Oklahoma Ties to Grammy Performers, Winners
OKLAHOMA CITY -- With Kings of Leon, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Wilson and more among the nominees, many Oklahomans were represented in categories crossing several musical genres at Sunday night's 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.
Rockers Kings of Leon boast four Grammy nominations with wins for Record of the Year and Best Rock Song for "Use Somebody" and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Vocal Group. Kings of Leon includes three brothers, Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and their first cousin Matthew Followill. Matthew was born in Oklahoma City and the Followills grew up traversing the Bible Belt between Memphis, Tenn. and Oklahoma City with the brothers' Pentecostal preacher father.
Alice in Chains, which includes Jerry Cantrell who has an Atoka ranch, was nominated for best hard rock performance for "Check My Brain," from the band's album "Black Gives Way to Blue."
Several Oklahoma stars vied for awards in the country music categories. Checotah native Carrie Underwood was nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her chart-topper "Just a Dream." She won Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for her rendition of "I Told You So" with Randy Travis.
Along with Underwood, Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert was also nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her brokenhearted ballad "Dead Flowers."
Duo Brooks & Dunn, which includes former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn, were nominated for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the tearjerker "Cowgirls Don't Cry." It could be the last nomination for the duo, since Dunn and Kix Brooks plan to end their musical partnership this year.
Trio Rascal Flatts, which includes Joe Don Rooney who grew up in Picher, also has a nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the heartrending "Here Comes Goodbye."
Tulsa native and GAP band founder Charlie Wilson boasted two nominations, for Best R&B Album for "Uncle Charlie" and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "There Goes My Baby."
In the classical categories, Norman-born harpist Yolanda Kondonassis shared her first Grammy nomination with flutist Joshua Smith and violist Cynthia Phelps for Best Chamber Music Performance. The nod was for their performance of late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu's "And Then I Knew 'Twas Wind" from their album "Air."
Tom Paxton, a Bristow High School and University of Oklahoma graduate, had his rendition of "I Remember Loving You" featured on the compilation "Singing Through the Hard Times: A Tribute to Utah Phillips," which is nominated for Best Traditional Folk Album.
Tulsa-born actress Alfre Woodard was nominated for co-producing "Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktale," a nominee for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
Mason Williams, who grew up in Oklahoma City, was nominated for Best Historical Album for "Woodstock- 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm."
"My Dusty Road," a box set chronicling the career of Okemah-born songwriting icon the late Woody Guthrie was also nominated for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes.
Among the performers, Tulsa Sound legend Leon Russell took the Grammy's stage Sunday night, about after two weeks after undergoing surgery for a brain-fluid leak. The Lawton-born singer/musician performed with country group Zac Brown Band, who won for Best New Artist, and was nominated for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Vocal Group and Best Country Album.