Allison Russell wins Album of the Year and Artist of the Year at the 2022 International Folk Music Awards

What a year for Allison Russell.

The Americana artist won Album of the Year and Entertainer of the Year at the 2022 International Folk Music Awards on Wednesday (May 18) for his LP, outdoor childwhich partly tells Russell’s story of his difficult upbringing as a victim of very serious abuse.

The accolades mark two of many recent nods from awards bodies, including a recent Grammy nomination for Russell.

In addition to Russell’s win, the Song of the Year award went to Crys Matthews for the track “Changemakers.”

Said Russell during one of his two speeches: “I can’t tell you how much it means to me to come from this particular community. It was at Folk Alliance [in 2001] where I first met JT [Nero, her partner and sometimes musical collaborator] and so many people who would become part of my chosen family.

“It’s a beautiful community,” she continued. “He is growing and I am very proud of the fact that we collectively understand and sincerely believe that tolerance is not enough. Tolerance is for mosquitoes. We tolerate mosquitoes. Humans need love… It’s like a family reunion. We believe that art and music are an essential service and a sacrament. He saves lifes. It saved my life. And it reduces the damage in the world. It bridges the gaps between the two. It turns fear into love. It is magic.”

In his second acceptance speech, Russell added, “If you had told me when I was 14, 15, running around in fear, sleeping on park benches in Mount Royal Cemetery, that life could become surreal and magical and happy and well, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Nominees and winners in the three competitive categories include:

album of the year
“They Call Me Home” by Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
“Wary + Strange” by Amythyst Kiah
“A Song for Mexico, vol. 2” by Natalia Lafourcade
“Outside Child” by Allison Russell
“John Smith’s Melee

song of the year
“On Solid Ground” by Reggie Harris
“Painted Blue” by Sarah Jarosz
“We Believe You” by Diana Jones
“Call Me A Fool” by Valerie June
“Changemakers” by Crys Matthews

Artist of the Year
The longest pants
Kalani Pe’a
Allison Russell
Arooj Aftab
John Francis Flynn

The full awards show can be seen here:

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