The University of Limerick has extended its congratulations to singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, who is an artist in residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, after she won Best Folk Album at Sunday night's Grammy Awards.

Ms Giddens, a native of North Carolina, won the award for her album They're Calling Me Home, written with partner Francesco Turrisi.

Rhiannon Giddens, who lives in Limerick and is a banjo player, works with students of music and dance at UL's World Academy.

Rhiannon and Francesco recording at Hellfire Studio in Dublin. Credit: Karen Cox Photogarphy

They're Calling Me Home, which was recorded with Mr Turrisi and Ben Rawlins at Hellfire Studios, a small studio on the foothills of the Dublin mountains, scooped the award in a tough category that included Sarah Jarosz, Madison Cunningham, Tyler Childers and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Rhiannon in Hellfire Studio. Credit: Karen Cox Photography

In a tweet to her 37,700 followers, Ms Giddens said she was so excited to hear that her ode to love and loss was awarded the Best Folk Grammy, and sent much love to her other family in Ireland.

She is currently in Sante Fe in New Mexico working with the Nashville Ballet company.

It's her second Grammy win. Giddens and her band Carolina Chocolate Drops also won for Best Traditional Folk Album with the album Genuine Negro Jig in 2010.

The University of Limerick extended its "enormous congratulations" to Ms Giddens and expressed how proud it is to have her work at UL.

Ms Giddens has been working at UL for a number of years, particularly with students on the MA Songwriting, Traditional Music and Voice courses, and took up her position of Artist in Residence this year.

She is also currently Artistic Director of the world-renowned Silkroad. Silkroad creates music that engages difference, cultural collaboration, and high-quality arts education to help build inclusivity.

Dr Sandra Joyce, Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance said: "The award is a testament to her artistic vision and her incredible work across many different areas of music. She is an incredible asset to us at the Irish World Academy and we feel very privileged to have somebody of her stature associated with us.

Dr Joyce added: "She is a really warm person, very dedicated to her children and her music. She is very down to earth and has no airs or graces – she is just as likely to be doing a music workshop with local kids as she is to be walking the red carpet!"

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