Winners of the 19th annual Americana Music Honors & Awards were announced Tuesday (Dec. 15), with The Highwomen earning three honors and the late John Prine being named Artist of the Year.
In lieu of the usual awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium, the Americana Music Association revealed winners via social media channels.
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, Prine became the first artist in Americana Honors & Awards history to be posthumously nominated in the Artist of the Year category. This is his fourth Artist of the Year win since 2005. He also received the 2003 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.
Rising duo Black Pumas were named Emerging Act of the Year after garnering praise for their full-length debut, Colors. The band has sold out multiple tours across North America and Europe while making national television appearances and receiving multiple Grammy nominations.
Regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation, Brittany Haas takes home the 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.
“I could not be more proud of this slate of winners,” shared Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, Jed Hilly. “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 will be celebrating this year’s nominees and winners with special programming.
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