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Formerly known as the Reference List, this crowd-sourced list is offered as a courtesy to our voting members as they fill out the first, all write-in ballot. This list consists solely of the submissions made by IBMA members and the bluegrass community. Artists and projects need not appear on the list to be considered for the first ballot. You may make as many submissions to the list as you like. If you wish to submit single tracks from an album, you may enter up to, but no more than, 3 singles per album, using the “Single” field for that purpose. The IBMA staff / board does NOT gather information or contribute in any way to this list.

Eligibility: To qualify for awards consideration, albums must have been released between April 1 of the previous year and March 31 of the current year. Songs must have been released OR shown significant chart action during this same period. If you see a project on the list you believe is not eligible, feel free to contact us at IBMA reserves the right to remove ineligible entries.



Beginning in December of 2018, IBMA’s Board of Directors formed the Awards Task Force to complete a full review of the association’s awards structure. It was the first such review conducted in several years. An updated Awards Handbook was issued last year and changes were primarily focused on our Music, Industry, and Momentum Awards. This year, the Awards Task Force has addressed the eligibility, criteria, and process for IBMA’s Distinguish Achievement Award and the IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. 

IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award - Each year the Distinguished Achievement Awards Selection Committee will choose to recognize one individual within each of the following four categories. The Selection Committee may opt to choose two award recipients in the General category. 

  • Music - performing artists, musical groups, songwriters, side/session musicians
  • Media - authors, journalists (print and/or electronic), broadcasters (radio, television, podcast, internet, etc.), photographers, videographers, graphic designers
  • Business - promoters, publicists, music publishers, booking agents, managers, record labels, producers, recording engineers, sound reinforcement, luthiers
  • General - international organizers, association leaders, historians, folklorists, friends of the music, philanthropists, arts administrators, educators (music teachers, instructional programs, workshops, camps, online lessons, etc.) and other innovators and contributors

IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame - Each year the Hall of Fame Panel of Electors will choose to recognize two individuals or performing groups in the Open Category and one induction in either the Early Contributor Category OR the Non-Performer Category. Only people or performing groups are eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame. Companies, institutions, publications, radio stations, and other organizations – many of which significantly foster bluegrass music – are not eligible for Hall of Fame recognition.

  • Open Category - Two inductions are selected annually for the Hall of Fame Open Category. Eligible candidates may be living or deceased and may include performing artists, bands, and industry professionals. 
  • Early Contributor Category - One induction is selected during odd-numbered years for the Hall of Fame Early Contributor Category. Eligible candidates may be living or deceased and should include performing artists, bands, and industry professionals who first came to prominence at least 50 years prior to the induction year. 
  • Non-Performer Category - One induction is selected during even-numbered years for the Hall of Fame Non-Performer Category. Eligible candidates may be living or deceased and should include those whose primary contributions to bluegrass music are apart from performing. 

We strongly encourage you to read through the Awards Handbook to become familiar with the entire awards process, including any changes made. The guidelines in the new handbook will be enforced beginning with this year’s election process.

Contact Us:
International Bluegrass Music Association
4206 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216
Phone: 615-256-3222  |  Toll Free: 888-438-4262

Copyright © 2020 International Bluegrass Music Association, All rights reserved.

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