meta-scriptMeet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: Lainey Wilson On How Her Stardom Is A Testament To "Believin' And Receivin'" | GRAMMY.com
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Lainey Wilson

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Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: Lainey Wilson On How Her Stardom Is A Testament To "Believin' And Receivin'"

Lainey Wilson continues her massive ascent with two 2024 GRAMMY nominations, Best Country Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance alongside Jelly Roll. The singer details the "wild" ride that helped her become country music's latest female superstar.

GRAMMYs/Jan 30, 2024 - 04:10 pm

Two days before the 2024 GRAMMY nominations were announced, Lainey Wilson's rise as one of country music's biggest stars was solidified in a major way: the Country Music Association Award for Entertainer of the Year.

"That was probably one of the very first moments where I was like, Wow, my life really is changing," Wilson tells GRAMMY.com. "But I think all the years of nothing happening has prepared me for moments like that. It's a slow and steady wins the race kind of feeling."

Wilson's win was as shocking to her as it may have been to those watching — considering her competition was titans Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen — but it certainly wasn't undeserved. In 2023, Wilson played nearly 190 shows (including direct support on Combs' stadium tour), headlined her own sold-out tour, and became the first woman to reach No. 1 on country charts four times in a calendar year. 

Her rapidly growing success also resulted in two GRAMMY nominations at the 66th GRAMMY Awards: Best Country Album for her fourth studio album, Bell Bottom Country, and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for "Save Me," her moving duet with Best New Artist nominee Jelly Roll.

But as Wilson suggested, these accolades didn't come without years of hard work. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee from her tiny hometown of Baskin, Louisiana in 2011, she didn't sign a record deal until 2018, and her first hit didn't come until 2021. Even so, that first hit — a poignant ballad titled "Things A Man Oughta Know" — was also her first No. 1.

Since then, Wilson's true-to-her-roots persona and bell-bottomed image has nearly taken over country music. Her vintage-inspired voice and raw storytelling strikes a chord with traditionalists and modern country fans alike, and she's already dabbling in the acting world ("Yellowstone" fans may know her as Abby) and serving as the face of major brands like Coors Light and Wrangler.

To say her grinding has paid off is an understatement. But according to Wilson's Instagram post reflecting on her massive 2023 — and her already stacked touring schedule for 2024 — "we are just getting started."

As Wilson closed out her busy 2023 with another milestone, a mini Las Vegas residency, the country star sat down with GRAMMY.com to reflect on the wild ride she's enduring — and why she had no doubt her childhood dream would come true.

2024 GRAMMYs: Explore More & Meet The Nominees

In your Entertainer of the Year speech at the CMAs, you said "It finally feels like country music is starting to love me back." That was pretty powerful.

Thank you. When you're from a town of 200 people in Northeast Louisiana, you're surrounded by country music. It's the soundtrack of your life. And so I had no choice but to eat, sleep and breathe country music, and I've dedicated my life to it. 

I wrote my first song at 9 years old, I started playing guitar at 11, and that's when I started working on this. I didn't just start working on this when I moved to Nashville in 2011. I've dedicated my life to it. And it really is cool to just feel like that little 9-year-old girl who was writing her first song, that she wasn't completely crazy. 

You told GRAMMY.com in 2022, "I don't know if I'll ever feel like I've fully arrived." Did this past year change that?

I've arrived. It's amazing how different you can view things a year later. I know I've arrived, and I'm stepping into it. 

I feel like this past year, it's just been a lot of big steps and having to level up. Every single person on my team has had to just rise to the occasion. Whether it's my band, my merch guy, whether it's my management, the songwriters, everybody's just had to be like, Okay, we're entering a new phase of this journey. I've arrived.

I know you're so humble, but how could you not feel like you've arrived after this kind of a year, right? But it's awesome to not just see the accolades say that, but for you to actually feel it.

I really do. No imposter syndrome — of course, you know, I'm human, and that'll happen every now and then. But I do feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be. And I'm soaking it up. 

