The 15th Annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards were held Wednesday night (Sept. 21) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, and Chris Stapleton was honored with his first-ever Americana award for Artist of the Year.

It was also his first nomination.

“Thank you to all the Americana radio stations out there, it’s been a big part of what we’ve been doing,” Stapleton said once at the podium. "I’m nervous, there’s so many heroes out here in audience and up here on the stage, this is a remarkable thing."

Jason Isbell was another big winner at the awards show, taking home Album of the Year for Something More Than Free and Song of the Year for the same album's first single, "24 Frames."

"If you can, keep people around you who will tell you when you've done something awful, whether it's in a song or in your personal life, and listen to them," Isbell said upon accepting his Song of the Year award, speaking of his wife, Amanda Shires.

Newcomer Margo Price took home this year’s Emerging Artist of the Year, while longtime musical collaborators Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell earned Group/Duo of the Year. Meanwhile, fiddler Sara Watkins was named Instrumentalist of the Year — this marks the first female to win the award in the show's 15 year history.

Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir opened the event and performed Merle Haggard's “Mama Tried,” which was part of a tribute to legendary artists who have passed away recently, including Haggard, Allen Toussaint, Ralph Stanley and Guy Clark.

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