Irma Thomas has been named the 2018 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance Honoree. She will receive her honor at the Americana Awards ceremony on Sept. 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Thomas is an eight-time Blues Music Award winner and a Grammy award winner, whose song “Time Is on My Side” was covered by The Rolling Stones and helped them achieve their first top 10 hit in America back in 1964. She also penned “Ruler of My Heart” which was re-interpreted by Otis Redding as “Pain in My Heart.” Thomas has been nominated for Grammys for her live album Simply the Best (1991), the collaborative Sing It! (1998) with blues mavens Marcia Ball and Tracy Nelson, and Simply Grand (2008).
Her cathartic comeback LP After the Rain won her a Grammy in 2007. The album was born out of pure resilience, recorded merely weeks after Hurricane Katrina destroyed her Louisiana home and the nightclub she had opened with her manager/husband Emile Jackson. Thomas has been a mainstay at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival where she’s shared the stage with stars like Stevie Wonder and others over the years.
Thomas graduated from college at 61, and partnered with her alma mater to establish the Irma Thomas Wise Women Center, which counsels young men and women on furthering their educations and careers.
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