What are the BMAs?

The Blues Music Awards brings together Blues performers, industry representatives, and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year.

The BMAs are generally recognized as the highest honor given to blues musicians and are awarded by vote of Blues Foundation members.

To become a Blues Foundation voting member, join here.

The 45th Blues Music Awards will be held at the Renasant Convention Center in Downtown Memphis on Thursday, May 9, 2024. Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

*voting open to Blues Foundation member only*

What are the BMAs?

The Blues Music Awards brings together Blues performers, industry representatives, and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year.

The BMAs are generally recognized as the highest honor given to blues musicians and are awarded by vote of Blues Foundation members.

To become a Blues Foundation voting member, join here.

Teeny Tucker performs during the 45th Annual Blues Music Awards at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis on May 9, 2024.

The Renasant Convention Center was packed with blues musicians, fans, and music-world luminaries on May 9th, anxious to see who would be the winners at the 45th Annual Blues Music Awards. Besides awarding honors in 25 categories, the BMAs, as is its tradition, featured performances from many nominees, with the gala ending in a jubilant all-star jam.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram performs during the 45th Annual Blues Music Awards at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis on May 9, 2024.

Photos ©Kendrick Hunt

2024 Blues Music Awards Nominees:

Beth Hart

Bobby Rush

Lil’ Ed Williams

Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Vanessa Collier

TEARDROPS FROM MAGIC SLIM, John Primer

Live In London, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

SoulFunkn’BLUES, Blackburn Brothers

Soul Side of Sipp, Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Get Your Back Into It!, Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

Larkin Poe

Nick Moss Band

Selwyn Birchwood Band

Southern Avenue

Tedeschi Trucks Band

“Bobby’s Blues” written by Brooke Blackburn

“Horns Below Her Halo” written by Selwyn Birchwood

“Midnight Heat” written by Tom Hambridge & Richard Fleming

“The Bait In the Snare” written by Nick Moss

“What Kind Of Fool” written by Ruthie Foster, Hadden Sayers & Scottie Miller

When the Levee Breaks: The Music of Memphis Minnie, Candice Ivory

The Right Man, D.K. Harrell

Up Next, Mathias Lattin

Everybody’s Buddy, Nic Clark

Motel Mississippi, Tony Holiday

Wild Ox Moan, Catfish Keith

Raw Blues 1, Doug MacLeod

Sticks & Strings, EG Kight

Ridin’ the Blinds, Hudspeth & Taylor

Ghost Hymns, William Lee Ellis

POWER, Ana Popović

Writing On The Wall, Coco Montoya

Blues Deluxe Vol. 2, Joe Bonamassa

Blood Brothers, Mike Zito/ Albert Castiglia

What Key Is Trouble In?, Nick Schnebelen

Live In London, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Ridin’, Eric Bibb

Behind The Veil, Jason Ricci and the Bad Kind

Healing Time, Ruthie Foster

Exorcist, Selwyn Birchwood

Stuff I’ve Been Through, Alabama Mike

SoulFunkin’ BLUES, Blackburn Brothers

All My Love For You, Bobby Rush

Walking Heart Attack, Johnny Rawls

Soul Side of Sipp, Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

TEARDROPS FOR MAGIC SLIM: John Primer

Nothing But Time, Monster Mike Welch

Get Your Back Into It!, Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

Savoy, Taj Mahal

Oscar’s Motel, The Cash Box Kings

Catfish Keith

Doug MacLeod

Eric Bibb

Keb’ Mo’

Kevin Burt

Ana Popović

Joe Bonamassa

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Mike Zito

Warren Haynes

Carolyn Wonderland

Danielle Nicole

Janiva Magness

Teresa James

Vanessa Collier

Chris Cain

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Marquise Knox

Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Selwyn Birchwood

Annika Chambers

Kat Riggins

Terrie Odabi

Thornetta Davis

Trudy Lynn

Alabama Mike

Billy Price

John Nemeth

Johnny Rawls

William Bell

Diunna Greenleaf

Rhiannon Giddens

Shaun Murphy

Sue Foley

Teeny Tucker

Billy Branch

Cedric Burnside

John Primer

Jontavious Willis

Nick Moss

Bob Stroger

Larry Fulcher

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Rodrigo Mantovani

Willie Weeks

Derrick D’Mar Martin

June Core

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Tom Hambridge

Tony Braunagel

Christoffer “Kid” Andersen

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Derek Trucks

Laura Chavez

Sue Foley

Billy Branch

Bob Corritore

Dennis Gruenling

Jason Ricci

Kim Wilson

Deanna Bogart

Jimmy Carpenter

Mark Kaz Kazanoff

Trombone Shorty

Vanessa Collier

Ben Levin

Dave Keyes

Jim Pugh

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Mitch Woods

Billy Price

Diunna Greenleaf

John Nemeth

Ruthie Foster

Shemekia Copeland

THANK YOU to our 2024 BMA Sponsors and Partners

Blues Music Awards Categories and Definitions:

That performer who has best represented and promoted the blues through recordings and performances during the eligibility period.

