2017 Bluegrass Awards: Earls of Leicester Named Entertainer of the Year

Molly Tuttle makes history as first female Guitar Player of the Year at 2017 IBMA awards ceremony in Raleigh, North Carolina

The Earls of Leicester earned their third Entertainer of the Year honor at this week's International Bluegrass Music Awards. Credit: John Shearer/Getty Images

While bluegrass supergroup the Earls of Leicester (Shawn Camp, Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales, Charlie Cushman, Jeff White and Johnny Warren) earned their third consecutive Entertainer of the Year award at the 28th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards in Raleigh, North Carolina, Thursday night, the ceremony also presented honors to several first-time recipients.

Musician Molly Tuttle became the first female artist in the organization's history to earn the award for Guitar Player of the Year and singer Brooke Aldridge took home her first Female Vocalist of the Year honor at the event, hosted by Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at Raleigh's Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), whose annual gathering of industry professionals and fans from around the globe began on September 26th and continues through Saturday. Friday marks the start of Wide Open Bluegrass, two days of live music featuring Steep Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin, the Travelin' McCourys with guest appearance by Del McCoury, Hot Rize, Lonesome River Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and many more.

On Tuesday, musician and Nashville actress Rhiannon Giddens delivered the keynote address at the conference, focusing on diversity in bluegrass and emphasising this year's theme of "Community and Connection."

Here's the complete list of winners of the 28th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards:

Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester

Vocal Group of the Year: Flatt Lonesome 

Instrumental Group of the Year: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper 

Song of the Year: "I Am a Drifter," Volume Five (artist), Donna Ulisse/Marc Rossi (writers)

Album of the Year: Mountain Voodoo, Balsam Range (artist), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year (tie): "I Found a Church Today, " Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson/Leigh Gibson (writers), In The Ground (album), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, and Mike Barber (producers), Rounder Records (label) and "Sacred Memories," Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers with Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs (artist), Dolly Parton (writer), Sacred Memories (album), Joe Mullins (producer), Rebel Records (label)

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: "Fiddler's Dream," Michael Cleveland (artist), Arthur Smith (writer), Fiddler's Dream (album), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label)

Emerging Artist of the Year: Volume Five

Recorded Event of the Year: "I've Gotta Get a Message to You," Bobby Osborne with Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Trey Hensley, Todd Phillips, Kenny Malone, Claire Lynch and Bryan McDowell (artists), Original (album), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)

Female Vocalist of the Year: Brooke Aldridge 

Male Vocalist of the Year: Shawn Camp 

Banjo Player of the Year: Noam Pikelny 

Bass Player of the Year: Alan Bartram 

Dobro Player of the Year: Josh Swift 

Fiddle Player of the Year: Patrick McAvinue 

Guitar Player of the Year: Molly Tuttle 

Mandolin Player of the Year: Sierra Hull