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2007 INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS JUDGES ANNOUNCED: ROCK AND ROLL LEGENDS & HALL OF FAMERS INCLUDE OZZY OSBOURNE, BUDDY GUY, CYNDI LAUPER AND WYNONNA CONFIRMED, NEW “CALL TO SOCIAL ACTION” CATEGORY ADDED

Music Resource Group has announced the first group of confirmed judges for the Sixth Annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs), an international program that helps Independent artists and releases achieve wider recognition among industry and fans.

The list comprised of renowned artists and industry decision makers includes Metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, guitar virtuosos Buddy Guy, Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot, country music star, Wynonna, pop icon and current Broadway sensation Cyndi Lauper, jazz great McCoy Tyner, pioneer  singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, master DJs Paul Oakenfold and Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, the godfather of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa, soul great Howard Tate, country music great Patty Loveless, legendary bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist David Grisman, Brazilian Platinum recording artist Bebel Gilberto, reggae superstar Beenie Man, power pop sensation, Tim Pagnotta of Sugarcult and double bass pioneer Rob Wasserman will judge.

Joining these celebrated panelists will be industry vets such as ATO Records President Michael McDonald, Folk Alliance Executive Director Louis Meyers, Performing Songwriter Music Editor Abby White, Justice Through Music Director Brett Kimberlin, Merlefest Artistic Director Claire Armbruster, President of Music Management Forum U.S. Barry Bergman, A2IM President Don Rose and Billboard Magazine West Coast Bureau Chief Melinda Newman.

Adding to an already broad spectrum of categories spanning heavy metal to gospel, the sixth annual IMAs will feature a brand new category that is both unique and timely. “Sing Out For Social Action” was created explicitly to offer artists from every end of the political spectrum an opportunity to promote social change.

“Artists have always been at the forefront of social change and music in particular is an effective rallying force,” said Martin Folkman, IMA Program Director.  "By adding Sing Out For Social Action to the IMA program, we hope that we can provide a larger audience for artists with something to say."

A unique feature of the IMAs is the program’s focus on yearlong marketing, promotion and distribution for Winners in lieu of the typical “prize packages”. Co-sponsored by mega retailer, Borders Books & Music, radio promotions company, the Planetary Group and terrestrial & internet tracking service, MediaGuide, IMA winners are promoted to 9 Million+ music fans, programmers, talent buyers, journalists and other industry decision makers via direct marketing, promotional campaigns, print, broadcast and online initiatives.

Deadline for submissions is midnight August 25, 2006. Details, additional judges and entry forms are available at www.IndependentMusicAwards.com and in the 2006 edition of The Musician’s Atlas. Winners and finalists will be featured in the 2007 edition of The Atlas, on sale November 2006.