The best blues album in any style released to the public during the eligibility period.
(May be an album nominated in another category)

That group, recording and/or performing as a unit, which best exemplifies blues ensemble playing during the eligibility period.

This award is presented to the songwriter for a first-ever recording of a song initially released to the public during the eligibility period which best portrays the blues by means of theme, structure, and overall feeling.

That blues recording that was released during the eligibility period for an act that has not received a prior Blues Music Award or GRAMMY® award nomination. The age of the artist is not of significance, but this award is intended for an artist who is up and coming within the blues/music scene and is at the “jumping off” point of his or her career. An artist’s album may not be considered in this category if that artist has already had a professional release of more than three prior albums or EPs. (Albums submitted for this category may also be submitted in other appropriate categories.)

That album released during the eligibility period that best represents acoustic blues, in which non-electric/amplified instruments are prominently featured on at least 75% of the tracks.

That album released to the public during the eligibility period with a majority of songs that best portrays the Blues Rock genre, that hybrid that combines elements of blues with elements of rock, generally employing heavy amplification and driving rhythms, and which may employ non-traditional blues song structures.

That album released to the public during the eligibility period that best portrays blues in which elements other than those traditionally found in blues are part of the mix, e.g., different rhythms, different harmonies, more elaborate production values, etc., and which may offer a different approach to sounds, lyrics, instrumentation, arrangements, etc.

That album released to the public during the eligibility period that best portrays Southern Soul Blues, a type of soul music that emerged from the Southern United States. The music originates from a combination of styles, including blues (both 12 bar and jump) with a strong gospel influence.

That album released to the public during the eligibility period with a majority of songs that best portrays Traditional Electric Blues employing traditional blues song structures, harmonic structures and rhythms, and which may also employ instruments such as electric guitar, piano, organ, amplified harmonica, electric bass and drums. This category includes subgenres such as jump/swing blues and Chicago blues.

That performer, whether male or female, whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best represent Acoustic Blues.

That performer, whether male or female, whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best portray Blues Rock.

That female performer whose recordings and/or performances during the eligibility period best portray Contemporary Blues.

That male performer whose recordings and/or performances during the eligibility period best portray Contemporary Blues.

That female performer whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best portray Southern Soul Blues.

That male performer whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best portray Southern Soul Blues.

That female performer whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best portray Traditional Electric Blues.

That male performer whose recordings and/or performance during the eligibility period best portray Traditional Electric Blues.

That musician whose skills on the bass in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues.

That musician whose skills on the drums in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues.

That musician whose skills on the guitar in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues.

That musician whose skills on the harmonica in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues.

That individual whose skills on any horn (including brass and woodwind instruments) in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues.

That musician whose skills on the keyboards in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues.

That musician whose vocal skills in performance and/or on recordings during the eligibility period best portray the blues. This category is open to all vocalists on recordings and stage as well as to vocalists who also play an instrument.

That blues album or collection released during the eligibility period, with all recordings at least five years or older, which serves to preserve historical blues recording and/or performance. In addition to recording and performance content, liner notes and general packaging of the content will be taken into consideration. Submissions for this category are reviewed by a special committee of blues historians, journalists, and ethnomusicologists. This category is not included as part of the nominations announcement or the BMA ballot.

Blues Music Awards Process

The 45th Blues Music Awards submission process will open on July 10, 2023 at https://blues.awardsplatform.com/.

The submission process is open. Deadline for submitting recording is October 20th, 2023.

 

Any blues recording released between November 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023 is eligible for 2024 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 after July 4th 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.

Artists may submit a single for Song of the Year consideration that has been professionally released to the public between November 1, 2022 – October 31, 2023, and is not part of a larger EP or full album release.

Submission fees and deadlines (based on dates):

  • August 1 ,2023 – August 31, 2023

$155 per album or EP submission / $55 per song submission

  • September 1, 2023 – September 30, 2023

$180 per album or EP submission / $80 per song submission

  • October 1, 2023 – October 18, 2023

$225 per album or EP submission / $125 per song submission

The submission process will close on October 20, 2023.

You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 20TH 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 joe@blues.org will be available to help you and walk you through the process. The submission process officially closes on October 20, 2023 at 8:00am CST. You must upload your music and artwork and complete payment for your submission transaction no later than OCTOBER 20 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 2024.

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.
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 45th Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN

Nominees and winners of the Blues Music Awards must be in keeping with The Blues Foundation’s values as a welcoming and inclusive organization,
as reflected in our Statement Against Racism.