Brandi Carlile, John Prine and More Win at 20th Annual Americana Honors

Here's the full list of this year's winners!

Written by Chris Parton
Brandi Carlile, John Prine and More Win at 20th Annual Americana Honors
Brandi Carlile at the 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards in Nashville on September 22, 2021.

The 20th Annual Americana Honors and Awards ceremony was held at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday (September 22), with artists like Brandi Carlile, the late John Prine and more taking home the night’s top prizes.

Carlile was awarded the coveted Artist of the Year prize, taking the night’s most distinguished award for the second time in her career. Meanwhile, Sturgill Simpson was given the Album of the Year award for his bluegrass-inflected Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1 – The Butcher Shoppe Sessions, and the late John Prine won Song of the Year for “I Remember Everything,” written by Pat McLaughlin and Prine and the last original song Prine recorded before passing away from COVID-19 last year.

Black Pumas were awarded Duo/Group of the Year, while Charley Crockett was named the 2021 Emerging Act of the Year, and Kristin Weber took home Instrumentalist of the Year.

This year’s ceremony marked the return of an in-person, live-audience show after the 2020 event was held virtually due to COVID-19, and as always, the crowd was treated to a slew of rootsy performances. Carlile took the stage multiple times, including when she was joined by Margo Price and Amanda Shires to deliver a heartfelt take on Prine’s Song of the Year winning tune, and other highlight moments included performances from Steve Earle, The Highwomen (Carlile, Natalie HembyMaren Morris, Shires) with Yola, Jason Isbell with Shires, top nominee Amythyst Kiah and Emmylou Harris with Rodney Crowell, who closed the show with a touching tribute to The Everly Brothers, following the passing of Don Everly.

Just as in years past, the 20th Annual Americana Honors and Awards served to highlight and celebrate the growing Americana and roots music scene, and will be followed with a week of shows around Nashville. AMERICANAFEST features hundreds of performances, and will continue through Saturday (September 25).

“Given today’s uncertain times, there is no greater assurance that the power of music brings people together to uplift their spirits when they need it the most,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. “I’m beyond proud of our artists and community for reminding me again why this is my favorite night of the year, every year.”

2021 Americana Honors & Awards Winners and Honorees:

Album of the Year: Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions), Sturgill Simpson, Produced by David Ferguson and Sturgill Simpson

Artist of the Year: Brandi Carlile

Song of the Year: “I Remember Everything” John Prine, written by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine

Duo/Group of the Year: Black Pumas

Emerging Act of the Year: Charley Crockett

Instrumentalist of the Year: Kristin Weber

Legacy of Americana Award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music: Fisk Jubilee Singers

Trailblazer Award: The Mavericks

Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Keb’ Mo’

Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer: Trina Shoemaker

Inspiration Award: Carla Thomas