Eligibility

Arkansas Country Music Awards Criteria

With the exception of the Lifetime Achievement Award(s), these awards are to honor the INDEPENDENT performers in country music and other genres that fall under the country music umbrella.  Performers are eligible if they meet one of the following statuses:


  1. Born in Arkansas
  2. For a substantial period of time resided in Arkansas
  3. Have proven on a solid, regular basis an Arkansas presence through their live performances.
  4. Please note:  artists should be currently touring/performing and/or with newly recorded output within two years of the closing of nominations.

Performers are not eligible if they have had a recording contract with a major label in their known musical field OR had ‘Top 40’ success as a recording artist on either the primary Billboard Country Albums Chart or the primary Billboard Country Singles Chart. * Artists are either COUNTRY, AMERICANA or BLUEGRASS.  Artists can only fall into one of these three categories.


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT 

This Award(s) is open to anyone who was born in Arkansas OR for a substantial period of time resided in Arkansas that as a recording artist, songwriter, producer, engineer, disc jockey, promoter or anyone else who has fostered country music.  Their initial known achievements must have occurred at least 25 years prior to the award show year.  


ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for the artist that exhibits the highest level of entertaining, through recorded output, live performances and public acceptance. 


FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

This Award is for a female artist (country, Americana or bluegrass) who tours and records under her name only, or for a female who is the lead vocalist of a country group, Americana/Roots group or bluegrass group.


MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

This Award is for a male artist (country, Americana or bluegrass) who tours and records under his name only, or for a male who is the lead vocalist of a country group, Americana/Roots group or bluegrass group.


AMERICANA ARTIST OF THE YEAR *

This Award is for any Americana/Roots solo performer, duo or group.  (Alternative country, roots, folk, rockabilly, old-time mountain music, etc.)


BLUEGRASS ARTIST OF THE YEAR *

This Award is for any bluegrass solo performer, duo or group.  


COUNTRY ARTIST OF THE YEAR *

This Award is for any country solo performer, duo or group.


INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any artist who solely records and/or performs inspirational and/or country gospel music OR any country, Americana/Roots or bluegrass artist who performs inspirational and/or country gospel songs on a regular basis in their recorded output or in live performances.


ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any solo performer or duo that performs as an acoustic act on record and/or live on a regular basis.


VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any duo, trio or more. This is for any country group, Americana/Roots group, bluegrass group, inspirational group or a collaboration, providing the collaboration has recorded as such during the two-year eligibility period.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any album of eight (8) songs or more and was released for purchase no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations. The reigning Album of the Year cannot repeat as a finalist. 


SONG OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any original song released on an album, a EP or individually for purchase no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations by an artist meeting the eligibility requirements. The reigning Song of the Year cannot repeat as a finalist. 


SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any composer who has displayed a consistent pattern of original material through any of their recorded output that was released for sale no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations OR a composer who has had  songs recorded by another artist that has been released for purchase no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations.


MUSIC PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any producer, who was born in Arkansas or resided for a substantial time in Arkansas.  They must have produced (not self-produced) recorded product for purchase no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations.


SOUND ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any sound engineer, who born in Arkansas or resided for a substantial time in Arkansas.  They must run sound for concerts/events on a regular basis OR have engineered the sound (not self-engineered) on recorded product for purchase no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations.


PROMOTER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any promoter, who was born in Arkansas, resided for substantial time in Arkansas or promotes Arkansas concerts on a regular basis.  A promoter cannot be the recipient of this award in consecutive years.


VIDEO OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any video, released by a performer who meets the performer eligibility criteria that was released for the first time for viewing no more than two years prior to the closing of final nominations.  This must be an actual video to accompany a song.  The reigning Video of the Year cannot repeat as a finalist. 


RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR

This award is for any country music radio station in Arkansas or any radio station that on a regular basis features an ample amount of country music airplay.  A radio station cannot be the recipient of this award in consecutive years.


RADIO DJ OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any disc jockey, who on a regular basis plays country music (in studio, not syndicated) on a radio station in Arkansas.  A radio DJ cannot be the recipient of this award in consecutive years.


PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR

This Award is for an Arkansas publication (newspaper/magazine) that features country music content on a regular basis.  A publication cannot be the recipient of this award in consecutive years.


VENUE OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any venue in Arkansas that hosts country music concerts on a regular basis.  A venue cannot be the recipient of this award in consecutive years.


YOUNG ARTIST OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any male or female that performs on a regular basis. The nominee cannot turn the age of eighteen (18) until January 1st (or later) of the award year.  This is to honor a 'promising' talent and a recipient of this award is no longer eligible in this category.


BASSIST OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any bass player (electric or acoustic) that plays bass on a regular basis on country music studio recordings OR a bass player (electric or acoustic) in any country group, inspirational group, Americana/Roots group or bluegrass group. 


DRUMMER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any drummer that plays drums on a regular basis on country music studio recordings OR a drummer who plays drums in any country group, inspirational group, Americana/Roots group or bluegrass group.  


FIDDLER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any fiddle player that plays fiddle on a regular basis on country music studio recordings OR a fiddle player who plays fiddle in any country group, inspirational group, Americana/Roots Group or bluegrass group. 


GUITARIST OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any guitarist that plays guitar on a regular basis on country music studio recordings OR a guitarist who plays lead (electric guitar) in any country group,, inspirational group or Americana/Roots group OR any guitarist who plays acoustic guitar in a bluegrass group. 

  

STEEL/DOBRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This Award is for any steel guitar player that plays steel guitar on a regular basis on country music studio recordings OR someone who plays steel guitar or dobro in a country group, inspirational group, Americana group or a bluegrass group.

 

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Once nominations end, the ones most meeting the criteria in each category will go to the special awards committee, who will select the final five per category. Final voting will be determined by the special awards committee and a collective tally of fan online voting.


NOTE: Public nominations will run January 1st to 28th for the 2019 season.