MusicRow, Nashville’s leading music industry publication, virtually presented its 33rd annual MusicRow Awards on Thursday, Aug. 19 via a series of videos on all online MusicRow platforms.
MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson and respected television host, entertainment journalist, writer and producer, Alecia Davis, served once again as "hosts" on each winner's video.
“Our enthusiasm and commitment to highlighting the artists, songwriters, producers, musicians and industry team members has never been higher,” says Robertson. “It’s our privilege to honor these deserving talents with these accolades. Congratulations to all of the 2021 MusicRow Awards nominees and winners!"
Country hitmaker Luke Combs is the reigning MusicRow Award Artist of the Year, after winning the category every year since its inception in 2019.
Ashley McBryde received the award for Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year, which honors a Nashville songwriter and recording artist who for the first time wrote or co-wrote a Top 10 song during the eligibility period. McBryde co-wrote her hit “One Night Standards” with Shane McAnally and Nicolette Hayford. The tune was also Hayford's first Top 10 song, which earned her the MusicRow Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award.
Tenille Arts, whose single “Somebody Like That” became the first No. 1 song in country music written, performed and produced by all females, took home the honor of MusicRow’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
The Discovery Artist of the Year Award honors a Nashville developing artist who demonstrates significant talent and potential to rise. Nominated this year were Priscilla Block, Tyler Braden, Lainey Wilson, Ian Munsick, Lily Rose, and Drew Parker. Spitfire singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson took home the 2021 honor.
The Song of the Year category is awarded to honor Nashville writers and publishers on the craft of songwriting, not necessarily sales or chart performance. This year’s winner was Eric Church’s “Hell Of A View,” which was penned by Church, Casey Beathard, and Monty Criswell.
For the second consecutive year, Ashley Gorley was awarded the Male Songwriter of the Year honor, which recognizes a Nashville songwriter based on data from MusicRow’s Top Songwriter Chart. Meanwhile, Natalie Hemby notched her first Female Songwriter of the Year award.
The virtual celebration also included a presentation of the Top 10 Album All-Star Awards, recognizing session musicians achieving the most marks on albums that charted in the top 10 of Billboard’s albums sales chart during the eligibility period. Steel player Paul Franklin continues his reign as the highest-earning Top 10 Album All-Star Musician this year, earning his 25th MusicRow Award. See full winner list below.
Presenting Sponsor for the 33rd Annual MusicRow Awards is City National Bank.
All the 2021 nominees are featured in the MusicRow Awards print magazine, which released ahead of the awards and includes exclusive editorial. The annual issue highlights acclaimed photographer John Shearer, celebrates 20 years of Nashville’s indie label Dualtone Records, and catches up with John Zarling and Jackie Campbell on their newest marketing and brand partnership company 615 Leverage + Strategy. This year’s issue also reassesses the state of independent venues and the touring industry as a whole as it begins to reopen amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and contains an informative roundup of music industry awards
Gracing the cover of MusicRow’s August/September print magazine is Warner Music Nashville recording artist Gabby Barrett. The American Idol alum has had a groundbreaking year, being named the ACM New Female Artist of the Year & achieving 5x Platinum success with her single "I Hope."Single copies of MusicRow’s 2021 MusicRow Awards print issue are available for purchase at musicrow.com for $20, and are included with yearly MusicRow memberships. Please note that issues of MusicRow Magazine’s MusicRow Awards issue can only be purchased online as the MusicRow building is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.
COMPLETE LIST OF ALL WINNERS
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
LABEL GROUP OF THE YEAR
TALENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR
BREAKTHROUGH SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST-WRITER OF THE YEAR
MALE SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
FEMALE SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
SONG OF THE YEAR
"Hell Of A View"
Songwriters: Eric Church, Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell
DISCOVERY ARTIST OF THE YEAR
BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
LIST OF MUSIC ROW'S 2021 TOP 10 ALBUM ALL-STAR MUSICIANS
Bass - Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums - Jerry Roe
Engineer - Justin Niebank
Fiddle - Stuart Duncan
Guitar - Ilya Toshinskiy
Keyboards - Dave Cohen
Steel - Paul Franklin
Vocals - Russell Terrell