The SXSW Grulke Prize award, now in its eighth year, was developed in honor of our friend and colleague Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away on August 13, 2012.
Brent’s love of music and the spirit of the festival is reflected in the three prize categories: Developing U.S. Act, Developing Non-U.S. Act and Career Act.
The Developing Act Prizes are for artists who are breaking new ground with their creativity and show the most promise in achieving their career goals. The Career Act Prize is for an established artist who appeared at SXSW to reinvent themselves or launch a new project.
Past winners have included Leon Bridges, Courtney Barnett, Haim, Chvrches, Jade Bird, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Pink Sweat$, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, Spoon, The Chills and The Flaming Lips.
2022 Grulke Prize Winners
Developing U.S. Act
Chicago trio Horsegirl consists of Nora Cheng, Penelope Lowenstein, and Gigi Reece. The group is signed to Matador. The group formed in 2019 and self-released their first song, “Forecast.” Their first EP, Horsegirl: Ballroom Dance Scene et cetera, was named one of the best EPs of 2020 by Paste Magazine. In late 2021, the group released the song “Billy”, their first on Matador.
Developing Non-U.S. Act
Yard Act formed in Leeds in September 2019. Settling into a system of programming, looping and layering, the alchemy between the two created a base from which to build their complex and ever expanding narrative world. Now expanded to a four-piece, their debut album The Overload was released in January 2022.
Dolly Parton is the most honored and revered female country singer-songwriter of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, she has had 26 songs reach #1 on the Billboard country charts, a record for a female artist. Parton recently became the first country artist honored as Grammy MusiCares Person of the Year given out by NARAS. She has 44 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and 110 career-charted singles over the past 50+ years.
Jurors for the Grulke Prize include music critics, industry professionals, and SXSW staff, many of whom knew and worked with Brent over the years.
Teaser: SXSW 2022, Dolly Parton at the Dollyverse Powered By Blockchain Creative Labs – Photo by Steven Phipps
Above: Horsegirl photo by Raegan Labat, Yard Act photo by Renee Dominguez, Dolly Parton photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images for SXSW