Music

John Prine Wins 2020 Americana Honors & Awards' Artist of the Year

FILE — In this Sept. 11, 2019, file photo, John Prine performs at the Americana Honors & Awards show in Nashville, Tenn. Prine was named artist of the year at the Americana Honors and Awards. The Americana Music Association announced the winners online this year after their awards show, normally held in Nashville, Tennessee, was cancelled because of the pandemic. Prine died April 7, 2020, from complications of the coronavirus. He was 73. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

The Highwomen dominated this year's 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards, winning in three of the six categories, while the late, great John Prine got his due as Artist of the Year.

The Highwomen--featuring Tanya Tucker running buddy Brandi Carlile plus Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby--won Album of the Year for their self-titled debut, Song of the Year for "Crowded Table" and Duo/Group of the Year.

Prine won one of the evening's top prizes just eight months after passing away due to COVID-19 complications. In his final years, Prine became Americana's guiding light, both as a songwriting great and as a mentor and friend to current roots rock and alt-country acts.

The award winners were announced Tuesday (Dec. 15) on social media.

On Sept. 11, Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, announced that the awards presentation, originally slated for Sept. 16 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, was postponed indefinitely.

"We've carefully evaluated safety measures both with an audience and without," Hilly wrote in a statement. "It is our conclusion that if just one person walked out of the Ryman with COVID-19, we would not be able to forgive ourselves. We are making new plans to celebrate the nominees and to proclaim the winners later this fall, and we hope to have details on that shortly with an official announcement date soon."

The nominees, announced June 15, better reflect diversity than just about any other awards show's list of potential winners. And that's not just a comparison to the CMA or ACM Awards. For instance, Prine's fellow Artist of the Year nominees were all women: Tucker, Carlile, Brittany Howard and Yola.

Read More: John Prine to Receive Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Awards

The awards show usually happens during AmericanaFest in Nashville, which was cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions.

Americana Awards Nominees

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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John Prine Wins 2020 Americana Honors & Awards' Artist of the Year