Any blues recording released between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020 is eligible for 2021 Blues Music Award consideration.
The submission process for Blues Music Award consideration begins with artists and record companies submitting entries in the following ways:
- The Blues Foundation accepts CDs through the year and logs them based on their release dates. All recordings sent directly to The Blues Foundation will be put on a master list for future communications regarding our submission process.
- The Blues Foundation opens the formal submission process on or about July 1st of each year. The Blues Foundation has moved to a digital platform for recording submissions. Your complete album or minimum 6-song EP music must be uploaded as a WAV file with album artwork uploaded as either JPEG or PDF files. We will no longer accept hard copy CDs for the purposes of BMA submission review.
This year, we have added the ability to submit a single for Song of the Year consideration that has been professionally released to the public between November 1, 2019 – October 31, 2020, and is not part of a larger EP or full album release. To submit a single for Song of the Year, you must contact Joe Whitmer at [email protected] directly. Singles may not be directly uploaded to the online submission platform without a special code.
Submission fees and deadlines:
- Until September 30, 2020 – $180 per album or EP submission / $80 per song submission
- October 1- October 15, 2020 – $225 per album or EP submission submission / $125 per song submission
The submission process officially closes on October 15, 2020.
You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 15TH to be considered for a Blues Music Award nomination. All music must be uploaded as a WAV file with album artwork uploaded as a JPEG or PDF file. If you need assistance with uploading your music, contact Joe Whitmer at [email protected] will be available to help you and walk you through the process. The submission process officially closes on October 15, 2020 at 8:00am CST. You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 15 to be considered for a Blues Music Award.
The Blues Foundation enlists a group of approximately 100 blues nominators who work extensively in all areas of the blues industry. This includes individuals with blues expertise as producers, engineers, radio DJs, journalists, academics, club owners, promoters and others with a deep knowledge of blues music. The identity of the nominators is not made public in order to protect them from outside influences. Nominators must recuse themselves from any categories in which they have a conflict of interest.
The nominators work through two rounds in order to come up with between four and six final nominees in each category. During the first round, each nominator distributes 6 total points to their top choices within each category, with no more than 2 total points given to any single entry. The top entries in each category move into Round 2. The Blues Foundation does not publicize which recordings and/or artists move to Round 2. The nominators then repeat the point distribution for each category in a second round ballot and those artists and recordings receiving the most total points in each category become the final Nominees for Blues Music Awards.
Final nominees will be announced in early January 2021.
All Blues Foundation members in good standing, whose dues are current, may access one online ballot via the Membership portal at blues.org. Membership Login credentials and password required to gain access to the ballot. Any member who renews his or her membership or joins as a new member during the voting period will also receive a ballot. Voting will open in late January and will officially close at NOON CST on February 26, 2021 at which point no additional ballots will be accepted.
Results of members’ voting are not known until the Blues Music Awards presentation ceremony when names of the winners are revealed to the public.
Winners will be announced during the 42nd Blues Music Awards on May 6, 2021.