2020 Americana Honors and Awards Winners - Rolling Stone
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2020 Americana Awards Winners: The Highwomen, John Prine Take Top Honors

Country supergroup dominates in three categories, while Prine receives a posthumous Artist of the Year

The Highwomen

Roots supergroup the Highwomen won three Americana Honors & Awards in 2020.

Alysse Gafkjen*

The winners of the 2020 Americana Honors and Awards were announced Tuesday morning, with the Highwomen and John Prine among this year’s winners. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Americana Music Association decided to forgo an in-person awards ceremony in 2020, instead announcing the winners via social media.

The Highwomen may have been mostly absent from the CMAs and Grammy Nominations, but the all-star quartet of Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby lead among Americana Awards winners in 2020. The group locked up prizes for Album of the Year for their self-titled debut, Song of the Year for “Crowded Table,” and Duo/Group of the Year.

John Prine was named Artist of the Year, the late songwriter’s fourth time to win the honor since 2005. Prine, who died of complications from Covid-19 in April, also recently received a Grammy nomination for his posthumous single “I Remember Everything.”

Elsewhere, rising duo Black Pumas picked up the award for Emerging Act of the Year and Hawktail member Brittany Haas was named Instrumentalist of the Year.

Typically, the Americana Honors and Awards would be a cornerstone event of the annual AmericanaFest in early fall. With live music shut down since March, the Americana Music Association instead hosted a virtual conference dubbed Thriving Roots with educational panels and artist interviews including Yola and Lucinda Williams.

Album of the Year
And It’s Still Alright – Nathaniel Rateliff (Produced by James Barone, Patrick Meese and Nathaniel Rateliff)
Country Squire – Tyler Childers (Produced by David Ferguson and Sturgill Simpson)
The Highwomen – The Highwomen (Produced by Dave Cobb) – WINNER
Jaime – Brittany Howard (Produced by Brittany Howard)
While I’m Livin’ – Tanya Tucker (Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings)

Artist of the Year
Brandi Carlile
Brittany Howard
John Prine – WINNER
Tanya Tucker
Yola

Duo/Group of the Year
Black Pumas
Drive-By Truckers
The Highwomen – WINNER
Buddy & Julie Miller
Our Native Daughters

Emerging Act of the Year
Black Pumas – WINNER
Katie Pruitt
Aubrie Sellers
Billy Strings
Kelsey Waldon 

Instrumentalist of the Year
Ellen Angelico
Annie Clements
Brittany Haas – WINNER
Zachariah Hickman
Rich Hinman

Song of the Year
“And It’s Still Alright,” Nathaniel Rateliff (Written by Nathaniel Rateliff)
“Bring My Flowers Now,” Tanya Tucker (Written by Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Tanya Tucker)
“Crowded Table,” The Highwomen (Written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna) – WINNER
“My Love Will Not Change,” Aubrie Sellers featuring Steve Earle (Written by Billy Burnette and Shawn Camp)
“Stay High,” Brittany Howard (Written by Brittany Howard)
“Thoughts and Prayers,” Drive-By Truckers (Written by Patterson Hood)

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