NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: Tyler Childers accepts an award onstage during the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 12, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)
At the Americana Music Awards the other night, Tyler Childers was presented with the award for Emerging Artist of the Year, one that nobody will argue he didn’t deserve. However, it was his acceptance speech that was the highlight of the night for me.
After Anthony Mason mispronounced his name (Child-ers, instead of Chill-ders), Tyler took the stage and let a crowd that included artists like John Prine, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile and others, know how he really feels about the term “Americana.”
“As a man who identifies as a country music singer, I feel Americana ain’t no part of nothin. It is a distraction from the issues that we are facing on a bigger level as country music singers. It kind of feels like ‘Purgatory’.”
Now, this wasn’t a knock on the award he received, or Americana as a whole, but rather, Tyler standing strong in the belief that he’s a country music singer. Just because he, and many of the other artists in that room, don’t get played on Top 40 country radio, doesn’t mean they should be removed from the category of “country” and relegated to “Americana” so they can have their own awards shows.
Tyler Wins! And what a speech!…And what a suit! Telling it exactly like it is!