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Academy of Country Music Announces Rule Changes, Key Dates for 2024 ACM Awards

The Academy of Country Music announced rule changes in several categories on Monday (Dec. 4) that it hopes will allow it to bring back its award for new duo or group of the year — which it hasn’t presented since 2018.

“ACM new duo or group of the year is an illustrious category that has seen the likes of Brooks & Dunn and The Chicks win early in their careers, as well as both reigning ACM duo of the year Brothers Osborne and reigning ACM group of the year Old Dominion,” said Tommy Moore, ACM vice president of artist and industry relations, governance and board administration. “The category hasn’t been awarded in recent years, and we’re hopeful these changes in category rules and minimum qualifying entrant levels will allow us to bring back this award, a fan favorite, as well as celebrate additional deserving emerging artists in the critical early years of their career.”

The category was presented every year from 1989 to 2002, but has been presented sporadically since then. In 2009, separate awards were presented for groups (Gloriana) and duos (Joey + Rory), but the award hasn’t been presented at all nine times since 2003.

“The 59th ACM Awards cycle brings changes to awards categories that will allow more artists, groups, and duos the chance to qualify and be recognized with an ACM Award, which will benefit emerging artists and help put a spotlight on the future of the genre,” said Daniel Miller, chair of the ACM awards, voting, and membership committee. “I’d like to thank the awards committee members, board members, and board officers for their thoughtful contributions in expanding eligibility to reflect our evolving industry and the realities for new artists on their path to success.”

The ACM also announced the submissions and ballot timeline for professional membership voting for the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards, coming in May 2024.

The 59th Academy of Country Music Awards, produced by dick clark productions, will stream exclusively on Prime Video for a global audience for a third straight year, live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, as part of the ACM Awards’ recently-announced renewed partnership with Amazon.

The 58th ACM Awards garnered more than 7.7 million viewers on Prime Video, plus additional viewership across Amazon Music, the Amazon Music channel on Twitch, and Amazon Live, making the show hosted by Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks one of the most-watched awards shows of the year.

The ACM board of directors approved changes to the Academy’s new female artist of the year, new male artist of the year, and new duo or group of the year, extending charting for those categories to open eligibility to more artists. The ACM board of directors also adopted criteria to require a minimum of three eligible submissions to award a category.

New Eligible Submission Minimum

A minimum of three eligible submissions are required to award the category.  In the instance there are not three eligible submissions within a category, a professional panel may vote to allow additional considerations to meet the required minimum.

Extended Charting for New Artist Categories

This applies tonew female artist, new male artist, new group/duo categories. Presented to an individual artist, group or duo who gains initial fame or significantly greater recognition during the promotion of a debut or sophomore album within the eligibility period.

The artist must have released a single that reached the top 50 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or the Mediabase Country charts. Any albums self-released through an independent label the artist owns and operates may not be counted as a debut or sophomore album, unless it produces a top 50 single reported by Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Mediabase Country charts.  The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership.

Any artist who served or is currently serving as a lead member of a duo or group is not eligible for individual category recognition. Additionally, any artist who has gained initial fame as a solo artist or as part of a duo or group in another genre is not eligible in these categories.

An artist may be a nominee two times in a three-year period. Once an artist releases the lead single from a third studio album, they will no longer be eligible in this category.  If an artist is a winner in the new female artist /new male artist/new duo or group (or any respective previously named) category their first year on a ballot, they will not be eligible in any new artist categories again.  Any artist who has previously won the award for entertainer, female artist, male artist, duo or group of the year (or any respective previously named category) is ineligible for a new artist nomination.

Submission Window

Submissions for the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards will open at 11 a.m. CT / 9 a.m. PT on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The Academy will accept entries through Friday, Jan. 26, 2024 at 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT. A full voting timeline is below.

The eligibility period for submissions for the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards is Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023.

Key Dates

Key dates for Academy professional members for the 2023 ACM Awards cycle are as follows:

Submissions Period Opens: Jan. 8, 2024

Submissions Period Closes: Jan. 26, 2024

First Round Voting, Main Awards: Feb. 26, 2024 – March 4, 2024

Second Round Voting, Main Awards: March 18, 2024 – March 25, 2024

Final Round Voting, Main Awards: April 15, 2024 – April 22, 2024

Key dates for Academy professional members for the 2023 ACM Radio Awards cycle are as follows:

Submissions Period Opens: Jan. 8, 2024

Submissions Period Closes: Jan. 26, 2024

First Round Voting, Radio Awards: Feb. 26, 2024 – March 11, 2024

Final Round Voting, Radio Awards: March 18, 2024 – Apr. 1, 2024

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