Justin Moore Wins ACM’s “New Artist” Despite Clear Ineligibility
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.
Justin Moore is the owner of two separate albums that sold more than 500,000 copies: 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.
In early February, the Academy of Country Music’s President Bob Romeo responded to the calls for a clarification on Justin Moore’s eligibility in a story published on MusicRow.com. Bob Romeo stated in part:
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.
In short, Bob Romeo & the ACM’s Board of Directors decided to call upon a provision in the rules that states that the rules “may be amended from time to time as the Board deems appropriate in the best interest of Country music.” However the rules were never amended in the case of Justin Moore, only broken. The ACM’s set the precedent of changing the rules before nominees were announced if they felt a potential nominee was being excluded by them in 2009, when the sales requirements for the Album of the Year award were reduced to 300,000 so Jamey Johnson’s critically-acclaimed That Lonesome Song could be included in the nominees. The ACM’s also delayed the announcement of the Album of the Year nominees that year while they finalized the rule change, making sure they did not violate their own rules by announcing the nominees too early.
Accusations of backroom deals, block voting, and vote swapping have swirled around the ACM Awards for years. But now that they have clearly violated one of their own stated rules and let an artist win an award he’s clearly ineligible for, the calls for more transparency and fairness at the Academy of Country Music could get much louder, especially from the fans of artists who lost out to an ineligible nominee.
April 6, 2014 @ 8:00 pm
Did I miss this somehow, I just watched blake and shakiras performance? oR IS MY STATION DELAYED
April 6, 2014 @ 8:35 pm
If you’re on the West Coast, you will be on tape delay. Sorry for any spoilers. They should REALLY do this LIVE on the West Coast, especially since it’s on a Sunday.
April 6, 2014 @ 8:39 pm
Ah, I’m in Arizona which for DST is west coast for timezones, and yeah they should, Why they don’t I don’t know.
April 6, 2014 @ 9:37 pm
I really really really want someone to write a parody song about Justin Moore’s obvious masculinity issues.
April 7, 2014 @ 10:07 am
Check this one out. Not specifically about JM, but fits his ego…
Search Bob Phelan or Egomaniac.
April 7, 2014 @ 6:55 pm
Well Trigger just made it perfectly clear it is nothing personal against JM. If he was to address his masculinity issues, then that would be personal, wouldn’t it?
April 7, 2014 @ 10:06 pm
Oh, you know Trigger thinks Moore is a clown. Anyone who respects country music and/or southern culture thinks Moore is a clown. However, can’t you read? I said I hope someone writes a song about Justin Moore’s obvious masculinity issues. I didn’t say I hope Trigger writes a rant about Justin Moore’s obvious masculinity issues.
On the other hand, Trigger should definitely write an article about Justin Moore’s masculinity issues 😀
April 6, 2014 @ 10:02 pm
This is really starting to become petty and starting to become a distraction from all of the good that came out of tonight’s show. I am trying to look at the big picture of the industry as a whole and after seeing you harping over and over and over again about Moore being ineligible, I keep coming back to one question, What long-term impact does Justin Freaking Moore winning an award that no one really cares about have on the country music industry as a whole? There are so many more important topics that you can focus on as part of your mission. Just don’t get what you are accomplishing.
April 6, 2014 @ 11:55 pm
I agree there’s a lot of good that came out of the show, and said so throughout the live blog I spent all night conducting. I don’t like covering these stories. I’d rather the ACM’s follow their own rules and this was a non issue, especially after seeing how much the award meant to Justin Moore. Despite whatever differences in opinion I may have with his music, he’s a dude that has undoubtedly worked very hard in his career and did deserve something.
However I’m not going to shy away from covering anything. This issue has been an ongoing thread, and this was me putting a period at the end of the sentence. I believe this is an extremely important issue of ethics that I have a journalistic obligation to raise, despite how unpopular it may be with some readers.
April 7, 2014 @ 5:07 am
It is a very big deal–because it prevents someone who is actually deserving of the award from winning it, and it openly invalidates the entire ACM awards process.
April 7, 2014 @ 7:45 am
I do agree with you that this is a story that is tiring. And I do not believe Trigger enjoys writing it. Calling out someone is never a pretty picture. It is not personal. Justin bust his ass and deserve recognition, true perhaps. Fact is, how many country artist here underground that has also bust their asses and also deserve recognition. These are artist that could use the kinda of exposure the ACM award might give them. They are also artist who falls within the ACM guidelines or what defines a New Artist. Trigger is the voice of these underground artist. Do you follow where I am going with this?
April 7, 2014 @ 7:01 pm
It has a HUGE snowball effect on the music industry!!!! As a National Talent Buyer, our venues depend on us to get them the best “deal” on artists. Justin Moore, or anyone, for that matter, who wins an award automatically makes their “value” go up and therefore their price goes up. Especially FAN VOTED awards. Justin Moore doesn’t sell that well as a headliner to begin with so now that he won, his price goes up and venues will now loose money on him. It is a GREAT disservice to the public to have to pass on the expense to them in the form of ticket prices. Why do you think it took over 6 years for him to be nominated?
