×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Americana Awards Set Elvis Costello, Others for Lifetime Honors (EXCLUSIVE)

This year's tributees include Delbert McClinton, Maria Muldaur, Rhiannon Giddens, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, and (belatedly) Mavis Staples.

The Americana Music Association has set Elvis Costello, Maria Muldaur, Delbert McClinton and the songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant for its lifetime achievement honors at the org’s annual awards show Sept. 11 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. 

Additionally, Mavis Staples, who won a lifetime achievement award in 2007 but was unable to appear at the time, will be celebrated as she attends the Americana Honors & Awards for the first time.

These honorees join the already announced Rhiannon Giddens and the late Frank Johnson, who’ll be dually awarded with the Legacy of Americana Award, being given out for the first time in conjunction with the National Museum of African American Music.

Staples and Giddens have an unusual distinction at the 18th annual show: besides being given these lifetime awards (with Staples showing up to belatedly accept hers 12 years after it was awarded), they’re competing against one another in the contemporary category of artist of the year, where Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves are the other two nominees. This marks the first time the top artist category has had a slate of exclusively female contenders.

The Americana Honors & Awards is the rare awards show where nearly as much time is devoted to lifetime achievement honors as to the purely contemporary kudos, with a house band led by Buddy Miller typically backing up the veteran honorees in performance, in a show usually aired on NPR, AXS, CMT and PBS’ “Austin City Limits.” (Broadcast details for 2019 have not yet been announced.)

“We are beyond humbled to honor this group of incredibly venerable musicians,” said the Americana Music Association’s executive director, Jed Hilly. “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.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Costello — who just wrapped up a co-headining tour with Blondie, and will be back out on the road in the fall — is getting the lifetime achievement award for songwriting. He may have fewer mixed feelings about receiving plaudits from the Americana Association than he notably did about recently being set to receive an OBE in his native England.

Texas blues-rocker McClinton’s honor comes in the performance category. Muldaur is getting the Americana Trailblazer Award for her work going back to her time as part of the folk group Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band in the 1960s, prior to her successful solo career as a pop artist in the ’70s. Being posthumously awarded the 2019 President’s Award is the husband-and-wife team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, whose catalog of thousands of songs, including “All I Have to Do is Dream” and “Bye Bye Love,” already won them induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Staples will be re-recognized, in person this time, as the winner of the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award, just one of many kudos she picked up on the way to receiving a Kennedy Center honor. Giddens’ notoriety encompasses everything from a role on “Nashville” to having recently formed the group Our Native Daughters with three other black female artists to highlight the legacy of slave narratives in song. Giddens is being named alongside the late Johnson, a pioneering folk singer whose Antebellum-era work inspired hers.

The Sept. 11 awards show at the Ryman marks the start of the annual Americanafest, which features seminars by day and showcases in Nashville’s clubs and theaters by night, running through Sept. 15.

More Music

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    From "1917" to "Jojo Rabbit," Composers of Some of the Year's Top Scores Talk Shop

    “1917,” Thomas Newman The 20-year collaboration of director Sam Mendes and composer Thomas Newman has encompassed midlife crisis (“American Beauty”), crime in the Depression (“Road to Perdition”), the Gulf War (“Jarhead”), marriage in the 1950s (“Revolutionary Road”) and two James Bond adventures (“Skyfall,” “Spectre”). Now they’ve tackled World War I, with “1917,” but Mendes’ much-talked-about [...]

  • ROAD TRIP – In Disney and

    Disney Boasts a Bevy of Hopefuls for Oscar's Original Song Race

    When the Academy announces its shortlist for song nominations on Dec. 16, you can be certain that at least one Disney song will be on it and probably more. Disney songs have been nominated 33 times in the past 30 years, winning 12 of the gold statuettes. This year, the studio has at least four [...]

  • pharrell brain child show

    'Blurred Lines' Flares Up Again - Marvin Gaye Family Claims Pharrell Perjured Himself

    Like a zombie that just won’t stay dead, the “Blurred Lines” case keeps coming back. While the 2015 verdict, in which Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and the song’s publisher were ordered to pay nearly $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for infringing upon the late singer’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up,” was basically [...]

  • Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    It’s next to impossible for a documentary score to be Oscar-nominated alongside the dozens of fictional narratives entered each year. But it did happen, just once: In 1975, composer Gerald Fried was nominated for his music for “Birds Do It, Bees Do It,” a documentary on the mating habits of animals. Fried, now 91, perhaps [...]

  • Liam Payne "LP1"

    Liam Payne's 'LP1': Album Review

    If you’re a collective One Direction optimist — in the maybe-it-really-is-a-hiatus sense — you could imagine that the current flurry of individual records (and the summer 2020 tours to follow) mean they’re all getting their solo stuff out of their systems to clear the palette for a reunion in the distant future. But from the look [...]

  • Camila Cabello Romance album cover

    Camila Cabello's 'Romance': Album Review

    At 22, Camila Cabello is still in the prime age range to be a student. Although it’s unlikely she’ll be taking an arena-tour hiatus to be going back to school any time soon, “Romance,” her second solo album, makes it clear that she’s been keeping up on her studies. To be specific, it feels like [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content