Judging for the inaugural American Music Prize for Best Debut Album (“The AMP”) is currently underway. Confirmed members of the independent judging panel include producer Steve Lillywhite, Rolling Stone Executive Editor Nathan Brackett, Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, CMT’s Craig Shelburne, Daytrotter’s Sean Moeller and The Current’s David Safar as well as artists Amanda Warner (MNDR), Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Matt Nathanson and Mel Honore (Cerebral Ballzy). See below for complete list.
All U.S. debut albums released between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015 are eligible. There are already over 90 albums identified as eligible for The AMP and allocated to the judges for their opinions. Eligible releases include the self-titled debuts by Benjamin Booker and Exotype, Sold Out by Jhene Aiko, Title by Meghan Trainor, Under Pressure by Logic and Here Right Now by Tasha Page-Lockhart. The full list can be found here.
Of The AMP, founder Scott B. Murphy comments, “There are tens of thousands of album releases in the U.S. in every 12-month period, which makes it difficult for new artists to break through no matter how great their recordings are. The AMP process significantly helps those making great debut albums to be heard, appreciated and assisted.”
The AMP judging panel: Nathan Brackett (Rolling Stone), Rand Foster (Fingerprints), David Fricke (Rolling Stone), David Greenwald (The Oregonian), Dennis Herring (producer), Jewly Hight (freelance journalist), Mel Honore (Cerebral Ballzy), Britt Julious (freelance journalist), Daniel Kohn (freelance journalist), Kristin Kurtis (KGSR), Eric Levin (Criminal Records), Steve Lillywhite (producer), Melissa Locker (freelance journalist), Josh Madell (Other Music), Pat McGuire (FLOOD magazine) Sean Moeller (Daytrotter), Matt Nathanson, Robert Neumann (KHMX), Dan Plunkett (End Of An Ear), Michael Ramirez (Radio Active Records), David Safar (KCMP The Current), Craig Shelburne (CMT), Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Amanda Warner (MNDR) and Bob Waugh (WRNR).
The AMP will soon announce albums that have been long-listed, with a shortlist of finalists to follow in late August. The grand prize will be announced in late September. The winner will receive a significant cash prize in addition to garnering industry-wide attention. Album registration and complete eligibility details can be found at: americanmusicprize.com. There are no entry fees.