From the Americana Music Association:
The reigning “Soul Queen of New Orleans” needs no introduction – but here are 6 things you should know about this year’s announced Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance recipient.
- Irma is an eight-time Blues Music Award winner and a GRAMMY® Award-winner, recognized for her impressive work including her cathartic comeback LP “After the Rain” in 2007.
- Her song “Ruler of My Heart” was re-interpreted by Otis Redding as “Pain in My Heart,” while “Time Is on My Side” was covered by The Rolling Stones and proceeded to land them their first top 10 hit in America back in 1964.
- Prior to her 2007 GRAMMY® win, Irma was nominated for her live album “Simply the Best” (1991) and the collaborative “Sing It!” (1998) with blues mavens Marcia Ball and Tracy Nelson. She garnered a fourth nomination the following year for the piano-laden “Simply Grand” (2008).
- 2006’s “After the Rain” was born out of pure resilience, recorded merely weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastatingly destroyed her Louisiana home and nightclub that she had opened with her manager and husband Emile Jackson.
- Irma has been a mainstay at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival where she has shared the stage with superstars like Stevie Wonder and others over the years.
- After graduating college at 61, Irma partnered with her alma mater to establish the Irma Thomas Wise Women Center, which counsels young men and women with guidance on furthering their educations and careers.