The awards were announced based on the recommendations of the Commissioner of Arts and Culture department and from Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nadaga Manram. 128 artists from drama, dance, movies, serials, folk arts and other arts were selected by the state government for both years.
While 62 artists were selected for the year 2019, 66 artists were selected for the year 2020. Initially, the state government planned the award function on Saturday but was postponed. Prominent awardees for the year 2019 include actor Ramarajan, Director Liyakat Ali Khan, music director Dheena, Lyricist Kamakodiyan, cameraman Ragunatha Reddy, background singers Anand, Sujatha, Producer Thanu, editor Antony stunt director Thalapathi Dinesh, choreographer Sivasankar, Director Manoj Kumar and so on.
Prominent awardees for the year 2020 include music director Imman, stunt director Jaguar Thangam, choreographer Sridhar, comedian Sangeetha, cameraman Chitrarasu, director and actor Ravi Maria and so on.
Along with Kalaimamani awards, state government also announced Dr J Jayalalithaa special Kalaimamani awards, national awards and Kalaimamani awards for veteran actors living in poverty. Earlier in 2019, the state government announced Kalaimamani awards for 201 artists for the years 2011 to 2018.