Artists Gather At Nashville’s Hutton Hotel For Annual Pre-Grammy Celebration

Dan + Shay with Pistol Annies; Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Dan + Shay with Pistol Annies; Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Dan + Shay with Pistol Annies; Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Artists representing the Recording Academy Nashville Chapter gathered inside the Hutton Hotel’s Vista Ballroom on Tuesday evening (Jan 7) in celebration of their nominations for the upcoming 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Genres honored during the private event ranged from country to rock to bluegrass and Americana. Prior to the event, artists such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Bobby Pinson, Dan + Shay, for KING & COUNTRY, Miranda Lambert, Missy Raines, Pistol Annies and Steven Curtis Chapman walked the red carpet to chat with reporters about their nominations.

Cyrus, who received three Grammy nominations in categories such as Record of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video for his Lil Nas collaboration “Old Town Road,” spoke with Country Now and other reporters about the work he created with his duet partner.

“To be honest, this song felt to me like what ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ felt like at a different time…. It’s a different world now,” he said. “Now the beauty of that is, a guy like Lil Nas, he’s an innovator. He thought of something new that could take those walls down. He thought how do you do it and take this worldwide without a big record company? He was smart enough to say, TikTok, SoundCloud, Twitter, boom. This song lent itself just enough that everybody could relate, and make it their own song, and their own dance, sing it their own way. That’s why I bought a guitar and started a band was for songs like these, songs that move people.”

Recording Academy Nashville Chapter Executive Director, Alicia Warwick; GRAMMY® Nominees Liz Rose and Billy Ray Cyrus, Recording Academy Nashville Chapter Board President Jennifer Hanson

Duo for KING & COUNTRY, who received nominations for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for Burn the Ships and Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for their collaboration with Dolly Parton on “God Only Knows,” also gleamed with excitement over their nominations. The brothers were especially excited over sharing a nomination with the legendary country star.

“It’s so interesting because there are quite a few versions of that song, and we weren’t sure which one was going to be nominated. So when we found out it was the Dolly [Parton] version, it was a really beautiful moment. She has given so much to that song, so much life, and so much heart,” the duo’s Joel Smallbone explained. “We did a music video of it together, sung it at the CMA’s together and on national television together. We would’ve been grateful if we just had a song together, but she has performed it with us and has done all these other things. So, to have this moment with her felt like a real, beautiful, emotional combination to the whole journey.”

“To be nominated for a Grammy, it’s kind of like the punctuation,” for King & Country Luke Smallbone added. “This is the full stop. It’s the exclamation mark, because where does it go from here? This feels like a nice finish to the run that we had with Dolly [Parton.]”

Overall, the gathering, which featured four bars, plenty of fare for guests and music by Birdsong jazz quartet, was all about celebrating each other’s successes and musical excellence no matter the genre.

“At the Grammy’s, you’ll see polka music celebrated just as much as you’ll see rock music being celebrated,” Chapman, a five-time Grammy winner, who is nominated in the Best Roots Gospel Album category for Deeper Roots: Where The Bluegrass Grows, said. “So I think I learned that just from being around this community of just honoring how important it is to honor each other’s gifts, and recognize that and celebrate it, not just the ones that are on the cover of magazines.”

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys, will air on January 26, 2020 on CBS.