Independent Music Awards (IMAs)

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Independent Music Awards
Presented byMusic Resource Group
First awarded2001
Last awarded2020

The Independent Music Awards (IMAs) is an international awards program created by Music Resource Group (MRG) in 2000[1] to recognize self-distributed recordings and releases from independent record labels.[2] The IMAs honor works in over 100 categories[3] that are evaluated by judges who are genre experts.[2]The judges are celebrity musicians and artists.[4]


The Independent Music Awards (IMAs) was launched in 2000 by Music Resource Group, publisher of music industry contact database The Musician’s Atlas/AtlasOnline. [5]

Notable winners and nominees have included Valerie June, Killer Mike, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Flying Lotus, Macy Gray, Five Finger Death Punch, Esprit D'Air,[6] Reeve Carney, Roman Miroshnichenko, Simon Phillips, Foreigner, George Benson, Jeff Healey, Paul Wertico, Frank Colon, Marco Benevento, Roberto Tola, Paquito D’Rivera,[7] Jake La Botz, and Pokey LaFarge.[8][9]

Judging process[edit]

A preliminary judging panel chooses up to five nominees in each category. Nominees are chosen on artistry and authenticity alone, not streams, likes, or marketing success. A panel of judges from across the world selects winners based on artistic merit. There are usually several celebrity judges.[1][10][4]

In addition to the awards selected by judges, the IMAs also gives out Vox Pop awards determined by fan voting.[1][11][12]

Judges have included Robert Smith of The Cure, Tom Waits, Gloria Gaynor,[3] Keith Richards,[13] Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Judy Collins,[14] Peter Gabriel, Roger Daltrey, Keith Urban, Snoop Dogg, Ozzy Osbourne, Tori Amos and Suzanne Vega.[2][4]

Winners are announced at the annual award ceremony in New York City.[15]

Best Album winners[edit]


Album Category Artist/Group Album Title
Adult Contemporary Camila Meza Traces
Alt. Country Cashavelly Morrison The Kingdom Belongs to a Child
Americana Anna & Elizabeth Anna & Elizabeth
Bluegrass Rebecca Patek Come up and Meet Me
Blues Little Freddie King Messin' Around Tha Living Room
Children's Music Kattam et ses Tam-Tams De Tombouctou à Bombay
Compilation Various Artists For the Record
Concept Masta Ace The Falling Season
Contemporary Christian/Gospel Maranda Deep Within
Contemporary Classical International Contemporary Ensemble On the Nature of Thingness
Country Jack Grelle Steering Me Away
Dance/Electronica Serge Bulat Queuelbum
Eclectic Superhand American Teeth
Folk/Singer-Songwriter Brooke Annibale The Simple Fear
Funk/Fusion/Jam Write Minded Eye Above
Indie/Alt. Rock Air Traffic Controller Black Box
Instrumental (mainly) Roman Miroshnichenko, José Antonio Rodríguez & Henrik Andersen World of Guitar Trio: Perfect Strangers
Jazz Instrumental (mainly) Kay-Ta Arrival
Jazz With Vocals Macy Gray Stripped
Latin Xcelencia Enigma
Live Performance RUNA LIVE
Metal/Hardcore All Hail the Yeti Screams from a Black Wilderness
New Age Fiona Joy Signature Synchronicity
Pop Hive Riot Hive Riot
R&B/Soul Pierre and The Cosmic Mermaids Pierre and The Cosmic Mermaids
Rap/Hip-Hop Ty Bru & Tenacious The Dopest MC's
Rock/Hard Rock The Mud Howlers Timeliness
Spoken Word (with music accompaniment) Divinity Roxx ImPossible
Tribute Album Various Artists On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music
World Beat Yemi Alade Mama Africa
World Traditional Newpoli Nun Te Vutà


