2009 Nashville Music Awards

Taylor Swift was the big winner at the Nashville Music Awards tonight, collecting three trophies during a reception at the Cannery Ballroom. The 19-year old Big Machine recording artist was named Artist of the Year and Songwriter/Artist of the Year, with her album Fearless earning Country Album of the Year honors.

Presented by Leadership Music in partnership with music festival and conference Next Big Nashville (NBN), the Nashville Music Awards were established to recognize outstanding contributions in all genres of music and to celebrate the diversity and quality of artists and music professionals who call Nashville their home.

After a welcome from Mayor Karl Dean, Leadership Music executive director Kira Florita and board member Robert K. Oermann, winners were announced in 19 categories by NMA nominating committee co-chairs Jason Moon Wilkins, Director and Owner of Next Big Nashville, Tracy Gershon and Oermann.

New Artist of the Year honors went to Lady Antebellum, with Brooke Waggoner claiming the Next Big Nashville Award for best emerging artist and Jack White named top instrumentalist.

Liz Rose was voted Songwriter of the Year on the strength of recent cuts by artists such as Jewel, Jypsi and frequent co-writer Taylor Swift. "The Time of My Life," written by Regie Hamm and sung by American Idol winner David Cook, was named Song of the Year.

In addition to Swift's Country album victory, genre album winners were the Steeldrivers (Bluegrass), Sarah Siskind (Americana), April Rucker (Urban), Jars of Clay (Gospel/Contemporary Christian), Take 6 (Jazz/Blues) and Kings of Leon (Pop/Rock).

(Photo: Alison Krauss and Sarah Siskind)

The Made in Music City award for a Nashville recording made by a non-resident went to Elvis Costello's Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded at Sound Emporium Studio.

Landmark Digital Services, LLC was recognized as Innovator of the Year for its BlueArrow Audio Recognition.

The evening's final honor, the Heritage Award, was given by the Leadership Music Board of Directors to the Fisk Jubilee Singers; FJS musical director Paul Kwami accepted. (Photo: L-R Tracy Gershon, Robert Oermann, Paul Kwami, Jason Moon Wilkins, Mayor Karl Dean & Kira Florita)

This year marks the first partnership between Leadership Music and Next Big Nashville for this awards presentation, held on the opening night of the NBN festival. The NMAs previously were produced from 1995 through 2000 by Leadership Music. The 2009 winners were chosen by popular vote via online balloting. Eligible recordings or projects must have been active in the marketplace between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009 and NMA awards are limited to persons and organizations residing in Davidson County and surrounding counties.

The Nashville Music Award trophy was designed and donated by George P. Johnson, one of the foremost experience marketing agencies in the world, now with a facility in Nashville. It is crafted from translucent acrylic to reflect the spirit and creativity that the winners represented.

Sponsors for the Nashville Music Awards were The Nashville Scene, George P. Johnson, Lindemans Wine, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.

For more information visit www.nashvillemusicawards.com

Additional photos can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/momentsbymoser/sets/72157622539574290/

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