Rhiannon Giddens chosen as 2017 MacArthur Fellow

Singer and actress Rhiannon Giddens was announced as one of the 2017 MacArthur Fellows on Wednesday (11Oct17).
The 40-year-old native of Greensboro, North Carolina, who scored a recurring role on the fifth season of TV show Nashville as social worker Hallie Jordan, is one of 24 people picked for the annual honour by the MacArthur Foundation, to be the recipient of the award which was created to celebrate and inspire “the creative potential of individuals”.
Rhiannon, will receive a ‘Genius Grant’ of $625,000 (£500,000) paid over five years, after she was selected for “reclaiming African American contributions to folk and country music and bringing to light new connections between music from the past and the present”.
The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, who plays banjo and is co-founder of band Carolina Chocolate Drops, explained to website The News and Observer that winning the prestigious award would allow her to “live a little bit” and work on projects dear to her.
“I’ll be able to pursue some things while not having to stay on the road so much to keep the lights on,” the Nashville star told the newspaper on Tuesday. “I love my band and I’ll always tour, but this will let me tour a little less and work on larger projects I believe need to be done.”
MacArthur grants are given to individuals who demonstrate the potential for “important future advances,” with the grant enabling recipients to do more creative work.
Previous winners include author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, filmmaker Allison Anders and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.