(The Recording Academy asked a number of 55th GRAMMY Awards winners to share their thoughts on winning, performing and simply experiencing the excitement of the telecast.)
We never expected to win this GRAMMY. It was an unbelievable honor to even be nominated. Just to be able to attend the celebration and be a part of the event was more than four kids from Pennsylvania could ever ask for.
The entire week was filled with firsts. We attended the Nominees Reception where we received medals and had the time of our lives at many other GRAMMY parties leading up to the main event. To walk down the red carpet and do interviews promoting our band ... now we've arrived! The guys and I were having so much fun talking to each reporter and hamming it up for the cameras. This was something all four of us were born to do. Needless to say, we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces. This experience was something most people never get, yet here we are.
After the red carpet we headed to the Nokia Theatre to watch the Pre-Telecast Ceremony, in which our category was announced, as well as so many other wonderful categories. We sat among other nominees all anxiously awaiting their category's announcement, and wondering whether or not they will, in fact, go home with a GRAMMY. When there were only eight categories left to announce before ours, my guitarist, Joe, turned to me and asked, "What if we win? Do you think we should have something written down?" [That was] the first time we had actually thought about "if we win." So, over the next few categories I [wrote] down names and statements, just in case. We knew we were lucky just to get nominated, and also positive that there was no way we are actually taking home a GRAMMY!
Finally, the big moment. David Alan Grier, the host for the Pre-Telecast, announced the nominees for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance. It gave me chills to hear our name being listed as a nominee. Then, I heard him say the only phrase that has ever made my heart stop for a moment, "The GRAMMY goes to …." We all held our collective breath.
I don't remember hearing our name. All I heard was "Love Bites …" and for a split second of awkward silence I thought, "Well, who is 'Love Bites'?" Then it hit me — that's us!
All I heard was the screaming in my own head. My brain had turned to mush, and the next thing I knew I was running in my gown and high heels to the stage! My little brother, Arejay, got to the podium first. He thanked our parents for allowing us to join this "circus" and the rest of us tried to remember all the people we needed to thank. It was like a dream. There I was, surrounded by my best friends of over 10 years — Joe, Josh and Arejay — and what I held in my hand was a freakin' GRAMMY. We left the podium with a shout of respect for our fellow nominees and a dedication to our Halestorm "freaks," and ended our haphazard speech with an emotional "here's to us."
We spent the rest of the night floating. Our parents and relatives were crying tears of joy over the phone; our moms and other dates we brought with us were screaming. We took pictures and did interviews cradling our prize. Then we sat in our seats for the televised event and watched an amazing show. We were constantly punching each other in the arm exclaiming, as if we'd [forgotten], "We got a GRAMMY!"
This is such a huge milestone for us. I've been in this silly band since I was 13. That's 16 years I've been working at this. We've been playing an average of 260 to 300 dates a year since I was a teenager. So, after dedicating my life to rock, receiving a GRAMMY for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance is such an amazing honor! I'm so proud to represent for my genre, which is the beating heart and inspiration for so many other genres. I'm also proud to represent for all my female rockers out there as I am the first female to win a GRAMMY in this category. I hope to use this gift as a weapon of empowerment. Nothing great comes without hard work and patience, and I'm living proof that you can achieve your goals in life.
Thank you first and foremost to The Recording Academy for looking beyond the veil and recognizing what we've accomplished. We fully realize what an honor this is and we are so humbled by your vote. And a big thank you to everyone who gave us a chance and has supported us through the years. Here's to us ... all of us!
— Lzzy Hale
(Halestorm's Lzzy Hale, drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger, and bassist Josh Smith earned their first GRAMMY for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for "Love Bites (So Do I)" at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The song is the lead track from their 2012 album, The Strange Case Of …, which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200.)