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mtvU, billed as the largest, most comprehensive television network for college students, will recognize such artists as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, MGK, fun., Avicii, Skrillex, Best Coast, Grimes, A$AP Rocky and Frank Ocean this year during the ninth annual Woodie Awards and Festival.
The event is returning to Austin for a full day of musical performances March 14 during the SXSW Music Festival.
Woodie Awards veteran Jack White leads the nominees list this year with two noms, including “Branching Out,” a new category that honors artists who are finding innovative, creative ways to use social media. White explored non-traditional forms of record distribution by releasing 1,000 balloons into the sky with flexi-discs containing his new album track attached, and then monitored where they landed on Third Man’s website.
Another artist with Woodie history is MGK, who won in 2012 for “Breaking Woodie,” the equivalent to Best Emerging Artist, and is nominated this year for the top prize, “Woodie of the Year.” On the nomination, the artist says, “Two years ago I was in the crowd at the Woodies; the next year we won the ‘Breaking Woodie;’ now this year we’re nominated for the Woodie of the Year! I just want my fans to be proud of how far we’ve come; dreams are coming to life. Lace up.”
The mtvU Woodie Awards originate from the indie tradition of giving a wooden record to those artists who generate a passionate response to their music. Established in 2004, the show has since propelled numerous recognized acts to the next level of their careers by surging record sales, headlining tours and garnering mainstream acclaim.
Former “Woodie of the Year” winners can be found across all music genres from Kings of Leon (’09) and Paramore (’08) to Gym Class Heroes (’07) and Mac Miller, who also won “Performing Woodie” in 2012.
Big Sean, The Weeknd, Fiona Apple, Swedish House Mafia and The xx are also vying for chunks of wood this year.
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