On Tuesday (Aug. 13), the Americana Music Association announced Elvis Costello, Delbert McClinton, Mavis Staples, Maria Muldaur and Felice and Boudleaux Bryant as its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. The honorees will be celebrated at the Ryman on Sept. 11 during this year's Americana Honors & Awards show.
Costello emerged in the late '70s from the UK punk and powerpop boom. His interaction with the worlds of folk and country music began with his 1981 covers album Almost Blue. Since then, Costello's immense knowledge of popular and folk music history and his genre-free sound made him an ally in the rise of Americana.
Although McClinton has primarily recorded and toured as a Texas blues picker since the 1970's, he often crossed over into country music territory. This can be heard on 1993's "Tell Me About It," a top five duet with Tanya Tucker.
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Staples, a current Artist of the Year nominee, keeps earning accolades for a career that began with gospel ensemble the Staple Singers and included a stint recording secular albums for Prince's Paisley Park Records. This year marks Staples' first appearance at the awards show. The 80-year-old roots music legend was unable to attend when originally announced in 2007 as a Lifetime Achievement recipient.
Other honorees include blues and folk veteran and "Midnight at the Oasis" singer Muldaur and Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the songwriters behind everything from bluegrass standard "Rocky Top" to The Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" and "Wake Up Little Susie."
"We are beyond humbled to honor this group of incredibly venerable musicians," said the Americana Music Association's executive director, Jed Hilly, to Variety. "All of these artists are luminaries in their own right and have helped to build a perennial foundation for Americana music to prosper as an art form today. Our community looks forward to welcoming them with open arms on our biggest night of the year in September."
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