At NYC’s PlayStation Theater last night, A2IM honored a select list of luminaries in a star-studded, highly-anticipated awards ceremony. Presented by SoundExchange, the Libera Awards gave members of the independent music community an opportunity to come together and celebrate their peers. The name for the Libera Awards is derived from the Latin word for freedom, recognizing the winners’ trailblazing and accomplishments in the dynamic world of independent music.
The evening was a stunning success, with Radiohead taking home the award for Best Live Act, as well as the Fan Vote Award for Video of the Year for their “Daydreaming” video. SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe presented the Independent Icon Award to musician and producer Nick Lowe. Also among the winners was Angel Olsen, who won honors for Album of the Year for My Woman.
In addition to artists, the Libera Awards recognized the tireless work that occurs behind the scenes to bring independent music to listeners worldwide. Bandcamp was honored with the Independent Champion Award, while Triple Crown Records and Jagjaguwar took home Label of the Year Awards.
In one of the most dramatic moments of the evening, folk songstress and independent music powerhouse Dar Williams took the stage to present the A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award to singer, songwriter, and musical pioneer Ani DiFranco. After starting her own independent label, Righteous Babe Records, at the age of 18, DiFranco has repeatedly been recognized for her work in the music world, as well as on social and political issues. In 2009, DiFranco received the Woody Guthrie Award for her work towards positive social change. For over 25 years, she has been a powerful voice for grassroots cultural arts and independent music.
For the 2017 awards, A2IM was proud to present the first-ever A2IM Independent Impact Award to Florida Georgia Line. Powered by Nielsen Music, this award celebrates the independent artist with the highest combined sales and streams as measured by Nielsen music across all of the artist’s commercial releases in the U.S. between March 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017.
A2IM would like to congratulate the winners, as well as each of this year’s nominees.
Here is a full list of the 2017 Libera Award Winners.
Best Live Act
Radiohead (XL Recordings)
The xx, I See You (Young Turks)
Best Sync Usage
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, “Lincoln MKZ Spot” (Daptone Records)
Whitney, Light Upon the Lake (Secretly Canadian)
Thundercat, Drunk (Brainfeeder)
Best Blues/Jazz/R&B Album
Charles Bradley, Changes (Daptone Records)
Best Classical/World Album
Tinariwen, Elwan (Anti-)
Best Country/Americana/Folk Album
Margo Price, Midwest Farmers Daughter (Third Man Records)
Best Dance/Electronica Album
Bonobo, Migration (Ninja Tune)
A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award
Ani DiFranco (Righteous Babe Records)
Video of the Year
DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels, “Nobody Speak” (Mass Appeal Records)
Video of the Year – Fan Vote
Radiohead, “Daydreaming” (XL Recordings)
Best Metal/Hard Rock Album
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity (ATO Records)
Independent Impact Award
Florida Georgia Line
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album
Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 3 (Run the Jewels, Inc.)
Label of the Year (<5 employees)
Triple Crown Records
Label of the Year (6+ employees)
Album of the Year
Angel Olsen, MY WOMAN (Jagjaguwar)
A2IM would like to thank all the sponsors that helped make the 2017 A2IM Libera Awards such a success: The Orchard, Spotify, YouTube, Nielsen, ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance), Caroline, DISCO, FUGA, INgrooves, Kickstarter, Fox Rothschild LLP and The PlayStation Theater.
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 450 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine, using Nielsen SoundScan data, identified the Independent music label sector as 35.1 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.
The organization’s board of directors consists of the following: ATO Vice President Stephanie Alexa, Razor & Tie COO Craig Balsam, Redeye Co-Owner Glenn Dicker, INgrooves EVP & General Manager Amy Dietz, Epitaph/Anti General Manager Dave Hansen, Big Machine COO Andrew Kautz, Beggars Group Founder/CEO Martin Mills, Hopeless Records Owner Louis Posen, Dualtone CEO/Co-Founder Scott Robinson, Tommy Boy Owner & CEO Thomas Silverman, and Secretly Label Group Co-Owner Darius Van Arman. A2IM’s Advisory Committee includes: Randy Chin, Alisa Coleman Amit Nerurkar
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