Album Category Artist/Group Album Title
Adult Contemporary Reeve Carney Youth Is Wasted
Alt. Country Jake La Botz Sunnyside
Americana John McEuen Made in Brooklyn
Bluegrass The Bankesters Nightbird
Blues Cary Morin Cradle to the Grave
Children's Music Dan Zanes and Friends Lead Belly, Baby!
Compilation Various Artists Classic English and Scottish Ballads from Smithsonian Folkways
Concept Sofía Rei El Gavilán
Contemporary Christian/Gospel TrueNorth Worship TrueNorth Worship (Live)
Contemporary Classical Douglas Knehans Unfinished Earth
Country Dani Strong Time to Breathe
Dance/Electronica Dark Model Saga
Debut Sai da Frente Sai da Frente
Eclectic Goat's Notes Cosmic Circus
Folk/Singer-Songwriter Seth Glier Birds
Funk/Fusion/Jam Sr. Langosta El Experimento Caribeño
Indie/Alt. Rock Soup Remedies
Instrumental Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge Mount Royal
Jazz Instrumental David Whitman Oh, Clara!
Jazz With Vocals Rozina Pátkai Paraíso na Terra
Latin Luz Pinos Mariposa Azul
Live Performance Petros Klampanis CHROMA
Metal/Hardcore Esprit D'Air Constellations
New Age FLOW (feat. Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt & Jeff Oster) FLOW
Pop Taylor Grey Space Case
R&B/Soul Katrina Marie When There Is No Color
Rap/Hip-Hop Wordsmith Perspective Jukebox
Re-Issue Various Artists Indus Raag: Music Beyond Borders (Gold Edition)
Rock / Hard Rock Sleep Machine Sleep Machine
Spoken Word Jenni Asher Freedom
Tribute Carlos Cano & Hernán Milla Por la Rivera de Paquito
World Beat Karim Baggili Apollo You Sixteen
World Traditional Sangpuy Yaangad


Album Category Artist/Group Album Title
Adult Contemporary Jean Rohe Sisterly
Alt. Country Rich Webb Le Rayon Vert
Americana Pharis and Jason Romero Sweet Old Religion
Bluegrass Various Artists The Crooked Road's Mountains of Music Homecoming: 2017 Live Concert Recordings
Blues Tom Hambridge The NOLA Sessions
Children's Music Sara Lovell Wild Is Everywhere
Compilation Various Artists Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition
Concept Elizabeth Joan Kelly Music for the DMV
Contemporary Christian / Gospel TrueNorth Worship TrueNorth Worship (Live)
Contemporary Classical Eric Klein The Myth of Tomorrow
Country JP Harris Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing
Dance/Electronica Miss Tara LOVE
Debut Birdland Avenue Come Around
Eclectic Bombay Rickey Electric Bhairavi
Film / TV / Game Score Kristoffer Lo Trondheimsreisen
Folk/Singer-Songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche Little Beast
Funk/Fusion/Jam Karmic Juggernaut The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of
Indie / Alt. Rock Árstíðir Nivalis
Instrumental Gypsy Jazz Club Menestrel
Jazz Instrumental Kobi Arad Segments
Jazz with Vocals Camille Thurman Waiting for the Sunrise
Latin Pedro Luís e a Parede Vale Quanto Pesa – Pérolas de Luiz Melodia
Live Performance Rogério Caetano convida ao vivo no Rio
Metal/Hardcore Beyond Creation Algorythm
New Age Jeff Oster REACH
Pop Between Giants Jupiter
R&B/Soul Nina Attal JUMP
Rap/Hip-Hop Masta Ace & Marco Polo A Breukelen Story
Reggae/Ska/Dancehall Mamita Peyote Runfla Calavera
Rock / Hard Rock BrokenRail Til Death Do Us Part: The California Vault
Spoken Word Jeremy McEwen Barnyard Dream Poems
Tribute Juliana Hatfield Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John
World Beat Ron Korb World Café
World Traditional Sara Ajnnak Gulldalit: Can You Hear Me

Best Song winners[edit]


