A song by Glenarm songwriter Ben Glover has scooped a top accolade at the UK Americana Music Awards in London.
Blackbirds, which Ben co-wrote with American singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters, was named International Song of the Year at the gala showbiz event.
The track first appeared on Ben’s 2014 album Atlantic, before being recorded by Peters on a 2015 album she named after the song.
An ecstatic Ben, who now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, told the Times: “I was completely thrilled to win this prestigious award.
“What makes it even more special is that Blackbirds was the first song I had ever written with Gretchen and to get this recognition for it means a great deal.
“It’s a pity I wasn’t in London to celebrate with Gretchen but I look forward to a celebratory drink with her when she gets back here to Nashville.
“This is the first year of the UK Americana Awards and it’s great to see this new association raising the profile of this genre of music in the UK and Ireland.”
Growing up in Glenarm, Ben cut his teeth performing both traditional Irish and Americana-influenced music.
In the summers during studying law at university he paid his way across the Atlantic by performing Irish folk ballads in the bars in Boston, while back home in the pubs of Ireland he was singing Dylan and Springsteen.
He moved to Nashville - the home of country music–in 2009, to immerse himself in the southern culture.