Americana's 2020 Nominees Quietly Revealed

Jun 15, 2020

Without ceremony or comment, the Americana Music Association announced the nominees for its 2020 Honors & Awards on Monday. Brandi Carlile, 2019's Artist of the Year, continues to be among the format’s most recognized figures, with an individual nomination for Artist, a production credit on Tanya Tucker’s Album and Song, and a shared Duo/Group nod for her super-group The Highwomen.

Tucker, who became a breakout country star in the early 70s as a teenager, has enjoyed a rewarding comeback in the wake of making and releasing While I’m Livin’ in 2019. The album, produce by Carlile and Shooter Jennings earned four Grammy Award nominations and secured two wins for Country Album and Country Song this winter. Similarly, the AMA tapped the project for Album and Song nominations for 2020, while Tucker was named a possible Artist of the Year. Others in that category are the late John Prine, Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard and English country soul breakout star Yola. 

Howard took three nominations in total, including Album of the Year for her project Jaime and its song “Stay High.” Other artists earning an Album nomination were The Highwomen, Nathaniel Rateliff who put out the solo And It’s Still Alright this winter, and Kentuckian Tyler Childers who famously badmouthed the Americana format upon winning Emerging Artist of the Year in 2018. 

The 19th Honors and Awards are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 at the Ryman Auditorium, though plans for its format and whether to allow an audience amid the Covid-19 pandemic are still in the works. The AMA formally called off its 2020 AmericanaFest last week but promised details as soon as this week about alternative online events. 

A full list of nominees follows:

 

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

“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

Tanya Tucker

Yola

DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR:

Black Pumas

Drive-By Truckers

The Highwomen

Buddy & Julie Miller

Our Native Daughters

EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR:

Black Pumas

Katie Pruitt

Aubrie Sellers

Billy Strings

Kelsey Waldon

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR:

Ellen Angelico

Annie Clements

Brittany Haas

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

“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