- GRAMMY Live
Justin Vernon was at an early career crossroads in 2006. The nouveau-folk singer/songwriter, whose soft, deeply felt tunes highlighted his searing falsetto, was dealing with two breakups, one involving a girlfriend and the other involving his band, DeYarmond Edison. Upon returning to his native Wisconsin, Vernon sequestered himself in a remote cabin for a period of four months. That time of reflection produced the nine yearning tracks that would comprise For Emma, Forever Ago. Self-released in 2007, it marked the first project Vernon released under the moniker Bon Iver, a spinoff of the French saying, "Bon hiver," which means "good winter," a phrase Vernon felt described the wintery sentiment of his music.
Following the release of a Bon Iver EP, Blood Bank, in 2009, Vernon was recruited by GRAMMY winner Kanye West to contribute vocals to his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In 2011 Vernon released his second full-length Bon Iver album, Bon Iver, a collection of songs designed to take listeners on a musical journey, evidenced by songs such as "Perth," "Hinnom, TX," "Lisbon, OH," and "Calgary." The album catapulted Bon Iver into the mainstream, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and earning Vernon the first two GRAMMYs of his career for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album at the 54th GRAMMY Awards. The haunting "Holocene" also garnered nominations for Record and Song Of The Year.