Shemekia Copeland, Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram Lead Blues Awards Winners


Shemekia Copeland

(Photo: Joseph A. Rosen)

The blues was on full display during The Blues Foundation’s 42nd Blues Music Awards on June 6.

This year’s ceremony was held virtually due to continued COVID precautions, but that didn’t stop Shemekia Copeland from becoming the show’s big winner with three awards including the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award.

Copeland was recognized with the Contemporary Blues Female Artist award (an award she also received in 2020), and also took the prize for Contemporary Blues Album with Uncivil War.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram took home two awards, winning both Contemporary Blues Male Artist and Instrumentalist–Guitar.

Other multiple award winners were Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite, whose album, 100 Years Of Blues, won awards for Album of the Year and Traditional Blues Album, and Mike Zito, who won in the Blues Rock Artist category as well as the Blues Rock Album category for Mike Zito And Friends–Rock ’n’ Roll: A Tribute To Chuck Berry.

Bettye LaVette won for Soul Blues Female Artist and Bobby Rush took the prize for Acoustic Blues Album with Rawer Than Raw. Rush performed during the show and appeared onstage to accept his award. Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith, Instrumentalist–Drum winner, continued a family tradition. His father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, has won 16 BMAs. Newcomer King Solomon Hicks was awarded Best Emerging Artist Album for Harlem. Other awards included Rick Estrin & the Nightcats’ win for Band of the Year and Walter Trout’s win for Song of the Year, “All Out Of Tears.”

The show featured Big Llou as the host and performances by Bobby Rush and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, John Nemeth & the Blue Dreamers, Shaun Murphy, Don Bryant, Watermelon Slim and Southern Avenue.

Awarded by The Blues Foundation’s members, the BMAs are recognized as one of the highest honors given to blues musicians each year. This year’s event was presented by Global Electronic Technology.

For a complete list of winners, go to DB

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