Justin Moore Responds to ACM Eligibility Controversy
“It’s really exciting for us to finally get this monkey off our back,” he told Connecticut radio station 92.5. “I feel like forever I was the coach who could win games, but not the big one. Somebody asked me the other day what I felt about being up for ‘New Artist’ and my response was “I would take ‘Female Vocalist’ if they’d give it to me.’ It sounds kind of funny, but I’m kind of a country music history buff. Throughout the history of this award, people have won it well into their careers. [Kenny] Chesney won it five, six, seven years after his first album ”¦ so it sounds a little funnier than what it historically has, who’s won it over the years, so hopefully we’re the next one in line. We’ll see.”
Read: Open Letter to ACM’s Bob Romeo On Justin Moore Eligibility
On the surface, Justin Moore is right. Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, and others have won the ACM’s New Artist of the Year award many years after the initial start of their career. But that is not what is at issue. Despite their prior years of service, Kenny Chesney and Eric Church were both still eligible by the stated rules laid out by the ACM’s voter guidelines when they were nominated and won the award. Justin Moore is not.
Justin Moore, similar to the ACM President in his response on the issue, is trying to deflect from the core of the problem. It’s not only that Justin Moore doesn’t pass the eyeball test as a “New Artist” with his first hit single “Back That Thing Up” being almost six years old, it’s that there are specific rules governing which artists are eligible for the awards so that the integrity of the awards can remain in tact and impropriety cannot creep into the system. The ACM’s rules specifically state:
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.
Unfortunately for Justin, his name is on two separate albums that can’t jump this hurdle: His self-titled Justin Moore album released on August 11th, 2009 that has been certified gold with 550,000 copies sold, and Outlaws Like Me released on June 21st, 2011 that has been certified gold with 577,000 copies sold. Any talk of where Kenny Chesney was in his career when he won the award, or how much Justin Moore might deserve it, are irrelevant. Furthermore, the stipulations of the ACM’s rules give the ACM President and Board of Directors the ability to change the rules if they wish, but they don’t give anyone the unilateral ability to break them. The New Artist rules have yet to be amended to reflect the realities of Justin Moore’s nomination, and even more inconvenient for the ACM is the fact that they set the precedent in 2009 when they changed the rules to make Jamey Johnson eligible for Album of the Year before the nominations were announced.
Read: Why The Best Fan Vote for the ACM’s Is No Vote At All
History buff or not, Justin Moore is still ineligible, and the Academy of Country Music still refuses to do anything about it. The sad part for Justin is, none of this is Justin Moore’s fault, though he may ultimately get stuck with the blame from some fans. Justin Moore, with two gold albums under his belt, probably does deserve some recognition from these top level awards that have ignored him for years. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of the rules that are set up to make sure the ACM process is one that is governed by clear statutes, one that resides above corruption, and one that is handled with transparency.
April 2, 2014 @ 9:32 am
If Justin MUST be nominated for something, they could just create a new category: “CHEESIEST FAKE ACCENT BY A MALE COUNTRY PERFORMER”. He’d win it hands down and then he wouldn’t have to be sad about getting snubbed.
April 2, 2014 @ 9:33 am
I voted for Brett Eldredge, because he DESERVES it.
April 2, 2014 @ 9:34 am
Who gives a shit the acm and cma are joke anyway
April 2, 2014 @ 10:12 am
Of course they’re a joke, and you and me may know this as truth, but it is topics like this that will drive that truth home to the masses and hopefully erode some of the stranglehold the ACM has on the mass consciousness. This was brought up on the home page of Fox News, on a major mainstream country music sites, and the President of the ACM was forced to respond. We’re making inroads, and this is the type of topic that can enlighten people that they’re being misled and they have options and there’s a whole other world of independent music and artists for them to discover.
April 2, 2014 @ 9:39 am
Nothing but a marketing ploy”¦and an obvious one at that
http://www.reverbnation.com/jebbarry “Hard Dirt Americana”
April 2, 2014 @ 10:05 am
Why does he have a hard on to win a music award? It proves nothing. Winning an ACM award goesn’t give your legacy any more solid footing. Regardless of what you think of Justin, it just seems silly to make those comments. He will sell more records because of it, I get that, but as your integrity as an artist who cares? Bragging rights and perhaps opening more doors to other lame ass award shows I guess…..
April 2, 2014 @ 10:16 am
He did make me laugh with his “female vocalist” comment. That won me over just a bit. Because like you mentioned, none of this is HIS fault. He’s just the pawn in their game.
On a brighter note, the Lone Star Music Awards are also coming up.
April 2, 2014 @ 6:05 pm
Yeah, I kinda feel bad for him. It started with that whole “I’d want it to be yours” song getting put on his album against his wishes and now this thing. I don’t like him, but I just feel bad for him. He’s like a puppy, I guess, getting picked on, so I feel sorry for him. He just needs to stop piddling on the furniture with his music though.
April 2, 2014 @ 11:26 am
I’ve never seen a better “punch me” head shot.
April 2, 2014 @ 11:30 am
If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be on this site in the first place.
April 2, 2014 @ 11:56 am
“I would take ”˜Female Vocalist”™ if they”™d give it to me…” He’d never get it, because there’s no way he’d ever beat out Luke Bryan for that particular award.
April 2, 2014 @ 12:14 pm
Yes, Trigger, I think it is good that you acknowledge that this is not Justin Moore’s fault.
April 2, 2014 @ 1:13 pm
I think the late, great Dave Brockie from GWAR should be nominated posthumously and subsequently win the Best New Artist award.
RIP Oderus Urungus.
April 2, 2014 @ 6:43 pm
if he was a country music history buff he woulda hung himself already
April 3, 2014 @ 4:09 am
I never understood music awards to begin with. When did art become competition? Seems to me if you make good music people will pay to buy your records and see you perform. That’s your award. Otherwise it is just a steaming pile of crap as awards have always been.
April 14, 2014 @ 7:24 pm
The sad thing is, whether he did or did not meet the criteria means nothing. What irritates me the most is, look at all the other garbage out there, that bullshit song Blake did with Shikaka…. what the hell was that? Country is just about pure garbage anymore… Justin keeps it real and close to what it always was…. kudos to him