Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was the big winner at the Blues Foundation’s 2020 Blues Music Awards on Sunday (May 3).
The blues guitarist and singer took home five awards, including album of the year, best emerging artist album and best contemporary blues album for his debut, Kingfish. He also won instrumentalist-guitarist and best contemporary blues artist.
The awards show became a virtual ceremony with all artists sheltering in place and presenting, accepting and performing remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to gather live in Memphis, as had been planned. The awards were broadcast on The Blues Foundation’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Nick Moss and his band featuring Dennis Gruenling won two awards for band of the year and traditional blues album for Lucky Guy!, while Moss took home the statue for song of the year for “Lucky Guy.” Last year’s soul blues male artist award winner, Sugaray Rayford, claimed that prize again this year along with the B.B. King entertainer of the year award.
A number of legends already inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame added to their trophy case: Mavis Staples claimed the vocalist award, Bobby Rush — who recently recovered after a COVID-19 scare — won in soul blues album for Sitting on Top of the Blues, and Bettye LaVette took home the soul blues female artist award.
Presenters included Charlie Musselwhite, Warren Haynes, Fantastic Negrito, Ruthie Foster, William Bell, Beth Hart and Keb’ Mo. Additionally, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, Robert Cray, Dion and Little Steven Van Zandt took part in the ceremony, providing words of inspiration for nominees.
For a full list of winners, go here.