The 2018 Belles and Gals awards will be announced this coming Friday, the 15th February. There are 10 ‘standard’ awards, while we’ll also be handing out ‘special awards’ too.
How do the Belles and Gals awards work? Well this time around we changed it up a little. Belles and Gals are all about equality and we realised our team consists of eight females and only four males, so we bought in four outside males to even up the numbers. James Daykin (of Lyric Magazine and Your Life in a Song), Pip Ellwood-Hughes (of Entertainment Focus Country), David Miller (of the Kentucky Jelly radio show) and Graham Barnes (of the Country Belles radio show). The sixteen member nomination committee simply voted 1-2-3 in each category, with the top four in each category nominated, with the highest scorer of all given the award!
We feel this is a fair way of deciding our annual award winners – the committee have a wide geographical spread and are made up of people of a variety of ages. And of course, the right female/male balance!
This is the third year in a row we’ve hosted the Belles and Gals awards and previous winners have included Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce and more.
Multiple nominations this year went to Lisa Wright, The Shires, Catherine McGrath, Emma Jade and Liv Austen in the UK categories. The international categories saw multiple nominations for the Pistol Annies, Carrie Underwood and Kacey Musgraves. Kacey Musgraves is the only artist nominated in both of the international ‘crown jewels’ awards of ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Artist of the year’.
Artists who could retain awards from last year include Lucy Grubb (who won EP of the year with ’18 Miles’ in 2017 and is nominated with ‘Dear Walter’ this time around), Ward Thomas are looking to retain their UK duo/group award, while Catherine McGrath will be looking to retain her ‘UK Artist of the Year’ award. Interestingly it’s not possible for any International artists to retain awards, but Carly Pearce could follow up her ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award, by winning ‘Artist of the Year’ this time around. Last year Sarah Darling won the special ‘Belles and Gals Award’ for ‘Truly Embracing the UK country scene’ and this time she is nominated alongside Carly Pearce for ‘Artist of the Year’.
The awards will be announced across social media from 8pm on Friday night, with an award announced at five minute intervals.
Below you’ll find a list of all the nominations in the ten main awards for 2018!