Now it's official. Speculation has been rife for weeks about the possibility of Leon Bridges being up for Grammy nominations, to the degree that it has almost felt like a question of where he'll be nominated rather than if. With a busy (and impressive) year that saw him make his debut on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, it seemed like the perfect way to cap off 2015.
Early this morning, the nominees for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards were announced and, sure enough, there was Bridges' name. The category: Best R&B Album. He's in good company, as his debut album Coming Home will be going against D'Angelo's Black Messiah, which received considerable praise upon its release late last year and won The Village Voice's Pazz and Jop critics' poll. Somewhat surprisingly, however, Bridges isn't up for consideration in the Best New Artist category, which seemed like it should've been a bit of a no-brainer. Can't win 'em all, apparently.
Bridges — who, yes, we realize is from Fort Worth and not Dallas — isn't the only artist with ties to North Texas who's in the running for a Grammy in 2016. The Eagles' Don Henley, who originally hails from Denton and recorded parts of his new album Cass County in the area, gets a nod for Best American Roots Song thanks to his duet with Merle Haggard, "The Cost of Living." Kelly Clarkson — who, yes, we realize is from Burleson and not Dallas — is up for two awards, in Best Solo Pop Performance (for "Heartbeat Song") and Best Pop Vocal Album (for Piece by Piece).
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Last year's Grammys produced a strong showing for North Texas, including St. Vincent's win (which was shared by producer John Congleton) for Best Alternative Music Album, Miranda Lambert's for Best Country Album, and S1 and Sarah Jaffe's hands in Best Rap Album winner Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2. This year's nominees are missing some of those marquee inclusions for Dallas, but at least one winner from 2015 — Pentatonix, who won the Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella category — will be back to defend their crown for their rendition of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies."
Jazz outfit Snarky Puppy popped as well, as did Liz Rose and One O'Clock Lab Band member Rich DeRosa for songwriting credits in the Song of the Year and Best Instrumental Composition categories, respectively. The Grammys take place on Sunday, February 16, 2016, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.