Nick Lowe, Ani DiFranco and Talib Kweli will perform at the 2017 American Association of Independent Music's (A2IM) Libera Awards to be held June 8 at New York City's PlayStation Theater. Ted Leo will host the sixth annual event which will also include performances by Twin Peaks (Grand Jury) and Nick Hakim (ATO Records).
Lowe (Proper Records) was Stiff Records' inaugural artist and house producer and helmed historic early recordings for The Damned, Elvis Costello and The Pretenders. This year's Independent Icon Award will be awarded to DiFranco who launched her Righteous Babe Records in 1990 and has released over 20 albums. She will drop Binary, her first album since 2014, in May and has a memoir slated for later this year.
"A2IM's Libera Awards are growing rapidly," said A2IM ceo Richard James Burgess in a statement. "We are delighted to share an amazing performance lineup. Dress up in your freewheeling finery and celebrate the extraordinary range of our Independent music community."
Burgess was named CEO last year. In 2017, the Libera Awards will hand out 19 independent music awards with nominees being announced in the coming weeks. For the first time, this year the public can purchase tickets to the ceremony.
Last year's Libera winners included Alabama Shakes (Album of the Year, Best Live Act, and Best Sync Usage); Run the Jewels (Marketing Genius and Video of the Year), Kamasi Washington (Groundbreaking Album of the Year), Daptone Records (Label of the Year with less than 5 employees) and Sub Pop (Label of the Year with more than 6 employees).
According to Nielsen Music data, Billboard estimated the 2015 independent music label sector comprised 34.4 percent of the U.S. music industry's recorded music sales market based on copyright ownership. This made the combined independent labels sector the largest in the music industry.
A2IM's current board of directors is comprised of the following members: ATO vp Stephanie Alexa, Razor & Tie's coo Craig Balsam, Red Eye Worldwide co-owner Glenn Dicker, INgrooves evp and gm Amy Dietz, Epitaph/Anti gm Dave Hansen, Big Machine coo Andrew Kautz, Beggars Group founder/ceo Martin Mills, Hopeless Records owner Louis Posen, Dualtone ceo/co-founder Scott Robinson, Tommy Boy owner & ceo Thomas Silverman and Secretly Label Group co-owner Darius Van Arman.