Wednesday, September 22, 2021
– Brandi Carlile won the biggest honor at the 2021 version of the Americana Music Honors & Awards by taking home Artist of the Year.
The awards, which were held at the Ryman in Nashville, were delayed a year due to COVID.
"This means so incredibly much to me," said Carlile. "It would have meant so much to anybody...It was hard to be an artist this year, and to win an award for a year full of love and loss and debilitating empathy. People died. People were born, and we were just trying to love each other in close proximity from miles and miles away. You know, I was able to write some music and a book."
Album of the Year went to "Cuttin' Grass - Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions)," Sturgill Simpson, which was produced by David Ferguson and Simpson.
Song of the Year" was awarded to "I Remember Everything," John Prine, which was written by Pat McLaughlin and Prine.
Prine died of COVID in March 2020.
"I don't think I was ever been in this building without John," said his widow Fiona Whelan. "I was feeling a little teary eyed looking around, but I think he's here." Later she said, "I think the doors of this building have been pushed wide wide open," referring to women artists who she said her husband promoted.
"We're so grateful for this posthumous recognition, John's last recorded song," she said.
Duo/Group of the Year went to Black Pumas, the Austin-based band.
Charlie Crockett won Emerging Artist of the Year, while Kristin Weber was Instrumentalist of the Year.
Lifestime Achievement Awards, which were previously announced, went to:
Legacy Award: Fisk Jubilee Singers
Lifetime Award for Performance: Keb' Mo'
Americana Trailblazer Award: The Mavericks
Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer: Trina Shoemaker
Americana Inspiration Award: Carla Thomas
Performers included The Highwomen, Valerie June, The Mavericks and Steve Earle. Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell closed the show with the house band by playing tribute to The Everly Brothers.