Cat Stevens and Loudon Wainwright III to get Lifetime Achievement Awards

BBC Radio 2 today announced the recipients of this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The two prestigious lifetime achievement accolades will be presented to legendary musicians Yusuf / Cat Stevens and Loudon Wainwright III at the ceremony which is being held at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 22 April. The Good Tradition Award, for an outstanding contribution to the upkeep of a musical tradition, is being presented posthumously to the late Meredydd Evans.

Renowned singer Yusuf / Cat Stevens, who will also be performing at the awards, gained worldwide acclaim for works including Wild World, Father and Son and Morning Has Broken, which remain staples of the folk genre. Following a conversion to the Islamic faith in 1977, Stevens retired from the music business to work with and support causes in education and humanitarian relief. Yusuf / Cat Stevens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2014, subsequently releasing the album, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone. Last year also saw Yusuf / Cat Stevens embark upon his acclaimed Peace Train – Late Again international tour, including his first US dates in 38 years.

Grammy Award winning Loudon Wainwright III will also be celebrating his Lifetime Achievement Award with a live performance at the event. He said:

‘I’ll be happy and gratified, not to mention a bit smug, to receive my award in Cardiff next month. Yes it certainly has seemed like an entire lifetime has whizzed by since the mighty John Peel saturated the UK airwaves in 1969 with my first songs, spinning “School Days” and “The Movies Are a Mother to Me” late at night on BBC Radio.’

The Folk Awards are hosted by Radio 2 Folk Show presenter Mark Radcliffe alongside Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis.

Star guests who will be handing out some of the gongs on the night include 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, Gavin and Stacey and Stella actress Ruth Jones and singer songwriter Billy Bragg.

The evening will also see singer, songwriter, record producer, playwright, actor and political activist Ewan MacColl inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Award Hall of Fame.

The Radio 2 Folk show has a weekly audience of 812,000 listeners and BBC Radio 2 has weekly reach of 15.3 million. The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live from 7.30pm-10pm on Radio 2 and will also be simulcast on BBC Radio Wales. From 10pm to 11pm, BBC Radio Wales will be broadcasting the official after show programme presented by Frank Hennessy.

Listeners will be able to watch highlights of the awards on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after the event and also at a later date on Red Button. For more details head to bbc.co.uk/radio2

Full Nominees for the Radio 2 Folk Awards are:

Folk Singer of the Year
Cara Dillon
Julie Fowlis
Nancy Kerr
Jez Lowe

Best Duo
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
O’Hooley & Tidow
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
Chris While & Julie Matthews

Best Group
Bellowhead
The Furrow Collective
The Gloaming
The Young ‘Uns

Best Album
Fair Warning ‘ The Rails
Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour ‘ Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Sweet Visitor ‘ Nancy Kerr
The Moral of the Elephant ‘ Martin & Eliza Carthy
Tincian ‘ 9Bach

Horizon Award
Ange Hardy
Maz O’Connor
Stick In the Wheel
The Rails

Musician of the Year
Martin Green
Will Pound
Sam Sweeney
Kathryn Tickell

Best Original Song
Swim To The Star ‘ Peggy Seeger/Calum MacColl (performed by Peggy Seeger)
The Necklace Of Wrens ‘ Michael Hartnett (performed by The Gloaming)
The Pitmen Poets ‘ Jez Lowe
The Spider And The Wolf ‘ Paul Simmonds (performed by Naomi Bedford)

Best Traditional Track
Bedlam ‘ Stick in the Wheel
Handsome Molly ‘ The Furrow Collective
Manus Mo Rùin ‘ Cruinn
Samhradh Samhradh ‘ The Gloaming

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
Cup O’Joe
Roseanne Reid
Talisk
Wildwood Kin