Holly Gleason Wins LA Press Club’s Entertainment Journalist of the Year Award

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Music journalist, author and Pollstar Senior Contributing Editor Holly Gleason was crowned the Entertainment Journalist of the Year at the LA Press Club’s annual Southern California Journalism Awards on Sunday. Gleason also took home awards in Music Criticism as well as the Entertainment News (Magazine) categories. 

The awards show, held at the Biltmore hotel in downtown Los Angeles, recognized journalism in all platforms in categories including hard news, science, sports, politics and entertainment, with a record of more than 2,300 entries.

In awarding Gleason with the top honor, the awards committee proclaimed: “With her experience in writing about the music industry, particularly country music, Gleason combines that vast knowledge with incisive interview questions and revealing profiles of musicians.” 

Gleason said: “It was shocking on so many levels. Los Angeles is the epicenter of the entertainment industry. I came of age as a writer and critic out here, writing for Rolling Stone, the LA Times, Musician, BAM, CREEM and so many more, so I know how high the bar is set here – and how much it takes to even be in the conversation.”

The win in the Entertainment News (Magazine) category was awarded for Gleason’s 2022 Pollstar cover story “Why Dolly Parton Belongs in the Rock Hall.” The committee described the feature as “stunning and poetic, mixed in with glorious pop pleasure.” 

As for the Music Criticism win, the committee wrote, “It was a pleasure reading Holly Gleason – her writing is almost as lyrical as the music she reviews. She is insightful and shows deep knowledge of her subjects.”

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Gleason received second place awards for Entertainment Feature and Best Arts Commentary for Pollstar’s “How Miranda Lambert Danced in the Fire and Became a Global Superstar” and a Library of Congress National Registry of Song essay on “Stand By Your Man,” the 1968 hit recorded and co-written by Tammy Wynette.

“Telling the stories of women in music, especially country music, has been important to me always,” Gleason said. “To see Dolly Miranda and Tammy be recognized in this room is amazing! And criticism is something I’ve always felt is important – not to say how music sounds, but to create context and understanding.”

Gleason has long been a champion of women artists, from the care she takes with her cover features to conceiving of, editing and contributing to the 2017 book “Woman Walk The Line.” The collection of essays – including contributions from Rosanne Cash, Taylor Swift and Grace Potter – won the Belmont Book Award for Best Country Book. 

Earlier this year Gleason and Miranda Lambert released the book “Y’all Eat Yet? Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen” (Harper/Collins), which hit both the New York Times’ Best Seller List and Publisher’s Weekly Nonfiction Hardcover List. 

And now Gleason has a new book coming out. “Prine on Prine: Interviews & Encounters” will be published by the Chicago Review Press on Sept. 12.

Gleason most recently wrote the cover story, along with several features, for Pollstar’s special issue on the 50th anniversary of CMA Fest. Earlier this year she wrote a cover story on rising country star ERNEST.

She has contributed many high-profile pieces to Pollstar including cover stories on Tina Turner, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, John Prine, P!NK, Kane Brown, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Whiskey Myers, Mickey Guyton, Ronnie Milsap, Old Dominion, Midland and Alabama’s 50th anniversary. Additional features include a story honoring the girl power force known as The Go-Go’s as part of Pollstar‘s 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame special issue.

Her other accolades over the years include winning the prestigious Media Achievement Award, which Lambert presented to Gleason at the Country Music Association Awards in 2019.

Gleason also serves as the Nashville Editor of HITS and has been a Rock And Roll Hall of Fame/Case Western Reserve Center for Pop Fellow. She’s written for Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, PASTE, American Songwriter, Texas Music, Musician, MIX, No Depression, Oxford American, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Miami Herald as well as The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Saturday Evening Post and NPR.

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