In contrast to other country music awards shows, the artist of the year nominees at this year’s Americana Music Association’s Honors and Awards are all female, including Brandi Carlile, Mavis Staples, Kacey Musgraves and Rhiannon Giddens.
The Americana Music Association announced Tuesday (May 14) that singer-songwriter Lori McKenna is the leading nominee with four. She’s up for album of the year with The Tree and earned three bids for song of the year with “By Degrees” and “People Get Old,” where she’s nominated as both an artist and a songwriter.
Producer Dave Cobb is behind McKenna with three nominations — all for album of the year. He produced McKenna’s The Tree, John Prine’s The Tree of Forgiveness and To the Sunset by Amanda Shires. Walk Through Fire from British newcomer Yola rounds out the nominees for album of the year; Yola also scored a nomination for emerging artist of the year.
No women were nominated for the top prize — entertainer of the year — at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April or the Country Music Association Awards in November. Taylor Swift was the last woman named entertainer of the year at the ACM and CMA Awards when she won the prize at both shows in 2011.
Though she wasn’t nominated for entertainer of the year at this year’s ACM and CMA Awards, Musgraves did win album of the year at both ceremonies with Golden Hour. Her critically acclaimed album also won album of the year at this year’s Grammy Awards, along with three other honors.
At the Americana Music Association’s Honors and Awards, Gillian Welch was the last woman to win artist of the year when she did in 2012.
Acts getting multiple nominations this year also include Prine, nominated as an artist and a songwriter for “Summer’s End,” and Giddens, nominated for duo/group of the year for her work in the banjo band Our Native Daughters.
The 2019 Americana Music Association’s Honors and Awards will be held Sept. 11 in Nashville, Tennessee.