Americana Music Awards | Nashville Public Radio

Americana Music Awards

Rick Diamond / Getty Images for Americana Music

Musician and actress Rhiannon Giddens has been awarded one of the MacArthur "genius grants" for her work "reclaiming African-American contributions to folk and country," the institution says.

Getty Images for Americana Music

The Americana Music Awards last night leaned heavily on heritage, but it was two of the genre's more contemporary stars who struck the sharpest chords.

Laura Partain

Over its 18 years, Nashville’s Americana Fest has consistently shown an inclusive approach. And this year they stretched the boundaries of the genre even more by inviting a band with a folk touch and a punk rock punch.

Courtesy of T Bone Burnett

Editors Note: T Bone Burnett is a Grammy-winning producer whose O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack helped ignite an American roots music insurgence over the past 15 years. He's worked with countless Nashville artists — from Roy Orbison to Gillian Welch — is a songwriter in his own right, and once played guitar in Bob Dylan's band. 

Courtesy of Grant Lee Phillps

This week in Nashville the Americana Music Association is holding its annual festival and conference.

Americana is a wide ranging roots music genre. But sometimes it gets narrowly defined by those who buy into an emerging stereotype - the hipster musician wearing suspenders, clutching a banjo.

Brian Latimer / WPLN

The big winner at Wednesday night’s Americana Music Awards was Sturgill Simpson, nabbing "Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” But the show had to do without the Kentucky-born honky-tonk jammer.