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AMERICANA FEST HONORS LEGENDS, NEWCOMERS

Iris Dement and John Prine perform at the Americana Music Association Honors & Awards show.

John PrineSturgill Simpson, Rodney Crowell and Van Morrison were among the musicians honored Wednesday at the 16th annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Simpson received the Album of the Year award for A Sailor's Guide to Earth (Atlantic), Prine was named Artist of the Year, and Crowell took Song of the Year honors for "It Ain't Over Yet."

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives were named Group/Duo of the Year and Amanda Shires was tagged Emerging Artist of the Year. Charlie Sexton received his first Americana award, for Instrumentalist of the Year.

Morrison, who performed “Transformation” from his new album  Roll With The Punches, received one of the five lifetime achievement awards. Honored for his songwriting, the other recipients were Iris Dement (Trailblazer); Robert Cray (Performance); Hi Records rhythm section (Instrumentalist); and Hightone RecordsLarry Sloven and Bruce Bromberg (Executive).

Graham Nash, recipient of the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award, performed, as did Prine and Dement, Cray, Stuart, Shires, Sam Outlaw, Margo Price and Aaron Lee Tasjan.

Jim Lauderdale hosted the show for the 15th consecutive year. It kicks off the Americana Music Festival and Conference, which runs through Sunday.

(Photos by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

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