Rhiannon Giddens, Francis Johnson to get Americana award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Grammy-winning folk singer and musician Rhiannon Giddens and pioneering composer Francis "Frank" Johnson will be the first recipients of the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award.

The Americana Music Association announced the new award on Wednesday in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music. The award will be presented during the Americana Honors & Awards show in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 11.

Giddens, from North Carolina, won a Grammy Award in 2011 for best traditional folk album with the string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. She has spent her career exploring the history of African roots music.

Johnson was a Philadelphia musician, bandleader and composer during the 1800s and was the first published black composer of sheet music. He published over 250 compositions during his lifetime.

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