The 2021 Blues Music Awards Winners

The 2021 Blues Music Awards were announced on May 6, and we’re thrilled to share the full list of winners with you! From B.B. King to Buddy Guy, these artists have all helped shape the sound of blues music and we’re honored to celebrate their achievements.

Best New Artist

The 2021 Blues Music Awards were held virtually on May 6, 2021, and the results are in! The awards are given out by the Blues Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that aims to preserve blues heritage. This year’s winners include Brianna Thomas for Best New Artist and Tedschi Trucks Band for Best Blues Rock Band.

Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland is an American blues singer. She was born in Harlem, New York, on April 10, 1979. Her father, the late Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, exposed her to the sounds of B.B. King and John Lee Hooker at an early age. After her father’s death in 1997, she began touring with his band. In 2000, she released her debut album, Turn the Heat Up!, which earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. She has released eight studio albums and one live album. In 2019, she won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for her album America’s Child.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is an American blues guitarist and singer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. He is best known for his appearance on the reality television show America’s Got Talent in 2017. In 2019, he released his debut album, Kingfish, to critical acclaim. He has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and won the award for Best New Artist at the 2021 Blues Music Awards.

Best Male Artist

Gary Clark Jr. took home the trophy for Best Male Artist at the 2021 Blues Music Awards. Clark Jr. is a Grammy-winning artist who has been praised for his incredible guitar playing. He has also won a number of other awards, including the American Music Award for Best New Artist.

Buddy Guy

The 2021 Blues Music Awards were held virtually on May 6, 2021, with Shemekia Copeland and Cyril Neville serving as co-hosts. The nominees were announced on February 10, 2021.

Buddy Guy won three awards, including Best Male Artist. He dedicated his award to the late B.B. King, saying “I want to thank the Almighty and B.B. King for letting me live my dream.”

Other winners included Tasha Taylor, who won Best Emerging Artist Album for Cherry Bomb, andtermination Kirk Fletcher, who won GuitarPlayer of the Year.

William Bell

The winners of the 2021 Blues Music Awards were announced on May 6, with legendary singer-songwriter William Bell taking home the prize for Best Male Artist. Bell, who first rose to prominence in the 1960s with hits like “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and “I Forgot to Be Your Lover,” has been nominated for a Grammy Award and was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015. His most recent album, This Is Where I Live, was released in 2016.

Best Female Artist

The 2021 Blues Music Awards were announced on May 5th and the winners for Best Female Artist are: Best Female Artist: Himalayan Blues by Sandy Carroll Best Traditional Blues Album: Here We Go Again by tails Best Contemporary Blues Album: Revival by Gary Clark Jr. Best Acoustic Blues Album: Lowdown and Lonesome by Joe Bonamassa Best Electric Blues Album: Live/Times by Kirk Fletcher

Irma Thomas

The Blues Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Blues Music Awards, which were originally scheduled to take place in Memphis on May 6, 2020, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 38th edition of the Blues Music Awards will now be held virtually on Thursday, June 3. The event will begin at 7 p.m. CST with a special presentation honoring this year’s recipients of The Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Awards followed by a virtual performance by Shemekia Copeland. The awards presentation will begin at 8 p.m. CST and will feature special appearances and award presentations by Charlie Musselwhite, Tracy Nelson, Kenny Neal, BobbyRush, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, Devon Gilfillian, Cedric Burnside and many more!

This year’s nominees reflect The Foundation’s commitment to global inclusion with a list that includes artists from Croatia, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway Scandinavia, Spain and Switzerland as well as Australia, Canada and throughout the United States. Representing a wide variety of styles within the blues idiom – acoustic & electric guitarists; bassists; contemporary & traditional blues artists – this year’s nominees truly reflect the vitality and international scope of blues music today.

And the winners are…

BEST FEMALE ARTIST
Irma Thomas

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist. She has recorded and performed with her family’s band The Staple Singers, and has also appeared as a solo artist.

Staples was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 10, 1939. She began her singing career with her family’s band at the age of twelve. The group recorded several songs for the Vee-Jay Records label in the 1950s and 1960s, including “Uncloudy Day” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. They also toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

The Staple Singers were one of the most successful groups of the Civil Rights Movement Era. Their music was featured prominently in Civil Rights Movement events and rallies, including the Selma to Montgomery marches. In addition to their work as recording artists and performers, the Staple Singers were also active in promoting social change. They were allies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and participated in several of his civil rights campaigns.

In recent years, Staples has continued to record and perform as a solo artist. She has released several successful albums, including Livin’ on a High Note (2016) and If All I Was Was Black (2017). In 2019, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Best Band

The 2021 Blues Music Awards Winners have been announced, and the best band category is no different. The award this year goes to The Blue Stones for their album “Black Holes”.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

The 2021 Blues Music Awards were announced on Thursday, with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band coming out on top as the best band. The New Orleans-based group, which formed in 1977, beat out fellow nominees The Revivalists, Willie Nelson & Family, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real for the top honor.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band trumpeter Gregory Davis was also recognized as the best instrumentalist, while saxophonist Roger Lewis was named the best horn player. The band’s other members include trombonist Corey Henry, drummer jamie Wooten, tuba player Kirk Joseph, and bass drummer Jason Mingledorff.

This is the second time that The Dirty Dozen Brass Band has won the award for best band; they previously won in 2012.

The Nighthawks

The Nighthawks are an American blues band, formed in 1971 in Washington, D.C. The band has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards and three W.C. Handy Awards, winning the latter twice. They have released twenty-nine albums, including two live albums, and their latest studio album, All You Gotta Do, was released in 2019.

The Nighthawks are known for their unique style of blues, which blends elements of country, rockabilly, and R&B. The band’s sound is often compared to that of the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead. The Nighthawks have been praised by critics for their energetic live performances and their ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences.

Best Album

The 2021 Blues Music Awards, which are determined by votes from members of the Blues Foundation, were announced on May 5. The Robert Cray Band won the coveted Album of the Year award for their album That’s What I Heard, which was released on August 28, 2020.

Shemekia Copeland – America’s Child

Shemekia Copeland’s place as one of the great contemporary blues singers was cemented with the release of her last album, America’s Child. The record is a masterclass in modern blues, blending influences from gospel, country, and rock into Copeland’s own brand of soulful, powerhouse vocals. On tracks like “Ain’t Got Time For Hate” and “Who Stole My Radio,” Copeland addresses the political and social turmoil of the past few years with a fire and passion that is both timely and timeless. But it’s not all heavy subject matter – on “Promises to Keep,” Copeland pays tribute to her late father, the legendary Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, with a touching ballad that will bring a tear to your eye. America’s Child is an essential addition to any blues fan’s collection, and further proof that Shemekia Copeland is one of the best vocalists working today.

William Bell – This Is Where I Live

This Is Where I Live is the fourteenth studio album by American soul singer-songwriter William Bell, released on April 29, 2016, by Concord Records. Produced by John Leventhal, it was Bell’s first new album in over a decade and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album.

The album includes the singles “The Three of Me”, “Born Under a Bad Sign”, and “I Forgot to Be Your Lover”. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart and number two on the Heatseekers Albums chart.

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