ACM has chosen to rely on industry experts to do the heavy lifting and choose the final nominees. “We use our official membership to vette the new talents and ultimately put forth what we the industry feel are the five best nominees in each category,” says ACM Executive Director Bob Romeo. “When that process is done correctly, then one could assume that if we ask the fans to weigh in at that point we would be happy regardless of which of the five acts were to win. The process builds on industry wisdom and then gives the fans a chance to engage.”

Romeo sees the fans as a type of fail-safe mechanism. “If the industry makes a mistake and there is some kind of irregularity, then the fans will ultimately validate what the best choice should be. When it’s said and done, I don’t think you can bullshit the fans. If someone gets nominated for Entertainer that perhaps isn’t ready, then with all due respect, the fans won’t vote them in.”

After successfully experimenting with fan voting for its Entertainer category last year, this year ACM will introduce three fan-voted New Artist categories—Top New Male, Female and Vocal Duo/Group. A winner from each category will then be entered into the Top New Artist race, again voted upon by the fans.

Unfortunately, while plans were being set for these New Artist honors, an issue arose over the album category. Part of the ACM Best Album criteria required a nominee to have sold over 300,000 units. This year that meant cutting the list of final noms severely. “We were focused on the newcomer awards and album criteria became an oversight,” explains Romeo. “Our board voted to drop the 300,000 sales requirement for this year. We have a mechanism set up for industry to redo the balloting process so we will have our final five in time for the final ballots.”

Is fan voting the future? “I believe my board would be open to additional fan voting ideas,” says Romeo. “But one step at a time. We’re going to validate it again this year, plus open up the Entertainer vote to text voting. So Entertainer ballots will be cast via online and text. If it goes as well as it did last year and we engage even more people—they are telling me that adding text could engage multiple millions more—I’m sure our board will be interested to see those numbers. If it was only up to me I’d be pushing to let the membership shape the final ballot and then have the fans weigh in on every category. You can say what you want about last year, but it was an exciting race. All five of the Entertainer noms knew the outcome wasn’t in the hands of any politics, it was controlled by the fans. When it was all done, the fans validated Kenny Chesney.”

Last year’s ACM show, with fan voting, drew 11.7 million viewers, an increase of 26% from the previous year. Other Awards shows (and their networks) will surely be watching CBS this April 5, to see if ratcheting up the engagement and interactivity continues to bring glad viewership tidings. If it does, one could bet that knocking sound will be the other networks demanding more of the same.

Bentley Lands At No. 1; Plus Latest Country Certifications

Dierks Bentley’s fourth studio album, Feel That Fire, tops the new SoundScan country albums chart with first-week sales of over 71,000 units. It racked up enough scans to also secure the No. 3 spot on the all-genre chart.

The lead single and title track recently finished a multi-week run at the pinnacle of MusicRow’s Country Breakout Chart. Catch Bentley tonight (2/11), performing “Life On The Run” on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He follows that with a two-week Canadian run with Brad Paisley through the end of February.


Darius Rucker’s debut country album on Capitol Records Nashville has been certified Gold. Released in September 2008, Learn To Live debuted at No. 1 on the country albums charts with over 60,000 units. Since then it has remained in the Top 15 and produced the two-week No. 1 single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” and the follow-up Top 10 and climbing hit “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.”


Sugarland was in Los Angeles rehearsing for the Grammys last week when the duo was surprised with Platinum plaques for their latest album Love On The Inside, released in July 2008. The Mercury Nashville pair captured their first Grammy Sunday night for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for “Stay.” Nettles also won Best Country Song for the self-penned hit which has garnered ACM, CMA and CMT awards, and sold over 980,000 digital copies. The duo’s next single will be “It Happens.”

(L-R): Manager Gail Gellman, Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, NARAS Pres. Neil Portnow

(L-R): Manager Gail Gellman, Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, NARAS Pres. Neil Portnow

Grammy “Sounding” Board

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Is it live or is it Memorex?

Remember that old commercial for magnetic tape? Remember magnetic tape? Anyhow, the gist of it was guessing whether what you heard was pre-recorded or not. And that was the game I played all night long during the Grammy telecast.

Not surprisingly, Music City’s finest fared best. Those were unquestionably live vocals by Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus during their performance of Taylor’s song “Fifteen.” That’s especially cool because Taylor can sometimes be a little “pitchy.” Carrie Underwood’s powerhouse delivery of “Last Name” was also emphatically live. You could question whether it was “country” or not, but there was no denying her performance.

Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift

Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift

The evening’s winningest champs Alison Krauss and Robert Plant were predictably jaw-dropping. I love the way their disparate voices create that harmonic overtone.

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland’s “Stay” was also a terrific live vocal. Keith Urban’s guitar work during the Bo Diddley tribute and the great Justin Timberlake and Al Green collaboration on “Let’s Stay Together” was also on the money. Kenny Chesney’s performance of “Better as a Memory” was swathed in smoke, so it was a little difficult to tell whether or not it was live. But it was unquestionably lovely.

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

The deal is, they record the rehearsals. So when show time arrives, the audio guys have the choice to give us either the pre-recorded or the live performance. So Katy Perry can run all over the stage in her fruits-and-veggies outfit and not sound at all out of breath. Piped in? You bet. The Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo and Smokey Robinson medley of tunes by The Four Tops also sounded totally pre-taped, as did T.I. with Justin Timberlake.

Coldplay, Radiohead and U2 were all toss-ups. Who can tell? Especially with the USC marching band tossed into the mix. The Rap Pack? Who cares? Although the extremely pregnant M.I.A.’s polka-dotted onesy was certainly eye-catching.

The live pop performances included Paul McCartney’s. It might have been garage-y, but maybe that’s the way “I Saw Her Standing There” should sound. Stevie Wonder and The Jonas Brothers were remarkably well mixed and very exciting.

Jennifer Nettles returned to the stage to sing with Best New Artist winner Adele. The result was soulful and heartfelt. Neil Diamond was low-key but effective. Of all people, Kid Rock sounded good. His energy level was winning as well. Naturally Jennifer Hudson killed. But she should have left her lobster bib at the restaurant.

Kanye West and an evidently Reynolds-Wrapped Estelle sounded like live vocals to tracks. The multi-artist New Orleans tribute was kind of a train wreck and was definitely blah. Whitney Houston sounded rather incoherent, but was gowned beautifully. I don’t think she’ll ever live down that reality series Being Bobby Brown. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Gwyneth Paltrow were both nice diversions. Don’t even bother trying to hear anything from Lifetime Achievement honoree Brenda Lee. She didn’t even get to stand and wave, never mind sing or speak.

Overall, however, I have to give the telecast a sonic “A.” It is a gargantuan task to make a wide variety of genres sound good and an even bigger one to do it on an international live telecast. I hope all the engineers involved celebrated afterward.

Photos courtesy Grammy.com, by John Shearer/WireImage

Urban And Rimes Get GRAMMY Face Time

Keith Urban has been added to the GRAMMY performance schedule as part of a Bo Diddley tribute featuring fellow current nominees Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and John Mayer. At the Feb. 8 Awards show, Urban is up for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals (“Let The Wind Chase You” with Trisha Yearwood).

Joining the presenter list is LeAnn Rimes who is nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (“What I Cannot Change”). Other performers announced today (2/5) are Terence Blanchard, Neil Diamond, M.I.A., Robin Thicke, Allen Toussaint, and Stevie Wonder.