Artists, composers, and side and session musicians.
Journalists, broadcasters (radio or television), photographers, historians, folklorists, and publishers.
Promoters, music publishers, agents, recording manufacturers and distributors, recording engineers and luthiers.
International organizers, association leaders, friends of the music, philanthropists, arts administrators, educators, and other innovators.
Candidates for the Distinguished Achievement are judged on their contributions to or influence upon bluegrass music, whether in general or in a specific branch of the industry. Their contributions should be unique, given the relative period of time in which they were made. They should embody the spirit of one who “pioneers” or opens new possibilities for the music.
These awards are especially appropriate when they honor those not recognized by other IBMA Awards categories.