These moments are going by so quick — it's important for me to realize what's happening, and accept all these gifts that the Lord has given me with a gracious heart. I'm a firm believer in believin' and receivin', and that's exactly what's happening.

Do you feel like you've been able to really take in all of the amazing things that have been happening to you?

I mean, I'd be lying to you if I told you that I have soaked up every single bit of it, because it's been a million incredible things happening. But whenever I have a moment, I try to just step away and really pay attention to what's happening. And I just take myself even back a year ago and I'm like, My gosh! 

When you just take a step back and you really think about everything that's happened, it's hard to wrap your head around. Sometimes you don't have much time to celebrate, because you gotta get to the next thing, but I think you gotta take that time. You got to. And I've got a lot of people in the industry reminding me that I gotta do that. 

Keith Urban, he's a good example — I ran into him the other day, and he's like, "You need to be celebrating these moments, but remember, no whining on the yacht." And I said, "I like that, no whining on the yacht!" We're not whining about being tired. I mean, these are the moments that we've dreamed about and prayed for. So we're stepping into it.

In all of these crazy moments that have been happening, do you ever flash back to the little girl who was eating, sleeping and breathing country music — and even the Lainey who was struggling to make a name for herself just seven years ago?

I flashback to that girl all the time, because truth is, I still feel like I am that girl. Of course. I'm not having to struggle as much, but it's still hard, and it's still grueling out here. I'm not living in a camper trailer and having to change out my propane tanks and things like that, but I'm still living on wheels. 

When I moved to Nashville, I've made a decision to not see my family on their birthdays and Christmases, and this and that and the other. And it's still the same way — which, here, real soon, that's gonna be able to shift, and I'm gonna be able to get back to the things that I've had to sacrifice for so long. 

It's weird because I'm still that same old girl. Of course I've grown, and I've changed, and developed. But yeah, I think back to her all the time. And I've always got to go back to some of those qualities that she has in order to keep moving forward.

What are some of those qualities that you think have mostly contributed to where you're at?

Work ethic. My mom and daddy are two of the most hardworking people that I've ever met, and they don't give up easy. And they raised me and my sister like two little boys. They had us out on the farm, doin' whatever, puttin' us to work — they were like, "No time for naps, get up, do your thing." That's why I have a hard time napping now. [Laughs.]

You don't really have the lifestyle to nap, so that's good.

Come January, your girl's takin' a big nap.

Yeah, you were saying that it sounds like things are going to slow down a little bit. But that's, like, a slowdown before it picks back up again, right?

Yeah, but we are going to be playing almost 100 less shows, so that right there makes me feel like I can breathe. Because, I mean, the truth is, we've been touring this heavy for years, but even last year, it was more of an opening slot — you know, I was playing 30 minutes or 45 minutes. This year, it's mainly 75-minute, 90-minute shows, and that can add up. 

I gotta take care of myself, I gotta take care of my health, so I can be 190 percent, because it kills me when I can't be. I want to walk off that stage, and I want to feel like, We came and we did what we were supposed to do. I'm excited for a little bit more rest so I can feel that way every time I walk off stage.

A 2023 Billboard piece noted that you only slept in your own bed 15 nights in 2022. How many nights would you guess you spent in your own bed in 2023?

At least double that, probably a little bit more than that. Because last year that we were touring, we were filming "Yellowstone."  

I love sitting on my front porch, drinking my coffee, sleeping in my own bed. But I'll tell you what, even just a few days at home, I'm ready to get back out on the road. 

I mean, you weren't raised to sit at home too long anyway, right?

Nope, not at all!

Well, and now, all of it has paid off in the form of two GRAMMY nominations. Have you referred to yourself as a GRAMMY-nominated artist yet? Like, has that really set in?

It's wild. Because, you know, I mean, the CMA Awards happened the same week as the GRAMMY nominations, so it was like so many things at once. A few people have, like, referred to me as that, kind of like, behind me I'm hearing it. It's crazy. I just feel so honored. 

I'm very happy with the state of country music right now. I feel like it is getting more popular by the day. It's pretty much pop culture at this point, the Western way of life.

