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The Austin Music Awards get a makeover for the 40th anniversary edition

Austin, Texas - This year’s Austin Music Awards will look a lot different from years past, and 2020 is to blame.

Singer-songwriter Eric Burton's group Black Pumas is nominated for the AMA Band of the Year award.
Singer-songwriter Eric Burton's group Black Pumas is nominated for the AMA Band of the Year award.  © imago images / POP-EYE

The 2019-20 Austin Music Awards, put on by The Austin Chronicle, were held just five days before the city shut down amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Little did anyone know, that would be one of the last times bodies of people would be lumped together for the indefinite future.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the AMAs, and although the entire music ecosystem of Austin has been badly affected by the crisis, musicians still cranked out plenty of content in 2020, providing fans both new and old with songs and music videos at a rapid pace.

Live-streamed concerts became the second-best way for music lovers to get a dose of what they’ve been dying to get a hit of, while giving the artists a platform to perform on and connect as best they could, all things considered.

The AMAs are voted on through the Austin Music Poll. This year, the poll will have 20 categories instead of 50, with nearly half of them being new.

The poll’s creators, Kevin Curtin and Raoul Hernandez explained the changes: "[As] the Poll administrators going back to the founding year of The Austin Chronicle, 1981, we crafted a multiple-choice checklist reflecting what's happened to Austin music over the last 10 months, rather than a ballot upholding currently less-relevant categories for the sheer sake of continuity or, worse, obligation."

Some of the added categories this year include best 2020-themed song, best live-streaming artist, and best music video.

It remains uncertain whether the awards show will be taking place in-person or virtually. Voting for the AMAs is open until February 1.

Cover photo: imago images / POP-EYE

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