Grammy Award for Best Americana Album

Grammy Award for Best Americana Album
Awarded for quality Americana albums
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 2010
Last awarded present
Official website

The Grammy Award for Best Americana Album is an honor presented to recording artists for quality albums in the Americana music genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.[1] Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[2]

In 2009, the Academy announced that the award for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album would be split into two separate categories: Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Americana Album.[3][4] The distinction between the two award categories is based on the use of acoustic versus electric instruments; acoustic instruments predominate in "contemporary folk" and electric instruments are characteristic of Americana.[4] Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, called the new category's inclusion "a huge acknowledgment" of the music genre.[5] Hilly admitted to working hard at convincing the Academy to include Americana as its own category.[6][7] The music industry had been using the term "Americana music" for about 15 years before the new award was created.[4] Following is the award's purpose, according to the category description guide from the 2011 Grammy Awards:

Americana is contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band.[8]

The award was first presented in 2010 to Levon Helm at the 52nd Grammy Awards for the album Electric Dirt.[9] The second winner, in 2011, was Mavis Staples. Staples, Helm, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and Lucinda Williams are the only artists to be nominated more than once.[9]


A man wearing a dress shirt, sitting behind a drum kit; spectators can be seen in the background.
2010 and 2012 award recipient Levon Helm performing in 2004
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Nationality Work Nominees Ref.
2010 Helm, LevonLevon Helm United States Electric Dirt [6]
2011 Staples, MavisMavis Staples United States You Are Not Alone [10]
2012 Levon Helm United States Ramble at the Ryman [11]
2013 Bonnie Raitt United States Slipstream [12]
2014 Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell United States Old Yellow Moon
2015 Rosanne Cash United States The River and the Thread [14]
2016 Jason Isbell USA Something More Than Free

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

See also


  1. "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  2. "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  3. Sisario, Ben (June 4, 2009). "Polka Music Is Eliminated as Grammy Award Category". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 Shriver, Jerry (August 31, 2009). "Grammys will be putting Americana on the map". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  5. Rodman, Sarah (January 29, 2010). "Grammys get a new category: Best Americana Album". The Boston Globe. The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  6. 1 2 Fusilli, Jim (December 5, 2009). "Grammy Awards: Americana, the Not-So Beautiful". The Wall Street Journal. News Corporation. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  7. Purdy, Nick (July 24, 2009). "Industry Chat: Jed Hilly of the Americana Music Association". Paste. Paste Media Group. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  8. "2011 OEP Category Description Guide" (PDF). National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. p. 3. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Grammy Award Winners". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  10. "2011 Grammy Nominations: Eminem Leads The Pack". MTV. December 2, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  11. "Best Americana Album". Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  12. List of 2013 nominees
  13. Diversity And Talent Fill The American Roots Nominations
  14. List of Nominees 2015

External links

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