ACM CEO admits to breaking the rules for Justin Moore

Justin Moore

Justin Moore has made it to the final round of ACM New Artist of the Year voting along with Kip Moore and Brett Eldredge. So what about all the hullabaloo regarding the fact that Justin's not technically eligible for the New Artist of the Year Award by the Academy's own rules? 

Yeah, about that. Turns out the ACM powers that be realized that Justin was ineligible but nominated him anyway. 

Why? Because they felt like it and it's within the "Board’s right to be flexible."

I guess rules really ARE meant to be broken. 

The Academy of Country Music CEO, Bob Romeo, spoke with MusicRow and explained why Justin was still nominated despite having long ago having surpassed the 500,000 albums sold rule that the ACM has in place for the new artist category. You know, the one that specifically says: Any solo artist that has sold 500,000 copies of a previously released album (with general exclusions of specialty albums, such as seasonal or live recordings) according to Nielsen SoundScan, are not eligible for this category. 

Romeo says that despite Justin having sold more than 500,000 albums twice, the nomination was made anyway because the Academy really, really wants to support new country acts.  

“The Academy of Country Music Board of Directors – which I have been a part of for 25+ years – has a long history of supporting new country music acts,”Bob Romeo says. “The Board finds that being in step with trends and acknowledging the country music landscape has improved our process and guaranteed the best candidates over the years. This decision is in line with our criteria, and the Board’s right to be flexible in our efforts to be inclusive vs. exclusive of a young artist who has had budding success. We have to remember that Justin is a new face to mainstream music fans, media, and the like. He has earned this nomination and we congratulate him and all ACM Award nominees, and look forward to celebrating their work at the Awards in April.”

So they broke their own rules just so they could nominate Justin, an artist who is by no stretch of the imagination new. And no, he's really NOT new to the mainstream bunch like Bob says. Just because he's not on television much, that's a reason to nominate the guy?

Don't get me wrong, Justin seems like a great guy and maybe he's just happy to be nominated, but still, why break the rules for him? Why not just nominate him for some of the other categories that are better suited to a guy who has released multiple popular albums and has been on the scene for years already? Is the spirit of the competition really worth breaking your own rules? Are there really no other new artists they could have nominated instead?

Does Big Machine Records really have that much pull? 

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I don't know about you, but the Academy breaking its own rules just for the fun of it makes the competition (and the fact that the same artists win every year) look like a joke to me.  

I guess that means the only way fans are going to be able to break Justin out of this rut of being thought of by the music awards shows as a new artist is to vote for him and let him win the damn new artist award so he can finally move on to bigger and better things. 

The ACM maybe-they-won-honestly-or-maybe-we-just-felt-like-giving-them-another-award show will air April 6 on CBS and will be co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.

Voting for the New Artist of the Year Award begins March 24th


This Post Has 3 Comments


    This is BS! There is no way he is a “new artist”. He should be removed from the list and be replaced by someone who falls within the rules. It makes a mockery of the ACM Awards, not that they had any bit of credibility to begin with. The same artists are nominated and win every single year. What a joke.


    Well, they way to get around this unfairness people is to just not vote for him. How insulting for the others nominated that were not part of the final 3.


    It has always been a joke. Luke Bryan (who is my favorite artist) won it in 2009 when he already had 2 CD’s. And Eric Church (who I also like) was nominated in 2010 despite selling over 500k copies of Sinners Like Me 4 YEARS PRIOR!
    Give legit new artists a shot. I like Justin, but he has been out for almost 5 years now.

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