Categories

Here are the categories of the International Bluegrass Music Awards, and the criteria for each award. Our voting members are asked to consider these criteria when voting for candidates and nominees. Who is being honored with these awards is also clarified in these descriptions.

Entertain​er of the Year

This award recognizes the performing act who displayed the greatest competence in all aspects of the entertainment field. Voters should give consideration to recorded and in-person performance, public acceptance, attitude, leadership, and over-all contributions to the bluegrass music image.  The award recognizes the performing act.

Vocal ​Grou​p of the Year

This award recognizes a group who regularly performs together that has shown outstanding recorded and in-person performance in the area of vocal performance. It is not limited to groups which only perform vocally. The award recognizes the performing group.

Instrume​ntal Group of the Year

This award recognizes a group who regularly performs together that has shown outstanding recorded and in-person performance in the area of instrumental performance. It is not limited to groups which only perform instrumentals. The award recognizes the performing group.

Song​ of ​the Year

This award recognizes any song, new or old, that was released or showed significant chart action within the eligibility period. Any song which has been nominated for this award in previous years is ineligible. The award recognizes the songwriter and artist.

Albu​m of the Year

This award recognizes an outstanding recorded performance by an artist or artists, first commercially released during the specified time period. The award recognizes the featured artist(s), producer, and label.

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year

This award recognizes an outstanding gospel recorded performance (vocal or instrumental song) that was first commercially released or showed significant chart action during the eligibility period. Versions of recorded songs released on albums nominated for this award in prior years are ineligible. The award recognizes the featured artist, songwriter, producer and label.

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year

This award recognizes an outstanding instrumental recorded performance of a tune that was first commercially released or showed significant chart action during the eligibility period. The award recognizes the featured artist, songwriter, producer and label.

Emerging Artist of the Year

This award recognizes a group or individual, new to the national bluegrass scene, that has made considerable advances artistically and/or commercially during the eligibility period. The band or individual should be performing under its/his/her name on a regular basis and not have more than two previous finalist nominations for this award. The award recognizes the group or individual artist.

Recorded Event of the Year

This award recognizes a vocal or instrumental recorded performance of a song or tune, that was first released or showed significant chart action during the eligibility period, which represents a special collaboration between two or more artists (individuals or groups)who are known as touring/recording artists under their own name in a featured role (not as backup singers or musicians). The artists should not have regularly recorded or performed together in the past and should be primarily known for their contributions and public performances separate from one another. Each separate act must receive special”featured” billing on the recording’s label, song or tune on which they are featured and should be distinguished from backup singers and/or musicians. The award recognizes the featured artists, producer and label.

Male Vocalist of the Year

This award recognizes the outstanding male vocalist based on recorded and in-person performance. The award recognizes the artist.

Female Vocalist of the Year

This award recognizes the outstanding female vocalist based on recorded and in-person performance. The award recognizes the artist.

Instrumental Performers of the Year

These awards recognize artists who, on recorded and/or in-person performance during the specified time period, have shown an extraordinary mastery of their instruments. Nominations and awards will be made in six (6) subcategories: banjo, bass, fiddle, Dobro, guitar and mandolin. The awards are in recognition of the individual artists.

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