I think that timing is everything, and what I do was not cool 13 years ago whenever I moved to Nashville. But time is a part of my story, and here we are, years later. I feel like the world wants to feel at home, they want to feel grounded. And I think that's what country music does. And I'm so proud to be in the forefront of that.

Even out here in Vegas, people are dressed like cowboys that aren't, and I'm like, the more the merrier! If that makes you feel good, if that makes you feel like a badass or makes you feel at home, then come on with it! I know how this lifestyle and this genre of music makes me feel, so come on!

Have you seen more bell bottoms now too? 

They're everywhere. Bell bottoms are back! 

Somebody told me the other day, "You single-handedly brought back the ugliest pants in the world." And I said, "Hey, we're just over here solving a world problem."

Do you ever have a day where you wake up, and you're just like, "I don't want to wear bell bottoms today"?

I mean, if I'm going out, I'm gonna be wearing my bell bottoms. But at my house, you gon' find me with my hair on top of my head in my sweatpants. The truth is, though, when I put on these bell bottoms, I really do feel like I can take whatever it is on.

I remember getting my first pair of bell bottoms at 9 years old. That was the year that I wrote my first song, got my horse, went to Nashville for the first time, and I remember how those bell bottoms made me feel. They made me feel sassy, that I had a little extra pep in my step. So I can go from sweatpants to putting on my bell bottoms and then I'm ready! They're magic.

Have you had a chance to properly celebrate the nomination with Jelly Roll?

No, but, he's actually here in Vegas. And he's gonna be doing one of these shows with me. For me and him just being on stage together and singing this song together is going to be a way to celebrate. 

I love him. I'm just such a fan of him on and off the stage. So proud for him. This could not be happening for a better human.

I'm thankful for people like him, especially in this industry, for a lot of different reasons. But also, just to show people that, look, we all come from so many different walks of life. We all have our different stories. We all look different, sound different. We're just different. And that's what keeps life moving. And I'm just proud to be his friend more than anything.

Another person you've become close with is Ashley McBryde, who gave you some advice to "reach over the wall" for rising artists the way she did with you years ago. Especially where you're at in your career now, do you feel like you've been able to do that yet?

Yeah, I feel like I'm getting to that place. I think that means taking them out on the road with you. For the Country's Cool Again Tour, I'm bringing a guy named Zach Top. He's awesome. I mean, he is country music — he has a traditional sound. I think that there's so many open lines for that, and I'm excited for him.

And then I'm bringing out Ian Munsick and Jackson Dean, and they've been friends of mine for a long time. And [another] friend of mine, Meg Mcree. She's an incredible songwriter and storyteller. Bringing folks out on the road with you, that's a way to kind of help them over that wall, but also, even mentioning their names in interviews when people say like, "Who are you excited about?" Because I think word of mouth goes a long way.

The traditional sound is definitely part of the fabric of what country music is today, going back to what you were saying about the genre being so huge right now.

There's so many different sounds going on, which is awesome. When you turn on the radio at this point, you know who everybody is, and everybody looks different and sounds different. 

I think this is how it was in the '90s. And I don't think country music has been talked about in that kind of light since the '90s. I think that they'll talk about our generation of country music like that.

Is there a song you've released, whether it's a single or an album cut, that feels the most representative of how you want to be remembered as an artist?

"Wildflowers and Wild Horses," which is our current single right now. It's really cool to be able to stand on stage every night and sing about being from five generations of farmers. 

I've always talked about how similar farming is to the music industry — I mean, you get up every day and bust your tail, and have good years and bad years, and holding on to that piece of me and holding onto that piece of where I'm from is really important to me. Because we are moving at such a fast pace that I can definitely see where you can get off track, but I'm too hard-headed for that. So I think that song is a good representation of where I am right now.

Is there another song that is representative of the kind of artist you set out to be, before big things started happening?

