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NARM Names 2006 Artist, Merchandiser, Supplier Of The Year Award Winners

KISSIMMEE, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) announced the recipients of its 2006 Artist Of The Year Awards and Merchandiser and Supplier of the Year Awards at NARM's Awards Dinner Finale on August 5, in conjunction with InSights & Sounds.06, the Association's 48th Annual Convention & Marketplace at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, FL.

For Artist of the Year Awards, winners were chosen in three categories that include Outstanding Artist of the Year, Breakout Artists of the Year, and New Indie Artist of the Year. Winners in all categories must have had a release within the 12-month period running from April 1, 2005 through March 31, 2006; achieved a specified album sales level; and supported the retail sales and promotional activities of their releases.

Artist of the Year Award recipients are:

Outstanding Artist of the Year — Coldplay (Capitol Records)
Country Breakout Artist of the Year — Carrie Underwood (Arista Nashville)
Pop/Rock Breakout Artist of the Year — James Blunt (Custard/Atlantic)
Urban Breakout Artist of the Year — Ne-Yo (Def Jam Recordings)
Christian Breakout Artist of the Year — Flyleaf (Octone)
Gospel Breakout Artist of the Year — Juanita Bynum (Flow)
Latin Breakout Artist of the Year — RBD (EMI Latin)

NARM's Merchandiser and Supplier of the Year Awards honor outstanding industry achievement among five member categories: Retailers, Distributors, Wholesalers, Entertainment Software Suppliers, and Suppliers Of Related Products and Services.

NARM invited all of its members to nominate trading partners in the various industry segments (small, medium and large companies in each segment are categorized based on membership dues category), and those companies with the most nominations were named as finalists. Trading partner companies judged the finalist's performance on established criteria. The company with the highest score for each industry segment and size category was declared the winner. Winners are listed below:

Retailers of the Year
Small Division — Twist & Shout, Denver, CO
Medium Division — Waterloo Records, Austin, TX
Large Division — Tower Records, W. Sacramento, CA

Wholesalers of the Year
Small Division — Electric Fetus, Minneapolis, MN
Medium Division — Baker & Taylor, Charlotte, NC
Large Division — Alliance Entertainment, Coral Springs, FL

Distributors of the Year
Small Division — Redeye Distribution, Haw River, NC
Medium Division — RED Distribution, New York, NY
Large Division — WEA Corp., New York, NY

Entertainment Software Supplier of the Year
Small Division — Sub Pop Records, Seattle, WA
Medium Division — The Verve Music Group, New York, NY
Large Division — Rhino Entertainment, Burbank, CA

Related Products and Services Supplier of the Year
Nielsen Soundscan, White Plains, NY*
*(Finalists were chosen from all companies within this category, regardless of size.)– Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner