2021 IBMA Awards Big Winners Include Billy Strings, Appalachian Road Show, Sierra Hull + More
The 2021 IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards took place on Thursday (Sept. 30), and singer-songwriter Billy Strings was among the evening's most triumphant nominees, Billboard reports. Strings brought home both the Entertainer of the Year title and a win in the Guitar Player of the Year category.
Those two latest trophies are the newest additions to a growing collection. Strings was previously named Guitar Player of the Year at the 2019 IBMAs, and that same year, he won New Artist of the Year. His breakthrough album, 2019's Home, earned him success on a more mainstream stage, too: He won a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2021.
This year's IBMA Awards featured several other two-time winners. Appalachian Road Show won both Instrumental Group of the Year and New Artist of the Year; Sierra Hull won Mandolin Player of the Year as well as Collaborative Recording of the Year (for her work on "White Line Fever," alongside Bobby Osborne, Tim O'Brien, Stuart Duncan and others); and Dale Ann Bradley was named Female Vocalist of the Year in addition to tying for Gospel Recording of the Year.
The 2021 event returned to Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, N.C., the same venue where it took place in 2019. Like most other awards ceremonies, the IBMA Awards opted to forego its in-person celebration in 2020, moving instead to a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this year's show, the newest class of inductees into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame received a special moment in the spotlight. The three honorees headed for the Hall of Fame are Alison Krauss, banjo player Lynn Morris and early bluegrass group the Stoneman Family; their inductions were announced in July 2021.
As always, the IBMA Awards took place as part of the annual World of Bluegrass Festival, which also includes artists showcases and a conference. This year's festival took place in Raleigh from Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
See below for a complete list of winners from the 2021 IBMA Awards:
2021 International Bluegrass Music Award Winners:
Entertainer of the Year: Billy Strings
Vocal Group of the Year: Sister Sadie
Instrumental Group of the Year: Appalachian Road Show
Song of the Year: "Richest Man," Balsam Range (artist), Jim Beavers/Jimmy Yeary/Connie Harrington (songwriters), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)
Album of the Year: Industrial Strength Bluegrass: Southwestern Ohio’s Musical Legacy, Various Artists, Joe Mullins (producer), Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Gospel Recording of the Year (tie): “After While,” Dale Ann Bradley; “In the Resurrection Morning,” Sacred Reunion featuring Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, Barry Abernathy, Tim Stafford, Mark Wheeler, Jim VanCleve, Phil Leadbetter, Jason Moore
Instrumental Recording of the Year: “Ground Speed," Kristin Scott Benson, Skip Cherryholmes, Jeremy Garrett, Kevin Kehrberg, Darren Nicholson
New Artist of the Year: Appalachian Road Show
Collaborative Recording of the Year: “White Line Fever,” Bobby Osborne with Tim O’Brien, Trey Hensley, Sierra Hull, Stuart Duncan, Todd Phillips, Alison Brown
Female Vocalist of the Year: Dale Ann Bradley
Male Vocalist of the Year (tie): Danny Paisley, Del McCoury
Banjo Player of the Year: Scott Vestal
Bass Player of the Year: Missy Raines
Resophonic Guitar Player of the Year: Justin Moses
Fiddle Player of the Year: Bronwyn Keith-Hynes
Guitar Player of the Year: Billy Strings
Mandolin Player of the Year: Sierra Hull
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