Woody Guthrie, Bob Weir and More to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at 2016 Americana Music Awards
William Bell, Billy Bragg, Shawn Colvin, Woody Guthrie, Jim Lauderdale and Bob Weir will all be honored with lifetime achievement awards during the 2016 Americana Music Awards, set to take place in September.
"These artists have not only influenced the Americana community, but the musical landscape as a whole,” says Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, in a press release. "They all have been an inspiration to our community, and we are humbled they will honor us in song at the Ryman this fall."
Soul singer-songwriter Bell will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, honoring his Stax Records releases from the 1960s and '70s, as well as his work as a "respected record maker and musical mentor" in Atlanta, Ga. He's a previous recipient of the Memphis Music Foundation's WC Handy Heritage Award and the BMI Songwriter's Award. Bragg, meanwhile, earns the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award, in recognition of the British singer, songwriter and activist's penchant for mixing music with social commentary and activism. Bragg, the Americana Music Association says in a press release, "brought a brawler’s toughness to the art of the political folk song, competing with the biggest punk rockers of the day for impact and truth-telling."
This year's Trailblazer honor will go to Colvin, recognizing her three decade-long career. The singer-songwriter has earned three Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for her well-known hit "Sunny Came Home;" in 2013, she published a memoir, Diamond in the Rough. Guthrie, then, will posthumously receive the President's Award in honor of his incredible legacy and influence on a number of major artists; the iconic singer-songwriter "moved people -- to laughter, to tears and the action," the Americana Music Association explains.
As previously announced, Lauderdale is the 2016 WagonMaster honoree; the Americana Music Association presents the award, named after Porter Wagoner, to those who have made exceptionally valuable contributions to the genre. George Strait, who has recorded 14 of Lauderdale’s tunes throughout his career, will be on hand to help honor the songwriter at the Americana Music Awards. And finally, Weir will be recognized with a Performer Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring his work with the Grateful Dead, including his beloved rhythm guitar work and songwriting. The honor will also recognize how Weir has "personally carr[ied] on the Grateful Dead's music and ethos for more than 50 years," both with the iconic band and with other ensembles.
The 2016 Americana Music Awards are set for Sept. 21, during the 2016 Americana Music Festival, which is scheduled to run Sept. 20-25. The six-day festival takes place in Nashville, and the awards ceremony itself is held at the Ryman Auditorium.
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