I think it was probably my first hit, "Things A Man Oughta Know," because it's about the way that you treat people. It's not about whether you can change a flat tire or start a fire, it's just about being a good person. That song really did kind of set the foundation for me. It was just a little piece of who I am and my story, and that's what I want people to know. I want people to just love each other and lift each other up.

If you could go back to 2017, when everything was kind of on the verge of happening, before you had your record deal and such, and tell yourself where your life was going to go in the next six years, how would you explain that?

"Girl, you gon' be tired!" [Laughs.] "But you're gonna be exactly where you're supposed to be." And truth is, even in 2017 — I mean, I sound like a little bit of a psychopath, but I knew it would be this at some point. I had that faith, and I had that weird sense of peace about it. 

This is the only thing I know how to do. This is the only thing that I'm gonna do, whether I was doing it on this level or another level. It's just a blessing that I get to get up every single day and do what I love to do and get to make a living doin' it. And get to make people feel something from my job. That's pretty cool.

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Tom Petty
Tom Petty performing with the Heartbreakers in 2008

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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How 'Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration' Makes Tom Petty A Posthumous Crossover Sensation

On 'Petty Country,' Nashville luminaries from Willie Nelson to Dolly Parton and Luke Combs make Tom Petty’s simple, profound, and earthy songs their own — to tremendous results.

GRAMMYs/Jun 24, 2024 - 06:49 pm

If Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers landed in 2024, how would we define them? For fans of the beloved heartland rockers and their very missed leader, it's a compelling question.

"It's not active rock. It's not mainstream rock. It's not country. It would really fall in that Americana vein," says Scott Borchetta, the founder of Big Machine Label Group. "When you think about what his lyrics were and are about, it's really about the American condition."

To Borchetta, these extended to everything in Petty's universe — his principled public statements, his man-of-the-people crusades against the music industry. "He was an American rebel with a cause," Borchetta says. And when you fuse that attitude with big melodies, bigger choruses, and a grounded, earthy perspective — well, there's a lot for country fans to love.

That's what Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management bet on when he posited the idea of Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty, a tribute album released June 21. Featuring leading lights like Dolly Parton ("Southern Accents"), Willie and Lukas Nelson ("Angel Dream (No. 2)," Luke Combs ("Runnin' Down a Dream"), Dierks Bentley ("American Girl,") Wynonna and Lainey Wilson ("Refugee"), and other country luminaries covering Tom Petty classics, Petty Country is a seamless union of musical worlds.

Which makes perfect sense: on a core level, Petty, and his band of brothers, were absolutely steeped in country — after all, they grew up in the South — Gainesville, Florida.

"Tom loved all country music. He went pretty deep into the Carter Family, and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" and the folk, Americana heart of it," says Petty's daughter, Adria, who helps run his estate. "Hank Williams, and even Ernest Tubb and Patsy Cline… as a songwriter, I think a lot of that real original music influenced him enormously." (The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Byrds' Gram Parsons-hijacked country phase, were also foundational.)

A key architect of Petty Country was the man's longtime producer, George Drakoulias. "He's worked with Dad for a hundred years since [1994's] Wildflowers, and he has super exquisite taste," Adria says.

In reaching out to prospective contributors, he and fellow music supervisor Randall Poster started at the top: none other than Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. "Having Willie and Dolly made people stand up and pay attention," Dreakoulias told Rolling Stone, and the Nashville floodgates were opened: Thomas Rhett ("Wildflowers"), Brothers Osborne ("I Won't Back Down"), Lady A ("Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"), and so many others.

Each artist gave Petty's work a distinctive, personal spin. Luke Combs jets down the highway of "Runnin' Down the Dream" like he was born to ride. Along with Yo-Yo Ma and founding Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Rhiannon Giddens scoops out the electronics and plumbs the droning, haunting essence of "Don't Come Around Here No More."


And where a lesser tribute album would have lacquered over the songs with homogenous Nashville production,
Petty Country is the opposite.

"I'm not a fan of having a singular producer on records like this. I want each one of them to be their own little crown jewel," Borchetta says. "That's going to give us a better opportunity for them to make the record in their own image."

