On Friday, The Recording Academy dropped its list of nominations for the 61st annual Grammy Awards ceremony, scheduled to take place Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Over the years, North Texas has been given proud representation from artists who would win or be nominated for the most prestigious and coveted award in the music industry, including (hold your nose!) Erykah Badu, Snarky Puppy, Pentatonix, Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Brave Combo, Edie Brickell, T Bone Burnett, Dixie Chicks and Kirk Franklin.
Heavy-hitters of this sort are a dime a dozen in places like New York City or Los Angeles, but in Middle America, there is still excitement in seeing some of our alumni get launched into the stratosphere.
Below are some nominees with ties to North Texas, who will absolutely not return your texts requesting a guest-list spot.
Nominations: Album of the Year (Golden Hour), Best Country Solo Performance (“Butterflies”), Best Country Song (“Space Cowboy”), Best Country Album (Golden Hour)
Country music sensation Kacey Musgraves was humbly developing her artistic sea legs in Austin exactly a decade ago. Now, she is nominated for yet another series of awards following her critically acclaimed 2018 full-length Golden Hour. Musgraves is no stranger to The Recording Academy – she was nominated in 2014 in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Country Song (for “Mama’s Broken Heart”), and won in the latter category that year for “Merry Go Round.” The Golden, Texas-born country artist has myriad other honors up her sleeve, so suffice to say, she has made North Texas proud in her artistic endeavors.
Nominations: Best Traditional R&B Performance (“Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand”), Best R&B Album (Good Thing)
Leon Bridges went from performing sparsely attended open mic nights at the now-defunct Fort Worth venues The Grotto and The Wherehouse four years ago to performing on Saturday Night Live and selling out concert halls once owned by Bill Graham. You can thank local music blog Gorilla Vs. Bear and the members of indie rock band White Denim for that. The Fort Worth soul artist is nominated for two Grammys, which means the sour grapes hatred he receives from a handful of local naysayers will be 10 times louder in the weeks to come.
Nominations: Album of the Year (Beerbongs & Bentleys), Record of the Year (“Rockstar”, ft. 21 Savage), Best Pop Solo Performance (“Better Now”), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“Rockstar”, ft. 21 Savage)
Mr. White Iverson himself is back in the limelight and currently has about a dozen charting singles under his belt at the ripe age of 23. The Grapevine-raised rapper continued to assert his relevance following the release of his second studio album Beerbongs & Bentleys, and along with it, hyped singles such as “Rockstar,” “Psycho” and “Better Now.”
Nominations: Best Rock Song (“Masseduction”), Best Alternative Music Album (Masseduction), Best Recording Package (Masseduction)
The solo project of former Polyphonic Spree member Annie Clark received much deserved praise following her Jack Antonoff-produced album Masseduction. Before that, she would collaborate with no-wave band Swans on their 2014 album To Be Kind, as well as David Byrne on his 2012 album Love This Giant. For years, she worked closely with the revered North Texas-based producer and former member of the pAper chAse John Congleton.
Lee Ann Womack
Nominations: Best American Roots Song (“All the Trouble”), Best Americana Album (The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone)
OK, so by local standards, Jacksonville is in East Texas, but geographically, it is technically located in North Texas, and the Tyler/Longview area shares the same 903 area code as Texoma, so we are going to claim Lee Ann Womack as our own. Before breaking into the mainstream in the early '00s, the country music singer brought back the neo-traditional country style popularized by George Strait, and would return to that sound in 2014 following a six-year hiatus. Now she is back and is the subject of much deserved celebration by The Academy.
Nominations: Record of the Year (“The Middle” ft. Zedd & Grey), Song of the Year (“The Middle” ft. Zedd & Grey), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“The Middle” ft. Zedd & Grey), Best Country Solo Performance (“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”), Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Dear Hate” ft. Vince Gill), Best Country Song (“Dear Hate” ft. Vince Gill)
Arlington-born country artist Maren Morris rose to stardom in 2016, following the release of her debut single “My Church.” Around this time, she was residing in Nashville, writing songs for artists such as Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson. On top of a collaboration with electronic artists Zedd and Grey in the song “The Middle” that would reach No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, she also received honors for her protest song “Dear Hate,” featuring Vince Gill. The latter is no “A Change is Gonna Come” or “Fortunate Son,” but it’s definitely not meaningless.
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