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The Nashville Songwriter Awards Live Review

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


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Nashville Songwriter Awards

The Nashville Songwriter Awards Live is an annual event that honours the best songwriters in the country music business. 

The awards are presented by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and recognize the talents of songwriters in all genres of music. 

The event is held in Nashville, Tennessee and has been held since 1972. The awards are presented in a variety of categories, including Song of the Year, Songwriter Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Decade and Songwriting Achievement Awards. 

Each year, the awards are presented to songwriters who have had the most success in the music industry

The awards also recognize the contributions of songwriters who have written for other artists and have had their songs recorded by them. The event is a celebration of the songwriting craft and is attended by songwriters, music industry executives, and fans. 

Previous winners and top songwriters feature Thomas Rhett, Luke Combs, Matt Jenkins, Kelsea Ballerini, Garth Brooks, Sam Hunt, Matthew West, Ashley Gorley, Kris Kristofferson (lifetime achievement), Walker Hayes, Jordan Davis & Taylor Swift.

The awards ceremony is broadcast on television and radio and is one of the most popular events in Nashville. The awards are a great way to recognize the talent of songwriters and the importance of their contributions to the music industry.

The Awards History

Nashville Songwriter Awards

In 1967, Eddie Miller, Buddy Mize and Bill Brock envisioned the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) over lunch. The first organizational meeting was held at the Old Professional’s Club on Music Row with forty-two songwriters present as founding members. 

This included Kris Kristofferson, Marijohn Wilkin, Jerry Chestnut, Danny Dill and Liz and Casey Anderson among others. Maggie Cavendar was appointed Executive Director of the association while Lorene Mann came up with its motto “It All Begins With A Song”. 

Their first advocacy effort was to get songwriters’ names placed on records which they worked for more than four years to achieve. That same year they held their first awards presentations where Dallas Frazier won “Song of the Year” and “Songwriter of the Year” for his song “There Goes My Everything”.

In 1988 Pat Rogers became NSAI Executive Director creating new programs such as Regional Workshops Program and Professional Division whilst taking their advocacy work further in Washington D.C. 

Three years later Bart Herbison became Executive Director bringing about America’s largest festival dedicated to songs called “Tin Pan South”, paying homage to Tin Pan Alley and the American songwriting profession. 

Today there are over 150 NSAI chapters providing services for aspiring songwriters at every level within every genre of music. The annual Nashville songwriter awards are an event to behold and one that should be firmly fixed in your schedule each year, and a joy to be part of in such a big town.

Where to enter the competition?

All the details can be found here including entry instructions and prizes.

Membership details


  • New Member: $225 (Flex Payment Option: $20/month + $25 setup fee)
  • Renewing Member: $200 (Flex Payment Option: $20/month)

You can become a member and join for a host of benefits, all the details are here.

Learn more about the Nashville songwriting awards here.


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