This could mean a take that hews to the original, or casts an entirely new light on it. "Dierks called up and said, 'Hey, do you think we would be all right doing a little bit more of a bluegrass feel to it?' I was like, 'Absolutely. If you hear it, go get it.'"

"It had the diversity that the Petty women like on the records," Adria says, elaborating that they wanted women and people of color on the roster. "We like to see those tributes to Tom reflect his values; he was always very pro-woman, which is why he has such outspoken women [laughs] in his wake."

Two of Petty Country's unquestionable highlights are by women. Margo Price chose "Ways to Be Wicked," a cut so deep that even the hardcore Petty faithful might not know it; the Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) outtake was buried on disc six of the 1995 boxed set Playback.

"Man, it's just one of those songs that gets in your veins," Price says. "He really knew how to twist the knife — that chorus, 'There's so many ways to be wicked, but you don't know one little thing about love.'" Founding Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell features on the dark, driving banger.

And all interviewed for this article are agog over Dolly Parton's commanding take on "Southern Accents" — the title track of the band's lumpy, complicated, vulnerable 1985 album of the same name. "It's just revelatory… it brings me to my knees," Adria says. "It's just a phenomenal version I know my dad would've absolutely loved."

"It's one of Dolly's best vocals ever, and it's hair-raising," Borchetta says. "You could tell she really felt that track, and what the song was about."

At press time, the Petty camp is forging ahead with plans for a boxed set expansion of 1982's undersung Long After Dark. 

Adria is filled with profuse gratitude for the artists preserving and carrying her dad's legacy. 

"I'm really touched that these musicians showed up for my dad," she says. "A lot of people don't want to show up for anything that's not making money for them, or in service to their career, and we really appreciate it… I owe great debt to all of these artists and their managers for making the time to think about our old man like that."

Indeed, in Nashville and beyond, we've all been thinking about her old man, especially since his untimely passing in 2017. We'll never forget him — and will strum and sing these simple, heartfelt, and profound songs for years to come.

Let Your Heart Be Your Guide: Adria Petty, Mike Campbell & More On The Enduring Significance Of Tom Petty's Wildflowers

CMA Fest 2024 Playlist Hero
(L-R) Kelsea Ballerini, Dalton Dover, Chase Matthew, Jelly Roll, Ella Langley, Dasha, Avery Anna, Breland

Photos (L-R): Jason Kempin/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BRELAND & Friends, Jason Kempin/Getty Images for iHeartRadio, Amy E. Price/Getty Images, Jason Kempin/Getty Images, Brynn Osborn/CBS via Getty Images, Jason Davis/Getty Images for SiriusXM, Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BRELAND & Friends

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Get Ready For CMA Fest 2024: Listen To A Playlist By Dasha, Ella Langley, Chase Matthew, Avery Anna, & Dalton Dover

As country stars and fans flock to Nashville for CMA Fest, five of the lineup's most exciting acts curated a playlist of the songs they're looking forward to hearing live — from Shaboozey's "A Bar Song (Tipsy)" to Lainey Wilson's "Watermelon Moonshine."

GRAMMYs/Jun 5, 2024 - 02:25 pm

For more than 50 years, the Country Music Association has hosted the genre's biggest annual party in Nashville, Tennessee: CMA Fest. Originally dubbed Fan Fair, what began as a 5,000-person celebration of country music has turned into a four-day festival that draws an estimated 90,000 people each day. And with the genre being at an all-time high, the 2024 iteration of CMA Fest might just be the most thrilling yet.

The 51st annual CMA Fest will take over Nashville from June 6-9, with upwards of 300 country artists performing. As rising stars — and returning CMA Fest performers — Avery Anna, Dalton Dover and Chase Matthew will tell you, the magic of the weekend affair has always come down to the fans.

"I love the connection that the festival provides between artists and fans," Anna says. Dover adds, "Whether it's being reunited with those I've met in the past or getting some time to say hello to all the new faces in the crowd, it's just so special to be able to connect with everyone over our love for country music."

