Shemekia Copeland Leads All Alligator Artists With Four Nominations, Including Album Of The Year And Song Of The Year

On Tuesday, January 10, 2023, the Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards. A total of 14 Alligator Records artists received an astounding 22 nominations. Leading all Alligator artists with four nominations is powerhouse vocalist Shemekia Copeland. Her nominations include awards for:

  • Album Of The Year (for the Grammy Award-nominated Done Come Too Far)
  • Song Of The Year (for Too Far To Be Gone, written by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough)
  • Instrumentalist of the Year (Vocals)
  • Contemporary Blues Album of the Year

The 44th Annual Blues Music Awards will be held in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

To view the entire list of the artists nominated this year read Alligator’s Press Release.

Shemekia Copeland To Appear On NPR’s World Cafe on Wednesday, January 4, 2023

On Wednesday, January 4, award-winning roots, blues and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland will appear on the nationally broadcast NPR radio program, World Cafe. On the show, Copeland discusses her career with host Stephen Kallao and performs (along with her full band) songs from her Grammy-nominated 2022 album, Done Come Too Far. World Cafe originates from WXPN-FM in Philadelphia, where it airs daily at 2:00pm Eastern time. The show is broadcast on over 250 affiliate stations nationwide and is heard by more than 600,000 people each weekday before becoming available for on-demand streaming at

Read more on the Alligator Records website.

Shemekia Copeland To Perform From The United Nations General Assembly Hall To Celebrate International Jazz Day On April 30, 2022

Copeland Joins Jazz Giants Marcus Miller, Mark Whitfield And Others
For One-Of-A-Kind Performance To Stream Worldwide

Celebrated blues and roots singer and Alligator Records recording artist Shemekia Copeland, backed by jazz giants Marcus Miller, Mark Whitfield, Brian Blade, Leonard Brown and John Beasley, will perform two songs as part of the Global Concert for International Jazz Day to be broadcast on April 30, 2022. Copeland, singing from the United Nations General Assembly Hall, will perform Walk Until I Ride,  from her Grammy-nominated 2020 album Uncivil War, and Ain’t Got Time For Hate from 2018’s groundbreaking America’s Child. The concert, featuring artists from around the globe, will stream to a worldwide audience via UNTV, UNESCO, US State Department, on Facebook and on YouTube. The event will be broadcast on PBS Television in 2023.

The 2022 Global Concert will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York and is scheduled to worldwide webcast at 5:00pm Easter time. With Herbie Hancock serving as host and Artistic Director and John Beasley as Musical Director, the program is set to showcase the extraordinary potential of jazz as a medium for peaceful collaboration and constructive dialogue. Participating artists will include vocalists Shemekia CopelandJosé JamesYoun Sun Nah (Republic of Korea), Gregory PorterAlune Wade (Senegal) and Lizz Wright; pianists Joey Alexander (Indonesia), Helio Alves (Brazil), Laurent de Wilde (France), Hiromi (Japan), Ray Lema (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Tarek Yamani (Lebanon); drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Brian Blade; bassists James GenusMarcus Miller and Linda May Han Oh (Australia); saxophonists Ravi ColtraneDavid Sanborn and Erena Terakubo (Japan); guitarist Mark Whitfield and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jeremy Pelt, among others. Also joining the global ensemble will be harmonicist Grégoire Maret (Switzerland), harpist Edmar Castañeda (Colombia), percussionist Pedrito Martínez(Cuba) and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh (Syria).

According to Copeland, “Blues played an enormously big part in the creation of jazz from the beginning. I’m just happy that my blues gets to play a small part in celebrating International Jazz Day. And I am personally jazzed to be doing it at the UN.”

When Copeland first broke on the scene in 1998 with her Alligator Records debut Turn The Heat Up, she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. With each subsequent release, her music has evolved. She continues to broaden her musical vision, melding blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds, and singing about the world around her, shining light in dark places with confidence and well-timed humor.

In addition to her Grammy Award nomination (her fourth), Copeland’s groundbreaking 2020 release Uncivil War was named the 2020 Blues Album Of The Year by both DownBeat and MOJO magazines. Copeland received three 2020 Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year for Uncivil War. Additionally, she won both Living Blues magazine’s Critics’ and Readers’ Awards for Album Of The Year and Blues Artist Of The Year (Female). Internationally, she won the UK Blues Award for International Blues Artist Of The Year.

Since the release of Uncivil War, Copeland’s profile has continued to grow. She was the subject of a Washington Post Sunday magazine story and appeared on both NPR’s Weekend Edition and Here And Now. She has previously performed on PBS’s Austin City Limits and was the subject of a six-minute feature on the PBS News Hour. And NPR’s Jazz Night In America aired an hour-long program featuring interviews with Copeland and others, along with music recorded at Dizzy’s Club in New York City and at the 2021 Exit Zero Jazz Festival. Currently, Copeland can be heard hosting her own popular daily blues radio show on SiriusXM’s Bluesville.

