The irrepressible Irma Thomas is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award For Performance at this year’s Americana Honors & Awards. The 17th annual ceremony, part of AmericanaFest, takes place on September 12 in Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium.
“We are beyond elated to present this award to Ms Thomas at this year’s ceremony,” says Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, who organise the event. “Her undeniable charisma and grace have been evidenced by a remarkable career, and we are humbled to honour her enduring legacy.”
Thomas’ recording career began in 1959, and has encompassed gospel, blues and R&B as well as the foundational New Orleans soul with which she made her name. Besides her own hits like It’s Raining and Wish Someone Would Care, Thomas’ songs have passed into the culture via landmark cover versions, most notably Ruler Of My Heart, reinterpreted by Otis Redding as Pain In My Heart, and Time Is On My Side, which gave the Rolling Stones their first US Top Ten hit.
Thomas will be in good company at the 2018 Americana Honors & Awards. She will be joined at the Ryman by k.d. lang, the recipient of the Americana Trailblazer Award, and by Buddy Guy, who wins the Lifetime Achievement Award For Instrumentalist. Nominess for other awards include Margo Price, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
The ceremony is part of AmericanaFest, taking place September 11-16 in Nashville, an Americana music festival and conference that MOJO has previously described as the "roots alternative to the Grammys and South By Southwest". For more info, visit www.americanamusic.org.
Irma Thomas photo: Rick Oliver