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

  • Maren Morris 53rd Annual CMA Awards,

    Maren Morris to Hit Road with 'Tour Bus Baby' for Summer Amphitheater Outing

    Maren Morris is not one for a super-extended maternity leave. After previously announcing a handful of festival dates for the summer, Morris has now revealed plans for a full amphitheater tour that will take her across North America through the summer months and into the early fall, wrapping with a return to L.A.’s Greek Theater [...]

  • SZA, Justin Timberlake Drop ‘The Other

    SZA and Justin Timberlake Drop First Song From 'Trolls World Tour'

    SZA and Justin Timberlake released “The Other Side,” the first song from the upcoming “Trolls World Tour” soundtrack. Of course, Timberlake’s Grammy-winning 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” from the first “Trolls” film, was one of the most massive hits in a career filled with them, and like that song, this one involves co-writer Max [...]

  • YGRolling Loud SOCAL, Los Angeles, USA

    YG’s 4Hunnid Label Strikes Joint Venture With Epic Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Compton rapper YG today unveiled a joint venture between his 4Hunnid label and Epic Records. The Sony Music company will exclusively release, distribute and market new music from the rapper’s Los Angeles-based independent label. The first release from the partnership is scheduled to come from Compton female rapper Day Sulan, who was featured on YG’s [...]

  • Chrysalis Records Re-Launches, Signs Laura Marling

    Chrysalis Records Re-Launches, Signs Laura Marling in Partnership With Partisan

    Chrysalis Records — the iconic record company that was home to artists ranging from Jethro Tull and Blondie to Billy Idol and Huey Lewis and the News — is re-launching as a front-line label and releasing new music for the first time in more than two decades. British singer-songwriter Laura Marling is the revived label’s [...]

  • BTS

    Howard Stern, Show Listeners Call Staffer 'Racist' for Linking BTS and Coronavirus

    Remarks about BTS made on “The Howard Stern Show” are being called “racist” by both listeners and the show’s host. During the February 24 episode of the SiriusXM staple, Howard Stern —  a notorious germaphobe — brought up growing concern over the deadly coronavirus with his cast of comedic cohorts. The topic turned to BTS [...]

  • Jeremy Renner

    John Ottman Hosts Jeremy Renner, Michael Keaton, More at 'Aiding Australia' Benefit

    Film editor and composer John Ottman, who won an Oscar for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2019, hosted members of the film, television and music communities at the “Aiding Australia” charity dinner and concert held at his West Hollywood home on Sunday evening (Feb. 23). The benefit raised funds to help in the recovery of fire-ravaged Australia, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content