The ninth ETX Music Awards will be both a ceremony and one of the biggest showcases of local talent of the year, organizers promise.
Besides awards being presented in 33 categories, some of the most popular performers in the area will take the stage, said Gordon Mayhall, who is directing the show set for Sunday night in Athens.
Music fans went online and voted for their favorite performers, songs and albums in many genres of music. Other music industry categories included best venue and best radio station.
The nominees for Entertainer of the Year, the biggest award, are: Darrin Morris, Matthew Jackson, Lee Mathis, Donnie Dodson and Meredith Crawford.
The ceremony “allows us the opportunity to highlight the artistry and creativity coming from our East Texas area,” Mayhall said. “The talent we have ranges from blues and Americana, to jazz, Latin, hip-hop, country and red dirt, to psychedelic and metal. ... The purpose of promoting these musicians is assurance that we are promoting creativity.”
The ETX Music Awards also will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to someone who has made a lasting contribution to the local music scene. Neal McCoy, who lives in Longview and has had No. 1 country music hits, and Linden native Don Henley, who was a member of the Eagles before launching a successful solo career, are among previous recipients.
The ceremony will take place at The Texan, a special-events venue at 209 E. Tyler St., in Athens.
Kadie Lynn and Kori Miller will be the hosts. Lynn, a singer and songwriter from Kemp, has received national attention as a contestant on “America’s Got Talent.” Miller’s credits include working as a model and motivational speaker.
Mayhall said that at about 6 p.m. nominees and special guests will begin “red carpet arrivals,” and Cremated Remains, a nominee for best metal artist, will begin performing.
The pre-ceremony concert at 6:30 p.m. also will feature Heather Little, Meredith Crawford, Karisia Hernandez, Sharon Walker and Chris Rasco & the Garden Valley Revue.
The awards will be presented beginning at 7:30 p.m. Set to perform during this part of the show are Post Profit, Little Universe, Lee Mathis & the Brutally Handsome, and Tin & Tonic with Elliot Tobias.
A post-awards party will feature Jopi Drew and friends, a music and light show by MeatSandal, and then headliner Gorgeous Jetson, Mayhall said.
Tickets range from $20 to $55 and are available at etxmusic.com.
The ETX Music Awards were launched in 2010 by Nathan Hunnicutt. The first awards ceremony was held in 2012. Hunnicutt continues to produce the show.