Every so often, the board comes across musicians, icons, or volunteers that have made a huge impact in the association, or in the musical scene in Virginia. The Association created a Special Recognition Award to recognize these individuals in 1996, and continues to recognize people almost every year. Below are the past recipients of the award.

  • Pete Kuykendall (1996)
  • Lenny Jones (1999)
  • Bill Clark (2000)
  • Alvin Breedin (2001)
  • Henry Fulcher (2002)
  • George Harris, Jr. (2003)
  • Sterling Belcher (2005)
  • D. J. Barnett (2005)
  • Robert Gallagher (posthumously) (2005)
  • Sonny Mead (2008)
  • Ray and Mary Pollard, Gospel Chicken House (2009)
  • Lucketts Bluegrass (2010)
  • Tim Timberlake (2010)
  • Boyce Wallace (2011)
  • Mel Payne (2011)
  • Friendly Henry Walters (2012)
  • Craig Wingfield (2012)
  • Hank Satterwhite (2013)
  • Mel Hughes (2014)
  • Copper Ridge (2015)
  • Code Blue Bluegrass Band (2016)
  • Lois (posthumously) and Fred Gaither (2016)
  • Sigrid Williams (2016)