Singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the GRAMMY award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she also plays banjo and fiddle. She began gaining recognition as a solo artist when she stole the show at the T Bone Burnett–produced Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall in 2013. Her critically acclaimed solo debut, the Grammy nominated album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, masterfully blends American musical genres like gospel, jazz, blues, and country while showcasing Giddens’ extraordinary emotional range and dazzling vocal prowess. Giddens’ follow-up album Freedom Highway was released in February, 2017. It includes 9 original songs along and two civil rights-era songs, “Birmingham Sunday” and Staple Singers’ well-known “Freedom Highway,” from which the album takes its name.
Giddens has performed on many televised programs including The Late Show, Austin City Limits, Later…with Jools Holland, The Tonight Show and both CBS Saturday and Sunday Morning. She performed for President Obama and the First Lady on a White House Tribute to Gospel, along with Aretha Franklin and Emmylou Harris. She also starred in the television drama Nashville. You can hear her duet with country star Eric Church on his powerful anti-racism hit “Kill a Word.”
Giddens received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Singer of the Year and won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo in 2016 and in 2017 won the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” award.