Song Category Artist/Group Song Title
A Cappella Deejay Young "Bøx (feat. Antonio Fernandez)”
Acoustic Birds of Bellwoods "Grey Ghosts”
Adult Contemporary Caroline Savoie "Little House”
Alt. Country Don DiLego "Drive Like Pirates”
Americana Emily Roig "Skin”
Bluegrass The Danberrys "Long Song”
Blues Benny Turner "I Can't Leave”
Children's Music Lucy Kalantari "Fantastic”
Contemporary Christian/Gospel JoJo Worthington "The Pool of Bethesda”
Country Dori Freeman "Go on Lovin'”
Cover Song A Fragile Tomorrow "One Way Ticket (feat. Joan Baez) – (orig. by Mimi & Richard Fariña)”
Dance/Electronica Mechanik Project "Coming Home (feat. Brooke Mitchell)”
Eclectic Le Boeuf Brothers + Jack Quartet "Alkaline”
Folk/Singer-Songwriter The Krickets "Cool Cool Water”
Funk/Fusion/Jam The High Head Hunters "Broken Down House”
Holiday Olivia Penalva "Christmas for Two”
Indie/Alt. Rock Air Traffic Controller "The House”
Instrumental Roman Smirnov "Reflection 1 (feat. Alexis Baro, Jeremy Ledbetter & Luis Orbegoso)”
Jazz Instrumental Brian Eisenberg Jazz Orchestra "Free Time”
Jazz With Vocals Cécile McLorin Salvant "Fog”
Latin Camila Meza "Para Volar”
Love Casii Stephan "I Like the Way”
Metal/Hardcore Rivethead "Truth or Fiction”
New Age Fiona Joy "Calling Earth”
Pop Alicia Beale "New Fling (feat. Kristo Rewlz)”
R&B/Soul Deejay Young "Bøx (feat. Antonio Fernandez)”
Rap/Hip-Hop Shan Vincent de Paul "Thank God”
Rock/Hard Rock The Mud Howlers "The River”
Social Action Maria Dunn "Malala”
Spoken Word (with music accompaniment) Deep Dive Corp. + Ingrid Chavez "Ride”
Story Song The Alternate Routes "Somewhere in America”
World Beat Valentina Blú "Another Sky”
World Traditional Roman Miroshnichenko, José Antonio Rodríguez & Henrik Andersen "Moon Over Tanjore”


Song Category Artist/Group Song Title
A Cappella Eh440 Never Stop Lovin' You
Acoustic Reeve Carney Think of You
Adult Contemporary Chris Ayer Heavy
Alt. Country Ben Leece Trace (feat. Tori Forsyth)
Americana Big Little Lions Against the Wall
Bluegrass Sad Daddy Mountainside
Blues Altered Five Blues Band Cookin' in Your Kitchen
Children's Music Marla Lewis Major Minor
Contemporary Christian/Gospel Drew Greenway Walk in the Light
Country Dani Strong What You Need
Cover The Bankesters Seven Nation Army – (orig. by The White Stripes)
Dance/Electronica Anish Sood Starry Night (feat. Zach Sorgen & Kelechi)
Eclectic Leftbank I just want to know for sure
Folk/Singer-Songwriter Seth Glier Like I Do
Funk/Fusion/Jam Nik West Purple Unicorn
Holiday Deejay Young Christmas Time Is Here
Indie/Alt. Rock HALF SHY Growing up to Grow Apart
Instrumental Gustavo Ballesteros Tocata
Jazz Instrumental Frank Catalano, Jimmy Chamberlin and David Sanborn (tie) Shakin'
Jazz With Vocals Quinn Bachand's Brishen Cheyenne (Quit Your Talkin')
Latin Delia Fischer Mercado (feat. Antonio Fischer-Band & Matias Correa)
Love Carolina Calvache La Última Vez (feat. Camila Meza)
Metal/Hardcore Blood of Angels Odin's Wrath
New Age Lenka Lichtenberg Dobrú noc, má milá
Pop Taylor Grey Miami (feat. Spencer Kane of Anthem Lights)
R&B/Soul Beth Free
Rap/Hip-Hop Amiss O.mega Diva Look (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Rock/Hard Rock Reeve Carney Resurrection
Social Action Mouths of Babes Any Other Day
Spoken Word Stephen Emmer Soil (feat. Ursula Rucker)
Story Jonah Smith Ocala
World Beat Karim Baggili Exitimuse
World Traditional Magín Díaz Me Amarás (feat. Monsieur Periné)


