October 3

Artists Who Shone the Brightest at the 2017 Bluegrass Awards


Another year means another grand reason to celebrate the beauty and unique appeal of bluegrass music, and what better way to do that than to honor all the amazing artists behind some of the most wonderful and memorable bluegrass songs?


During the awarding ceremony for the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) in Raleigh, North Carolina, history was made while legacies continued on for some of the nominated artists and groups. Molly Tuttle became the first female musician in IBMA’s history to bag the Guitar Player of the Year award, while legendary supergroup Earls of Leicester won their 3rd consecutive award for Entertainer of the Year.

Brook Aldridge was also a first-time winner at the event, for being the recipient of the Female Vocalist of the Year.

Below is the complete list of the artists who were huge winners during the awarding night of the 28th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards:

Album of the Year: Mountain Voodoo, Balsam Range (artist), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)

Banjo Player of the Year: Noam Pikelny

Bass Player of the Year: Alan Bartram

Dobro Player of the Year: Josh Swift

Emerging Artist of the Year: Volume Five

Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester

Female Vocalist of the Year: Brooke Aldridge

Fiddle Player of the Year: Patrick McAvinue

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year (tie): “I Found a Church Today, ” Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson/Leigh Gibson (writers), In The Ground (album), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, and Mike Barber (producers), Rounder Records (label) and “Sacred Memories,” Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers with Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs (artist), Dolly Parton (writer), Sacred Memories(album), Joe Mullins (producer), Rebel Records (label)

Guitar Player of the Year: Molly Tuttle

Instrumental Group of the Year: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “Fiddler’s Dream,” Michael Cleveland (artist), Arthur Smith (writer), Fiddler’s Dream (album), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label)

Male Vocalist of the Year: Shawn Camp

Mandolin Player of the Year: Sierra Hull

Recorded Event of the Year: “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” Bobby Osborne with Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Trey Hensley, Todd Phillips, Kenny Malone, Claire Lynch and Bryan McDowell (artists), Original (album), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)

Song of the Year: “I Am a Drifter,” Volume Five (artist), Donna Ulisse/Marc Rossi (writers)

Vocal Group of the Year: Flatt Lonesome

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn hosted the 2017 IBMA.


The awards and winners were voted on by professional members of the International Bluegrass Music Association. Their annual gathering also marks the convergence of fans and the industry’s professionals hailing from across the globe. The annual gathering began last September 26 while the Wide Open Bluegrass which featured two days of live music with performances from Steve Martin, the Travelin’ McCourys, Steep Canyon Rangers, along with a guest appearance by Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Quicksilver, and the Lonesome River Band, kick-started Friday of the same week.

Meanwhile, Rhiannon Giddens, renowned musician and Nashville actress delivered the keynote speech for the opening of the World of Bluegrass Business Conference for the annual musical event. Highlighting this year’s theme, “Community and Connection”, Giddens’ speech delved into diversity in the bluegrass genre, while paying tribute to the African and European roots of the said genre.

Congratulations to all the winners! This year’s award for the finest Bluegrass musicians was such a success, that fans and critics are looking forward to the annual event’s recipients for its most coveted awards.


bluegrass, country artists

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