The 41st Blues Music Awards took place yesterday – online – with a virtual ceremony hosted by The Blues Foundation with live streams being broadcasted on their Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is the big winner with five awards, with multiple honours to Nick Moss and Sugaray Rayford. Presenters included Charlie Musselwhite, Warren Haynes, Fantastic Negrito, Ruthie Foster, William Bell, Beth Hart, and Keb’ Mo’.

Bonnie RaittSteve MillerRobert CraySteve CropperDion, and Little Steven Van Zandt all took part in The Blues Foundation’s 2020 Blues Music Awards with words of inspiration for nominees and fans alike. The awards show took place virtually on Sunday, May 3rd with musical contributions from all over the globe.

But the night belonged to rising blues star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, who walked away with five statues, three for his debut album, Kingfish, as Best Emerging Artist Album, Best Contemporary Blues Album and Album of the Year, along with two performer awards as Best Contemporary Blues Male Artist and for Instrumentalist-Guitar.

image of christone kingfish winner of BMA's

Nick Moss and his band featuring Dennis Gruenling were also big winners with three awards: Band of the Year; Traditional Blues Album, for Lucky Guy; and Moss personally in the Song of the Year category for his composition “Lucky Guy.”

nick moss band image winners of the blues foundations blues music awards 2020

Last year’s Soul Blues Male Artist award winner, Sugaray Rayford, claimed that prize again this year along with the coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award.

image of sugaray rayford blues foundation winner of blues music awards 2020

The star-studded list of presenters included Charlie MusselwhiteWarren HaynesFantastic NegritoRuthie FosterWilliam BellBeth Hart, and Keb’ Mo’, who shared the names of nominees and winners in 26 categories. Blues icons already inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame were recognized in multiple categories, with Mavis Staples claiming the Vocalist award, Bobby Rush winning in the Soul Blues Album category for his latest release Sitting on Top of the Blues, and newest inductee, Bettye LaVette, taking home the Soul Blues Female Artist award. Jimmie Vaughan, last nominated in 2008, was back at the apex again winning Traditional Blues Male Artist and the show’s host, Shemekia Copeland, snagged the Contemporary Blues Female Artist award.

image of mavis staples winner of blues foundations blues music awards 2020

But the big winners of the night were blues fans the world over who were invited to enjoy the event from their living rooms at no cost. Due to the necessity of cancelling the annual May gala held in Memphis, The Blues Foundation pivoted to an online show, with nominees sending in home-recorded performances videotaped on their cell phones, shout-outs from prominent members of the music world, and unique flashbacks from prior years’ awards shows, which featured notable blues luminaries such as Dr. John, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Koko Taylor, Honeyboy Edwards, Luther Allison, Rufus Thomas, Ruth Brown, and of course the iconic B.B. King.

Watch the awards ceremony below and enjoy the event program by clicking here

Barbara Newman, Blues Foundation President and CEO shared, “with so much pain and suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to provide the healing power of the blues to music lovers everywhere as we shared the very best in blues from the past year with fans the world over. We were able to celebrate this iconic music from The United States to the United Kingdom, from Argentina to Australia, from Canada to Croatia and beyond”

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