The Chicago Tribune’s famed jazz critic Howard Reich says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today. She pushes the genre forward, confronting racism, hate, xenophobia and other perils of our time. Regardless of subject matter, though, there’s no mistaking the majesty of Copeland’s instrument, nor the ferocity of her delivery. In effect, Copeland reaffirms the relevance of the blues.”

CONTACT: Marc Lipkin / Alligator Records / 773-973-7736 x235
For Media Assets (photos, bio, credits, album art) click here


PBS: “A new-generation Queen of the Blues”

For some, 40-year-old vocalist Shemekia Copeland might seem out of step with a generation more in tune with hip-hop than the blues. But since her first Grammy nomination at the age of 21, Copeland has been working to push the blues into the 21st century while still respecting its traditions. Tom Casciato recently spoke with Copeland about her past, her music and how she’s out to change the world.

Watch Shemekia’s full interview on PBS News Hour Weekend, by Emmy award-winning director, writer, producer and television executive Tom Casciato. It aired this Sunday, January 26.

You can also read the full transcript..


Shemekia to be featured on PBS Newshour Weekend

Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today.
– The Chicago Tribune

Award-winning blues, soul and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland will be featured on the nationally televised program PBS NewsHour Weekend on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Copeland, a three-time Grammy nominee, brings her wide-open vision of contemporary American roots music to every song she sings.

PBS NewsHour Weekend’s Tom Casciato says he considers Copeland “a great vocalist.” During the eight-minute segment, Copeland tells Casciato, among other things, about getting in trouble as a child at school for singing the Koko Taylor song I’m A Woman. Many of Copeland’s songs – from classics like Ghetto Child to more recent anthems like Ain’t Got Time For Hate– will be heard during the piece.

The show will air late Sunday afternoon but at various times in different markets. Local PBS stations can be found here. Please note that depending on current events, scheduling may change.

The segment will be available to stream in full at the PBS NewsHour Weekend website beginning on January 26.

Copeland recently received two 2020 Blues Music Award nominations. She won two Blues Music Awards in 2019, including Album Of The Year for her groundbreaking album, America’s Child. Copeland is currently working on her next as-yet-untitled album, due out later in 2020. She can be heard daily hosting her own blues radio show on SiriusXM’s Bluesville.

When she first burst on the scene at age 18 in 1998 with her groundbreaking Alligator Records debut CD, Turn The Heat Up, Copeland quickly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. News outlets from The New York Times to CNN praised Copeland’s talent, larger-than-life personality, and true star power. With each subsequent release, Copeland’s music has continued to grow, reaching a larger and larger audience. In 2018, influential tastemaker UK music magazine MOJO named America’s Child the #1 blues album of the year.

Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. She’s sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Jeff Beck calls her “amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.” In 2012, she performed with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, Gary Clark, Jr. and others at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.

NPR Music says, “She brings a perfect balance of authority and understatement to each song.” No Depression adds, “When Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth, everybody pays attention. She pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland.”

2 Blues Music Awards nominations

The Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards, the blues world’s highest honors, this Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

Shemekia Copeland received two nominations:

  • Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year
  • Instrumentalist – Vocals

The 41st Annual Blues Music Awards will be presented in Memphis on May 7, 2020 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

The full list of nominees can be found on

Shemekia wins four Living Blues Awards

Living Blues magazine announced the winners in their Critic’s Poll for the Living Blues Awards. Shemekia and her latest album, America’s Child, win four awards:
• Album of the Year – America’s Child
• Most Outstanding Blues Singer – Shemekia Copeland
• Blues Artist of the Year (Female) – Shemekia Copeland
• Producer of the Year – Will Kimbrough (for America’s Child)

“A courageous and fiery statement of purpose”

Award-winning blues, R&B and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland, touring in support of her latest Alligator Records release, America’s Child, will headline the Swing Wespelaar festival in Wespelaar, Belgium on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

Produced by Will Kimbrough (who also plays guitar on the album) and recorded in Nashville, America’s Child – named the #1 blues album of 2018 by MOJO magazine – is a courageous and fiery statement of purpose, a major step forward for the singer whose musical consciousness continues to expand as her star continues to rise. With guests including John Prine, Rhiannon Giddens, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris and Steve Cropper, America’s Child bursts with Copeland’s bravado and embraces with her tenderness. In 2019, Copeland received two Blues Music Awards for America’s Child: Album Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year. Copeland can be heard daily hosting her own blues radio show on SiriusXM.

Read the full story in Keys and Chords