Song Category Artist/Group Song Title
A Cappella Patrice Jégou Lover Come Back to Me (feat. Mark Kibble & Alvin Chea)
Acoustic Chris Ayer Ringing in My Ears
Adult Contemporary LACES someday is not tonight
Alt. Country Rich Webb Let It Rain
Americana Jen Sygit It's About Time (feat. Luther Dickinson)
Bluegrass Low Lily 10,000 Days Like These
Blues Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson Blues in My Blood
Children's Music Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats I Know a Little Fellow
Contemporary Christian / Gospel Rocking Horse Music Club Everywhere Is Home
Country Blane Howard Promise to Love Her
Cover Kristy Krüger Folsom Prison Blues (orig. by Johnny Cash)
Dance/Electronica Mosimann Anymore (feat. Carla Katz)
Eclectic Monica Pasqual Sun in My Eye
Folk/Singer-Songwriter Rebecca Hurn Waves
Funk/Fusion/Jam CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion Danger
Holiday Twin Kennedy I'm a Child Again
Indie / Alt. Rock Shadow of Whales Words
Instrumental Cimarrón Zumbajam
Jazz Instrumental Ivan Diaz Write or Wrong
Jazz with Vocals Lindsay Kay Lush Life
Latin Juana Luna Vienen Como
Love Bleu Love You So
Metal/Hardcore Ne Obliviscaris Intra Venus
New Age Jeff Oster Five Great Mountains
Pop Ella Vos White Noise
R&B/Soul Jessica Lá Rel Here Comes the Sun
Rap/Hip-Hop Young Rado Make Sense
Reggae/Ska/Dancehall Leilani Wolfgramm Live Wire
Rock / Hard Rock Head With Wings Goodbye Sky
Social Action Mark Erelli By Degrees
Spoken Word J.ournal Pride & Prejudice (feat. The Rogue Pianist)
Story Emily Scott Robinson Overalls
Used in Ad Campaign Bleu Love You So
Used in Film / TV / Game Score André Barros Leda
World Beat Nsimbi Leo Ni Leo
World Traditional Toronto Tabla Ensemble Faceoff

Best Music Producer winners[edit]


Category Music Producer Winning Work
Dance/Electronica Michael Gray and David Paul Newell Midnight Mystery Club – Reason or Rhyme
Eclectic A.G. Syjuco Jack of None – Who Shot Bukowski?
Instrumental Adam Werner and Adam Howe Adam Werner – Deep
Jazz Mike Field and Dominic Mancuso Mike Field – The Ghost and the Paperboy EP
Pop Steve Lunt and Seth Glier Seth Glier – Birds
Rock Dan Kalisher Sleep Machine – Animal High
Roots/Country Jimmy Sutton Jake La Botz – Sunnyside
World Jeremy Ledbetter Eliana Cuevas – Golpes y Flores


Category Music Producer Winning Work
Dance/Electronica Leo Salom Leo Salom – Sugar on Demand
Eclectic Riley McMahon Spottiswoode & His Enemies – Lost in the City
Instrumental Erik Scott Erik Scott – A Trick of the Wind
Jazz Earl MacDonald Earl MacDonald – Open Borders
Pop Rachael Sage, John Shyloski Rachael Sage – Myopia
Rock Kevin Billingslea, Andrey Borzykin, Adam Soucy Major Moment – one small stEP
Roots/Country Iuliano Iuliano – Hidden Roots
Urban Joseph Vitterito Agency – Exponents
World Ronald Mente Miyares, Richi Martinez Ludmila Mercerón & Guitarras y Trovadores – La Pastelera del Tivolí


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  6. ^ "Esprit D'Air Releases New Single, 'Amethyst'". 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
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  10. ^ "The 18th Independent Music Awards Nominations". The Daily Rind. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Independent Music Awards Accepting Submissions". Music Connection Magazine. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Nominees For 18th Annual Independent Music Awards Announced". 10 April 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Keith to Judge 11th Independent Music Awards – Official Blog". Official Website. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  14. ^ Williams, Emily (6 June 2014). "Independent Music Awards Winners Announced « American Songwriter". American Songwriter. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  15. ^ Lawless, John (3 April 2018). "Bluegrass shines at the Independent Music Awards". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 5 June 2019.

External links[edit]