April 7, 2014 @ 2:28 am
I am pretty sure he won the award for Best Fake Redneck Accent too!!!
April 7, 2014 @ 12:10 pm
Mike, his accent is real. He always comments about how country he talks. Don’t be a hater. What is wrong with you people? Let someone enjoy a win. It’s his first nomination and win, ever. Why come along and $h1t all over someone’s parade? Find something positive to do.
April 8, 2014 @ 12:39 pm
Ummm, actually, his accent is fake. Oh, and let him enjoy his win? You mean the win in a category that he was ineligible for by ACM guidelines?
Obviously, no has ever told you this…but you never…ever…go full retard!!!
Small Town USA for REAL
April 25, 2014 @ 7:59 pm
I have known him since he was literally born. His accent is NOT real, in school, he was a preppy, better than thou snob who wore his little polo shirts with the collar turned up. His own dad even said on a local tv show he was a cross of country and back street boys. he has always had everything handed to him in a silver platter, and I don’t guess that has changed. his little acceptance speech about a hillbilly from AR, really? and the little video afterwards of him dropping the f-bomb, true to form for him. he grew up nothing like the way he portrays. He was unworthy of that award or any
April 7, 2014 @ 6:04 am
So, Justin Moore wins the “new artist” award even though he was clearly ineligible. Also, he didn’t get any other nominations. Kacey Musgraves wins album of the year, is a co-writer of the song that is the single of the year, gets nominated for female vocalist of the year, and doesn’t make the final cut as a nominee for new artist. The mind boggles.
April 7, 2014 @ 6:29 am
I actually like a couple of Kip Moore’s songs before I saw him sing Beer Money last night. That ruined it for me right there.
April 7, 2014 @ 7:28 am
Aww this makes me sad…so I missed something in my reading, but why wasn’t Kacey Musgraves nominated? (and Im too lazy to go back and find out)
Will she get nominated next year?!?!
April 7, 2014 @ 9:34 am
She was in the beginning but she got beat out in a “fan vote” by the final three that included Justin Moore. If Moore is not nominated she would have been.
April 7, 2014 @ 11:34 am
Kacey Musgraves was nominated last year for New Artist and got beat out by Florida Georgia Line. Honestly, I personally don’t think Kacey Musgraves should be nominated or win for New Artist. Why? Because she’s above that now. She’s above a New Artist, just like Justin Moore is. She won for Album of the Year which is one of the night’s biggest awards, and she was also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. I would have loved to see Kacey Musgraves win another award, but I would have loved to see a truly “new” artist that is deserved of the recognition win it above everyone. Unfortunately, that person did not even get nominated.
April 7, 2014 @ 7:37 am
Talk about beating a dead horse. You may have wrote more articles on this then Eric church this month.
April 7, 2014 @ 12:15 pm
I am appreciative and humbled that so many people come to Saving Country Music on a daily or weekly basis to read all of my posts, but you have to understand that the majority of people, roughly 2/3’rds, that come to SCM on a given day have never been here before, or at least haven’t been here recently. There were more people that read this article on the Justin Moore issue than all the other articles I’ve written about it combined. Why? Because very few people were thinking about it before, and last night and this morning, it was top-of-mind because of the interest of a huge, televised awards show. The point was not to beat people over the head with the same info yet again, it was to get it out to a new batch of people, which it did. And now there’s even more country fans who understand this issue on a fundamental level, and will use that knowledge to judge the ACM’s accordingly.
Saving country music is a war that consists of battles. And when these battles come up, I’m going to fight them until their resolved. Win or lose. At the same time, I will always provide alternative content, and keep the focus on the music for people who don’t want to see it.
April 7, 2014 @ 10:05 am
Surprise! Bought and paid for from day one. They didn’t want to wait until his oversized fake cowboy hat swallows him up.
April 7, 2014 @ 10:27 am
Hopefully there will be some backlash and Trigger will write at least one more story about that.
I for one have been contacting local radio stations to complain, and providing the link to Trigger’s story. This kind of BS shouldn’t be happening, folks. Plain and simple.
April 7, 2014 @ 12:42 pm
Can this please be the last “Justin Moore is not a new artist” article? Please? I certainly agree that he should not have been eligible. A great illustration of the silly games these labels play. But the amount of “ink” spent on this topic – on this site – has gotten to be a little much. Thank you for bringing it up and clearly articulating the argument against his nomination. Now let’s move on…
April 7, 2014 @ 3:23 pm
April 8, 2014 @ 12:21 am
At the end of the day it’s a crap result in another pointless set of self congratulatory awards!
April 8, 2014 @ 12:41 pm
Kev. You have an excellent point. Obviously we all agree that Justin Moore should not have been eligible for the award. You know it, I know it, Trigger knows it. But harping on it over and over again is kind of a self defeating thing.
April 13, 2014 @ 11:42 am
Ok, so I just saw that he won this on CMT today. I am a little behind. I try not to watch much on TV due to all the CRAPPERS (country rappers) nowadays. But didn’t Justin Moore win Billboards New Country Artist award about 5 years ago? Typical though. Blake won Entertainer of the Year in a year he didn’t do anything but a mediocre Tv show.