NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 15, 2020) – The Americana Music Association has revealed the winners of the 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards via their social media channels. This year’s group of musical innovators include The Highwomen (Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year), the late John Prine (Artist of the Year), Black Pumas (Emerging Act of the Year) and Brittany Haas(Instrumentalist of the Year).
Supergroup The Highwomen (Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires) swept in three out of the six membership-voted awards categories with wins for Album of the Year for their self-titled debut, produced by Dave Cobb; Song of the Year for “Crowded Table,” written by Carlile, Hemby and Lori McKenna; and Duo/Group of the Year.
Following a prolific couple of years thanks to his critically acclaimed final album “The Tree of Forgiveness,” the late John Prine has been deemed as Artist of the Year. The 2003 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting honoree becomes the first artist in Honors & Awards history to be posthumously nominated in this category and this is his fourth AOTY win since 2005.
Rising duo Black Pumas are named Emerging Act of the Year after garnering praise for their full-length debut, “Colors.” Over the last year, the band has sold out multiple tours across North America and Europe while making national appearances on shows like PBS’ Austin City Limits and CBS This Morning, as well as receiving multiple GRAMMY® nominations.
Regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation, Brittany Haas takes home an award for Instrumentalist of the Year. A member of the quartet Hawktail, Haas has also lent her virtuosic skills to collaborators including Steve Martin, Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn and others over the years.
For nearly two decades, the Americana Honors & Awards program has provided a unique platform for commemorating the best and brightest musicians in the Americana music scene at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to preserve the safety of musicians, fans and other members of the close-knit roots community, the Americana Music Association has chosen to forego having an in-person ceremony this year.
“I could not be more proud of this slate of winners,” shared Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. “Although we terribly miss celebrating together at the Ryman as we usually have in years past, we’re thrilled to still be able to recognize these distinguished members of our community.”
NPR Music’s World Café, SiriusXM Outlaw Country, Gimme Country and several radio stations that report to the Americana Radio Charts across the country will be celebrating this year’s nominees and winners with special programming to coincide with this announcement.
2020 Americana Honors & Awards Winners:
Album of the Year: The Highwomen, The Highwomen, produced by Dave Cobb
Artist of the Year: John Prine
Song of the Year: “Crowded Table,” The Highwomen, written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna
Duo/Group of the Year: The Highwomen
Emerging Act of the Year: Black Pumas
Instrumentalist of the Year: Brittany Haas