(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.)
Coy Bowles: Winning the GRAMMY for Best Country Album for Uncaged was the biggest honor. We wrote and lived the songs on the road while performing for our fans. We took a week of creative seclusion to finish writing and arranging the tunes. We recorded it. We gave it to the people and they loved it. In the end we were rewarded with a GRAMMY. The GRAMMYs are the highest honor for music.
Clay Cook: We've been lucky enough to win three GRAMMYs at this point. While each award is special to us, it's truly amazing to win the GRAMMY at the pinnacle of our genre: Best Country Album.
Daniel de los Reyes: Words alone cannot express the surprise, the happiness and the excitement of winning this year's GRAMMY for Best Country Album [for] Uncaged. Winning in this category, with so many different kinds of music styles, says so much. We are a band that likes to explore and try new things — I think that is one thing that sets us apart from other bands. This was my first GRAMMY as an actual band member of the Zac Brown Band. [It was] one of the greatest and most wonderful moments of my life.
Jimmy De Martini: Winning the GRAMMY for Best Country Album was the most meaningful award we've ever received. To win for the entire work is important to us. We still consider an album one piece of art, and not four singles and a bunch of filler songs. After the show we went to watch Justin Timberlake perform to a sold-out crowd at the Hollywood Palladium and were blown away. It was a magical night.
Chris Fryar: It is virtually impossible to accurately describe the emotional roller coaster that accompanies winning a GRAMMY Award ... but I'll try. The experience of winning the GRAMMY for Best Country Album at the 55th GRAMMY Awards was a bit like feeling overwhelming amounts of shock, surprise, excitement, nervousness, happiness, elation, and pride all at once. When Kelly Clarkson opened the envelope she stammered ever so slightly upon reading the name. The crowd began applauding before she finished. I just sat there and began clapping too — I honestly did not expect us to win. Kelly then reread the name clearly. My wife stood and started shaking me and excitedly saying, "You won! You won! That's you! You won!" It was all quite the surprise.
It is always such an honor to be nominated for a GRAMM Award ... and even more of an honor to actually win. For us in the Zac Brown Band, we try really hard to put all that we can into making the best records that we can make. We try to keep them accessible to the listener, but still try to push the envelope and boundaries of the country music genre. To win a GRAMMY for Best Country Album at the 55th GRAMMY Awards validates all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that went into making Uncaged. It lets us know that we are not only loved by our fans, but also respected and appreciated by our peers in the industry.
(Zac Brown Band — frontman Zac Brown, guitarist/keyboardist Coy Bowles, multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook, percussionist Daniel de los Reyes, fiddle player Jimmy De Martini, bassist John Driskell Hopkins, and drummer Chris Fryar — won Best Country Album for Uncaged at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Released in 2012, the album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.)