Grammy Award for Best Americana Album

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]

Grammy Award for Best Americana Album
Awarded forquality Americana albums
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded2010
Last awardedpresent
Currently held byKeb' Mo', Oklahoma (2020)

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 2018 Grammy Awards:

Americana is contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music and vocal 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] Emmylou Harris has been nominated most times (three).


2010 and 2012 award recipient Levon Helm performing in 2004
Mavis Staples received the award in 2011
2013 recipient Bonnie Raitt
2015 honoree Rosanne Cash
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
2010 Levon Helm Electric Dirt [6]
2011 Mavis Staples You Are Not Alone [10]
2012 Levon Helm Ramble at the Ryman [11]
2013 Bonnie Raitt Slipstream [12]
2014 Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell Old Yellow Moon [14]
2015 Rosanne Cash The River & the Thread [15]
2016 Jason Isbell Something More Than Free [16]
2017 William Bell This Is Where I Live [17]
2018 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The Nashville Sound [18]
2019 Brandi Carlile By the Way, I Forgive You [19]


Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
Keb' Mo' Oklahoma

Artists with multiple winsEdit

2 wins

Artists with multiple nominationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  • "Grammy Award Winners". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 4, 2011. Note: User must select the "American Roots" category as the genre under the search feature.
  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. 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. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b 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. ^ "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 Archived 2012-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Diversity And Talent Fill The American Roots Nominations
  14. ^ "56th GRAMMY Awards: Full Winners List". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  15. ^ List of Nominees 2015
  16. ^ "58th Grammy Nominees". Grammy. Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Lynch, Joe (November 28, 2017). "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ 2020 Grammy Awards nominations list

External linksEdit