Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt and Dion were among the music greats whose video messages were part of the Blues Foundation’s 2020 Blues Music Awards. The event took place live yesterday (3) in a virtual ceremony from Memphis.
Big wins for Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
This year’s big winner was Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, the 21-year-old from the auspicious blues stamping ground of Clarksdale, Mississippi. The rising star won no fewer than five awards for his debut 2019 album on the revered blues label Alligator, KingFish. It won Best Emerging Artist Album, Best Contemporary Blues Album and Album of the Year. Ingram also won the Instrumentalist – Guitar category and Best Contemporary Blues Artist.
The entire, near-two hour event has been posted on the Blues Foundation’s YouTube channel. It can be seen here, including video messages throughout the show from a succession of blues-oriented stars. Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt, Dion, Robert Cray and Little Steven Van Zandt all sent words of support.
The show was hosted by Shemekia Copeland, who also won the Contemporary Blues Female Artist award. Other presenters included Charlie Musselwhite, Warren Haynes, Fantastic Negrito, Ruthie Foster, William Bell, Beth Hart and Keb’ Mo’.
Sugaray Rayford’s double triumph
Texas-born soul-blues singer Sugaray Rayford, who was last year’s biggest winner, retained the Soul Blues Male Artist award and took the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year title. Chicago native Nick Moss and his band claimed three awards, for Band of the Year, Traditional Blues Album for Lucky Guy! and Song of the Year for Moss’ title track composition.
Mavis Staples won the Vocalist award, fellow great Bobby Rush claimed the Soul Blues Album award for Sitting on Top of the Blues and Bettye LaVette won the Soul Blues Female Artist award. Traditional Blues Male Artist went to another Texan hero, Jimmie Vaughan. A full list of winners can be found here.