2020 Blues Music Awards Winners Announced

The 2020 Blues Music Awards were held virtually and streamed live on Facebook and YouTube on Sunday. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was the big winner pulling in five different awards including “Album of the Year” and “Best Emerging Artist.” Nick Moss featuring Dennis Gruenling took home three awards including “Band of the Year” and “Song of the Year” while Sugaray Rayford won two awards. Other winners included Eric Gales for “Blues Rock Artist” and Albert Castiglia for “Blues Rock Album.”

The awards featured 26 different categories and included an all-star lineup of presenters featuring Warren Haynes, Beth Hart, Charlie Musselwhite, Keb’ Mo’, Fantastic Negrito, Ruthie Foster, and William Bell.


BB King Entertainer of the Year

Sugaray Rayford

Album of the Year

Kingfish, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Band of the Year

The Nick Moss Band feat. Dennis Gruenling

Song of the Year

“Lucky Guy,” written by Nick Moss

Best Emerging Artist Album

Kingfish, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Acoustic Blues Album

This Guitar and Tonight, Bob Margolin

Acoustic Blues Artist

Doug MacLeod

Blues Rock Album 

Masterpiece, Albert Castiglia

Blues Rock Artist

Eric Gales

Contemporary Blues Album

Kingfish, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Contemporary Blues Female Artist

Shemekia Copeland

Contemporary Blues Male Artist

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Historical Blues Album

Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records – Definitive Collection, Earwig Music

Soul Blues Album

Sitting on Top of the Blues, Bobby Rush

Soul Blues Female Artist

Bettye LaVette

Soul Blues Male Artist

Sugaray Rayford

Traditional Blues Album

Lucky Guy!, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

Traditional Blues Female Artist

Sue Foley

Traditional Blues Male Artist

Jimmie Vaughan

Instrumentalist Bass

Michael “Mudcat” Ward

Instrumentalist Drums

Cedric Burnside

Instrumentalist Guitar

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Instrumentalist Harmonica

Rick Estrin

Instrumentalist Horn

Vanessa Collier

Instrumentalist Piano

Victor Wainwright

Instrumentalist Vocals

Mavis Staples

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete founded Blues Rock Review in 2010 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

7 thoughts on “2020 Blues Music Awards Winners Announced

  • Who judges these awards? This is so bogus! The 19 year old won over all the greatest blues men and women that have been in this for years. It’s this kind of stuff why the blues do not get the recognition here in USA that it deserves.

    • Faith,
      Did you hear every single album by every single one of these artists? I can tell you that I did because when the nominations came out I went out and purchased all the albums in contention in the last three of every artist in contention. To be honest, I didn’t spend all that much because I already had about 90% of them in my collection. Based on that I can say that based on artistry, skill and the ability to convey the blues, it’s no mistake that Christone “Kingfish” Ingram won the awards. Yes, there are many tremendous deserving artists but this isn’t about longevity or seniority. The blues get respect when the awards are based on merit, not age. Standing in line a long time doesn’t give you claim to the front position. Young or old, tall or short, black or white, skinny or fat I would say that Kingfish earn this award and we are fortunate that young people are coming out today with such skill and capability.

      • Well said Joey! So happy the youngsters are carrying on the great tradition of the blues!
        There are several of my favorites listed like Shameka Copeland, Jimmy Vaughn, Bettye LaVette, and of course the Great Mavis Staples!!!!

    • I’ve been spinning blues on my radio show for years. Kingfish is definitely the real deal. I saw him perform at the North Atlantic Blues Festival along with so many other great performers that Paul E. Benjamin brings to Maine. Kingfish’s debut CD was/is outstanding. One song even features one of the ‘greatest’ bluesmen of all time – Buddy Guy. Great song! Great music. Members of the Blues Foundation all get a ballot to vote on. Membership is open to anyone and everyone. Each category had 5 nominees and each artist/band was outstanding. Of course I could have included 10 more in many categories – easily. Selecting one to vote for was extremely difficult. As for ‘recognition’ of the genre in the USA, the blues is our musical history. The blues is alive and well thanks to the Blues Foundation, Blues Rock Review and so many other organizations, venues and festivals that feature blues. But most importantly, it’s the artists who keep it alive from 19-year old Kingfish to octogenarian Mavis Staples. Spread the word!

    • I take it you realise that these awards are judged on material released from November 2018 to October 2019.

      They are awards for excellence during a specific recent period not awards for hanging around a while.

      Christone’s album would have given any field a run for its money.

    • I wonder if it’s because the criteria for the 2020 BMA’s is material released from November 2018 to November 2019…??

      Just a thought.


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