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With an album of the year nod for Sturgill Simpson, Grammys put the spotlight on surging Americana genre

With an album of the year nod for Sturgill Simpson, Grammys put the spotlight on surging Americana genre

When the 2017 Grammy Award nominations were unveiled in December, a lot of fans had one question after perusing the names in the album-of-the-year field:  Beyoncé, Adele, Drake, Justin Bieber and Sturgill Simpson.

Sturgill who?

The nod to the latest work from the Kentucky-born singer and songwriter is just the most recent manifestation of the rising tide for the broadly defined category of Americana music, a corner of pop inhabited by such critically acclaimed acts as Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Rhiannon Giddens, the Lumineers, Rodney Crowell, John Hiatt and  Alison Krauss.

And no one was as...

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