Matthew, who grew up in Nashville, has been part of both sides of CMA Fest. "I've seen CMA Fest grow to become this epic event that every music fan should experience," he says. "It's a great opportunity for fans to see and interact with their favorite country stars, as well as discover new artists they may not have had the opportunity to hear yet."

Even Dasha, who will be experiencing her first CMA Fest this year, knows just how important it is to any country music artist or fan: "CMA Fest is such an iconic celebration of country music."

Thanks to the runaway success of her hit "Austin," Dasha will be taking the Platform Stage at Nissan Stadium, which will highlight two budding stars each night amid performances from the genre's biggest names. "When I got that call, I got online to see the number of seats there and my jaw was on the ground," she recalls. "That'll be my biggest show to date, and I can't wait to show the people what we've got."

This year's CMA Fest also marks a first for Ella Langley, who will make her inaugural appearance on the Chevy Riverfront Stage in a "full-circle moment." And in teasing what she'll bring to her set, Langley encapsulated the energy of CMA Fest as a whole: "I hope the fans are ready for a bunch of dancing, a good message and a really good time."

As they prepped for CMA Fest 2024, Ella Langley, Dasha, Chase Matthew, Dalton Dover, and Avery Anna helped curate a playlist of songs they're excited to see — and perform — live. Whether or not you'll be heading to Nashville, jam out to tracks from Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt, Cody Johnson, Zach Top, Megan Moroney, and more.

Photo of a gold GRAMMY trophy against a black background with white lights.
GRAMMY Award statue

Photo: Jathan Campbell

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How Much Is A GRAMMY Worth? 7 Facts To Know About The GRAMMY Award Trophy

Here are seven facts to know about the actual cost and worth of a GRAMMY trophy, presented once a year by the Recording Academy at the GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/May 1, 2024 - 04:23 pm

Since 1959, the GRAMMY Award has been music’s most coveted honor. Each year at the annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY-winning and -nominated artists are recognized for their musical excellence by their peers. Their lives are forever changed — so are their career trajectories. And when you have questions about the GRAMMYs, we have answers.

Here are seven facts to know about the value of the GRAMMY trophy.

How Much Does A GRAMMY Trophy Cost To Make?

The cost to produce a GRAMMY Award trophy, including labor and materials, is nearly $800. Bob Graves, who cast the original GRAMMY mold inside his garage in 1958, passed on his legacy to John Billings, his neighbor, in 1983. Billings, also known as "The GRAMMY Man," designed the current model in use, which debuted in 1991.

How Long Does It Take To Make A GRAMMY Trophy?

Billings and his crew work on making GRAMMY trophies throughout the year. Each GRAMMY is handmade, and each GRAMMY Award trophy takes 15 hours to produce. 

Where Are The GRAMMY Trophies Made?

While Los Angeles is the headquarters of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMYs, and regularly the home of the annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY trophies are produced at Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado, about 800 miles away from L.A.

Is The GRAMMY Award Made Of Real Gold?

GRAMMY Awards are made of a trademarked alloy called "Grammium" — a secret zinc alloy — and are plated with 24-karat gold.

How Many GRAMMY Trophies Are Made Per Year?

Approximately 600-800 GRAMMY Award trophies are produced per year. This includes both GRAMMY Awards and Latin GRAMMY Awards for the two Academies; the number of GRAMMYs manufactured each year always depends on the number of winners and Categories we award across both award shows.

Fun fact: The two GRAMMY trophies have different-colored bases. The GRAMMY Award has a black base, while the Latin GRAMMY Award has a burgundy base.

Photos: Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

How Much Does A GRAMMY Weigh?

The GRAMMY trophy weighs approximately 5 pounds. The trophy's height is 9-and-a-half inches. The trophy's width is nearly 6 inches by 6 inches.

What Is The True Value Of A GRAMMY?

