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ACMs change awards

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 – The Academy of Country Music announced today category changes to the Musician-Bandleaders-Instrumentalists awards and Casino of the Year and Venue of the Year categories, starting with the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in 2014.

The Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist (MBI) Awards will be renamed the Studio Recording Awards.

"With the constant evolution in the process of making music, the Academy wanted to reflect the industry's modernization of the roles and effectively spotlight individuals that are in the studio on a daily basis, contributing to the creative process of songs and albums," said Chris Farren, ACM Board Member and Chairman of the ACM Studio Recording Awards Professional Panel.

The Studio Recording Awards include the following, presented annually at ACM Honors in Nashville: Bass Player of the Year, Drummer of the Year, Guitar Player of the Year, Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year, Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year, Steel Guitar Player of the Year, Audio Engineer of the Year and Producer of the Year. Eligible nominees will be selected by a professional panel of judges and placed on the ballot for designated Professional Member categories to vote on.

Three new categories will be added to the Casino of the Year and Venue of the Year categories, based on capacity. Casino of the Year will now include two awards: Casino of the Year - Small Capacity for casinos with a maximum capacity of 4,000 seats, and Casino of the Year Medium - Capacity for casinos with a capacity of 4,001 seats to 11,000 seats.

Venue of the Year will now include three separate awards based on venue capacity: Venue of the Year - Small Capacity will recognize venues with a maximum capacity of 4,000 seats, Venue of the Year - Medium Capacity will recognize venues with a capacity of 4,001 seats to 11,000 seats, and Venue of the - Year Large Capacity will recognize venues of any type (including casinos) with a minimum of 11,001 seats. Eligible nominees will be selected by a Professional Panel of judges and placed on the ballot for all ACM professional members to vote.

"The Board felt that these changes more accurately reflect the nature of touring and wanted to make a change to be more inclusive than ever," said ACM Board President, Darin Murphy. "These changes will make it possible for the Academy to honor venues of all types and sizes that do great work supporting the country music genre year-round."

No date was set for the 2014 awards.

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