Winners of the 2020 Americana Honors & Awards were announced today via social media. Psychedelic soul duo Black Pumas, supergroup The Highwomen, late singer-songwriter John Prine, and fiddler Brittany Haas reigned over the categories.
The annual awards ceremony, which honors stars of the Americana music scene, has taken place at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium for nearly two decades. This year’s festivities were canceled as a precaution, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I could not be more proud of this slate of winners,” said 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.”
The competition was tight this year, among the six award categories. The Highwomen (Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires) beat out such acclaimed titles as Brittany Howard’s Jamie, Tanya Tucker’s While I’m Livin’ and Nathaniel Rateliff’s And It’s Still Alright for Album of the Year with their self-titled debut. The supergroup also won Song of the Year (for “Crowded Table”) and Duo/Group of the Year.
2003 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting honoree John Prine was named Artist of the Year. The late singer-songwriter, who died from complications of COVID-19 earlier this year, marked the first artist in the Americana Awards’ history to be posthumously nominated in this category.
Black Pumas, who were also up for Duo/Group of the Year, were named Emerging Act of the Year. The Austin, TX-based duo, which consists of singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, recently received nominations in three categories at the upcoming 2021 Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and American Roots Performance for single “Colors.” The group is also up for the coveted Album of the Year award for the deluxe edition of their debut album, Black Pumas.
Since releasing the original edition of Black Pumas in 2019, the duo has sold out multiple tours across North America and Europe, including a record-breaking four consecutive nights at Austin’s Stubbs.
The deluxe edition of Black Pumas added 11 new tracks onto the existing album, including live renditions of “Colors,” “Oct 33,” “Confines,” and “Know You Better,” as well as inspired covers of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” and Bobby “Blue” Bland’s R&B hit, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City.”
Click here to listen to Black Pumas.