Winning a GRAMMY, and even just being nominated for a GRAMMY, has an immeasurable positive impact on the nominated and winning artists. It opens up new career avenues, builds global awareness of artists, and ultimately solidifies a creator’s place in history. Since the GRAMMY Award is the only peer-voted award in music, this means artists are recognized, awarded and celebrated by those in their fields and industries, ultimately making the value of a GRAMMY truly priceless and immeasurable.

In an interview featured in the 2024 GRAMMYs program book, two-time GRAMMY winner Lauren Daigle spoke of the value and impact of a GRAMMY Award. "Time has passed since I got my [first] GRAMMYs, but the rooms that I am now able to sit in, with some of the most incredible writers, producers and performers on the planet, is truly the greatest gift of all." 

"Once you have that credential, it's a different certification. It definitely holds weight," two-time GRAMMY winner Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of the Roots added. "It's a huge stamp as far as branding, businesswise, achievement-wise and in every regard. What the GRAMMY means to people, fans and artists is ever-evolving." 

As Billboard explains, artists will often see significant boosts in album sales and streaming numbers after winning a GRAMMY or performing on the GRAMMY stage. This is known as the "GRAMMY Effect," an industry phenomenon in which a GRAMMY accolade directly influences the music biz and the wider popular culture. 

For new artists in particular, the "GRAMMY Effect" has immensely helped rising creators reach new professional heights. Samara Joy, who won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist at the 2023 GRAMMYs, saw a 989% boost in sales and a 670% increase in on-demand streams for her album Linger Awhile, which won the GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album that same night. H.E.R., a former Best New Artist nominee, saw a massive 6,771% increase in song sales for her hit “I Can’t Breathe” on the day it won the GRAMMY for Song Of The Year at the 2021 GRAMMYs, compared to the day before, Rolling Stone reports

Throughout the decades, past Best New Artist winners have continued to dominate the music industry and charts since taking home the GRAMMY gold — and continue to do so to this day. Recently, Best New Artist winners dominated the music industry and charts in 2023: Billie Eilish (2020 winner) sold 2 million equivalent album units, Olivia Rodrigo (2022 winner) sold 2.1 million equivalent album units, and Adele (2009 winner) sold 1.3 million equivalent album units. Elsewhere, past Best New Artist winners have gone on to star in major Hollywood blockbusters (Dua Lipa); headline arena tours and sign major brand deals (Megan Thee Stallion); become LGBTIA+ icons (Sam Smith); and reach multiplatinum status (John Legend).

Most recently, several winners, nominees and performers at the 2024 GRAMMYs saw significant bumps in U.S. streams and sales: Tracy Chapman's classic, GRAMMY-winning single "Fast Car," which she performed alongside Luke Combs, returned to the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time since 1988, when the song was originally released, according to Billboard. Fellow icon Joni Mitchell saw her ‘60s classic “Both Sides, Now,” hit the top 10 on the Digital Song Sales chart, Billboard reports.

In addition to financial gains, artists also experience significant professional wins as a result of their GRAMMY accolades. For instance, after she won the GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album for Rapture at the 2020 GRAMMYs, Koffee signed a U.S. record deal; after his first GRAMMYs in 2014, Kendrick Lamar saw a 349% increase in his Instagram following, Billboard reports. 

Visit our interactive GRAMMY Awards Journey page to learn more about the GRAMMY Awards and the voting process behind the annual ceremony.

2024 GRAMMYs: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

Photo of country singer/artist Anne Wilson wearing a brown jacket with pink designs, a white shirt, and light blue jeans.
Anne Wilson

Photo: Robby Klein

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Anne Wilson Found Faith In Music After Her Brother’s Death. Now She’s One Of Country’s Young Stars: "His Tragedy Wasn’t Wasted"

The Kentucky-based musician first arrived on the scene as a Christian artist in 2022. On her new album 'Rebel,' the singer/songwriter star melds the sounds of her "true north" with a mainstream country sensibility.

GRAMMYs/Apr 18, 2024 - 02:40 pm

After breaking out in the world of contemporary Christian music, Anne Wilson wants to take the country world by storm. 

