Jason Isbell Leads Nominees for 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards

The 2021 ceremony will return to the Ryman Auditorium on September 22.

Jason Isbell Leads Nominees for 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 20: Jason Isbell performs at Ryman Auditorium on October 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Roots music favorite Jason Isbell and newcomer Amythyst Kiah lead an intriguing field of nominees for the 20th annual Americana Honors & Awards, snagging three nods each for the upcoming ceremony.

Isbell and his band are up for Album and Song of the Year trophies, while the “Cover Me Up” singer and songwriter is also up for Artist of the Year as a solo artist. But he’s joined by some stiff competition. Newcomer Kiah is up for two awards as a solo act as well, while also appearing in the Duo/Group of the Year category as part of the band, Our Native Daughters. Other familiar names on the list include Sturgill Simpson, Steve Earle & the Dukes, Margo Price and The Highwomen, among others.


The Nashville-based non-profit Americana Music Association announced this year’s field on Wednesday (May 26), with plans for a back-to-normal show featuring performances at the Ryman Auditorium in September.

Here’s a complete list of the 2021 nominees:

Album of the Year:

  • “Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions),” Sturgill Simpson, Produced by David Ferguson & Sturgill Simpson
  • “J.T.,” Steve Earle & The Dukes, Produced by Steve Earle
  • “The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers,” Valerie June, Produced by Valerie June, Ben Rice & Jack Splash
  • “Reunions,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Produced by Dave Cobb
  • “World On The Ground,” Sarah Jarosz, Produced by John Leventhal

Artist of the Year:

Duo/Group of the Year:

  • Black Pumas
  • The Highwomen
  • Our Native Daughters
  • The War and Treaty
  • Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

Emerging Act of the Year:

  • Charley Crockett
  • Amythyst Kiah
  • Joy Oladokun
  • Allison Russell
  • Waxahatchee

Instrumentalist of the Year:

  • Megan Coleman
  • Robbie Crowell
  • Ray Jacildo
  • Philip Towns
  • Kristin Weber

Song of the Year:

  • “Black Myself,” Amythyst Kiah, Written by Amythyst Kiah
  • “Call Me A Fool,” Valerie June ft. Carla Thomas, Written by Valerie June
  • “Dreamsicle,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Written by Jason Isbell
  • “I Remember Everything,” John Prine, Written by Pat McLaughlin & John Prine
  • “Long Violent History,” Tyler Childers, Written by Tyler Childers

2020’s event was held virtually due to COVID-19, with John Prine taking home the Artist of the Year award posthumously. The folk legend died of COVID-19 in March, just as the pandemic was ramping up. 2020 also saw The Highwomen — the all-female supergroup featuring Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires — take home three awards.

The 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards will take place September 22 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Ticketing information will be announced on June 10.