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Margo Price Receives 2017 American Music Prize

Margo Price is $25,000 richer: She’s the 2017 winner of the American Music Prize, an honor that recognizes the year’s best debut album.

Price was surprised with the news of her American Music Prize win on Tuesday night (March 7), the Tennessean reports. Friends, family and employees from her record label, Third Man Records, surprised the singer-songwriter with the news at Third Man’s Blue Room in Nashville; she was told that she needed to be there for a business meeting.

“I’m really speechless right now. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and that’s maybe what makes it so sweet,” Price said. “I kept asking, ‘Am I in trouble? Do you think I did something wrong?’ [My husband’s] like, ‘No, it’s fine. We’re going to go get a nice dinner.’ He even told me to change my dress, that it wasn’t nice enough!”

Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, released in March of 2016, beat out about 250 other debut albums to win the 2017 American Music Prize, which “aims to encourage, discover, reward and promote new music of excellence by USA artists,” according to the Prize’s official website. Twelve finalists, from all different genres, were announced in early February.

Before signing with Third Man Records, Price sold her car and pawned her wedding ring to help pay to record Midwest Farmer’s Daughter at Memphis’ legendary Sun Studio; the 10-track record was influenced by Price’s years of trying to “make it” in Nashville, the childhood memories of her family losing their farm in Illinois and the pain of trying to cope with the death of one of her children. After recording the album, Price shopped the project around in Nashville but found no takers until connecting with Jack White‘s Third Man Records; she’s now the label’s lone country artist.

“[Third Man Records has] been so supportive and completely changed my mind about a lot of people in the music industry, because I’ve not always had the best experience with labels and management and things like that,” Price says. “This has just been a complete 360 to have them in my corner and have them fighting for me and out there working for me.”

5 Things You Need to Know About Margo Price

NEXT: Margo Price Earns Her Time in the Country Music Spotlight

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