2021 IBMA Awards Announced

by | 5 Oct, 2021

The International Bluegrass Music Awards have been announced. This public award ceremony has been a long time coming with covid prohibiting gatherings since the virus was unleashed on the world.

Billy Strings 2021 Entertainer of the Year

Billy Strings

The 2021 awards were hosted by Grammy award winning group The Infamous Stringdusters. This was the 32nd annual awards night which was staged at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

Band leader and guitarist Billy Strings won Entertainer of the Year, the night’s highest honor. He also took out Guitar Player of the Year trophy.
Sister Sadie, received the Vocal Group of the Year award.

Other awards listed below, include the Smithsonian Folkways’ compilation album, taking out Album of the Year with Industrial Strength Bluegrass, an album that celebrates the regional bluegrass of southwestern Ohio.

Previously announced Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductees Lynn Morris, Alison Krauss, and the Stoneman Family were honoured during the show as well.

Here is the honours list in full:

Sister Sadie Vocal Group of the Year

Sister Sadie

Entertainer of the Year – Billy Strings
Vocal Group of the Year – Sister Sadie
Instrumental Group of the Year – Appalachian Road Show
New Artist of the Year – Appalachian Road Show
Male Vocalist of the Year – (tie) Danny Paisley and Del McCoury
Female Vocalist of the Year – Dale Ann Bradley
Song of the YearRichest Man – Balsam Range (artist), Jim Beavers/Jimmy Yeary/Connie Harrington (songwriters), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label).
Album of the YearIndustrial Strength Bluegrass: Southwestern Ohio’s Musical Legacy – Various Artists, Joe Mullins (producers), Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (label)
Gospel Recording of the Year – (tie) After While – Dale Ann Bradley (artist), Public Domain, Dale Ann Bradley (producer), Pinecastle Records (label); In the Resurrection Morning – Sacred Reunion featuring Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, Barry Abernathy, Tim Stafford, Mark Wheeler, Jim VanCleve, Phil Leadbetter, Jason Moore (artists), Mark Wheeler (songwriter), Barry Abernathy, Jim VanCleve (producers), Dottie Leonard Miller (Executive Producer), Billy Blue Records (label)
Instrumental Recording of the YearGround Speed – Kristin Scott Benson, Skip Cherryholmes, Jeremy Garrett, Kevin Kehrberg, Darren Nicholson(artists), Earl Scruggs (songwriter), Jon Weisberger (producer), Mountain Home Music (label)
Collaborative Recording of the Year White Line Fever – Bobby Osborne with Tim O’Brien, Trey Hensley, Sierra Hull, Stuart Duncan, Todd Phillips, Alison Brown (artists), Merle Haggard/Jeff Tweedy (songwriters) Alison Brown, Garry West (producers), Compass Records (label)

Player of the Years Awards:

Sierra Hull

Sierra Hull

Banjo Player of the Year – Scott Vestal
Bass Player of the Year – Missy Raines
Mandolin Player of the Year – Sierra Hull
Fiddle Player of the Year – Bronwyn Keith-Hynes
Resophonic Guitar Player of the Year – Justin Moses
Guitar Player of the Year – Billy Strings

The 2021 Industry Award winners are:

Broadcaster of the Year – Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction – SiriusXM
Event of the Year – Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, Stony Plain, Alberta
Graphic Designer of the Year– Grace van’t Hof
Liner Notes of the Year – Tim Stafford, California Autumn – Tony Rice
Writer of the Year – Tristan Scroggins
Sound Engineer of the Year – Anna Frick
Songwriter of the Year – Thomm Jutz

Distinguished Achievement Awards:

Nancy Cardwell Webster – Director of IBMA Foundation
Lee Michael Demsey – broadcaster
Jaroslav Prucha – Czech luthier/performer
Cliff Waldron – musician/performer
Stan Zdonik – Boston Bluegrass Union