Out April 19, Wilson's sophomore album embraces the many aspects of her self. Rebel sees the Kentuckian lean into her country and horse farm roots just as she leans into her faith — a subject already deeply intertwined in country music — more than ever before. 

"I’ve never viewed it as switching over to country or leaving Christian music," Wilson tells GRAMMY.com. "With this new record I wanted to write something that was faith-based but also broad enough to positively impact people who don’t have a strong faith as well."

Rebel is just the latest chapter in a journey of triumph and glory first set into motion by tragedy. Wilson started playing piano when she was six but didn’t begin taking it more seriously until the sudden death of her older brother, Jacob Wilson, in 2017. Despite the weight of the moment, Wilson, then 15, returned to the piano to channel her grief — a move that culminated in her first live singing performance when she belted out Hillsong Worship’s "What A Beautiful Name" at his funeral.

"My life forever changed in that moment," admits Wilson. "I already knew that life was very short on this side and that we only have a small window of time here so I wanted to make mine count. It was a special, but really hard moment that has gone on to spawn my entire career. Hearing just how much my songs have impacted fans makes me feel like his tragedy wasn’t wasted and that it was used for good."

Soon after she posted a cover of "What A Beautiful Name" to YouTube that netted over 800,000 views and caught the attention of the brass at Capitol Christian Music Group, who promptly signed her to a deal. Her first release with them, My Jesus, earned a GRAMMY nomination in 2023 for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in addition to its title track hitting the top spot on Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart. 

Similar to My Jesus, Rebel sees Wilson doubling down on her religious roots while continuing to preserve the memory of her beloved brother. Although she grew up in a devout Christian household in Lexington, Kentucky, Wilson says that she didn’t fully connect with her faith until Jacob’s passing. 

Nowadays she couldn’t see herself living without it.

"When it came to dealing with the loss and tragedy of my brother I knew I couldn’t have survived that without [faith]," she says. "As I started writing songs and moved to Nashville my faith quickly became everything to me."

The 16-song project hits the bullseye between contemporary Christian and country twang, with an assist from special guests including Chris Tomlin ("The Cross"), Jordan Davis ("Country Gold") and Lainey Wilson ("Praying Woman"). Of the Lainey feature, Wilson says the two wrote "Praying Woman" upon their first day of meeting, with the elder Wilson growing into big sister and mentor of sorts for Anne. The song was inspired by the power of prayer Wilson and Lainey each experienced from their mothers growing up.

"We’d been talking about memories from growing up and remembering our mother’s coming into our rooms, getting on their knees and praying for us," recalls Wilson. "There was a conviction in how they prayed and expected them to be answered that was so powerful and special that we wanted to capture the feeling of it in song."

Rebel's strong motherly influence continues on "Red Flag," a rockin' number that Anne Wilson wrote as guidance to her younger fan base about what to look for in lasting love. While she largely had to ad lib the concept, having no bad breakup or relationship experiences to pull from, many of the "green flags" she notes were the result of years of advice. Things like going to church, being down to Earth, hunting, fishing, and respecting the American flag were traits and hobbies Wilson's mother had been passing down to her for years.

"Growing up she was always teaching me about relationship red and green flags, what to expect and to never settle," explains Wilson. "I have a song on my last record called ‘Hey Girl’ that ['Red Flag' is] almost a continuation of. It started out as a fun joke and turned out to be an actual serious song about red flags that’s one of my favorites on the whole record."

Another tune that began lighthearted before adopting a more serious tone is "Songs About Whiskey." Playing into country music and her home state's obsession with songs about brown liquor, the upbeat banger is intended to instead illustrate how Wilson gets her high from G-O-D rather than A-B-V or C-B-D through lines like, "I guess I’m just kind of fixed on/ The only thing that’s ever fixed me/ That’s why I sing songs about Jesus/ Instead of singing songs about whiskey."

"It’s supposed to be fun, make you laugh and fill you with joy," describes Wilson. "But it’s also meant to show how my faith is my true north, not those other things that are going to try to fill you up, but never do."

Through all of Rebel Wilson not only proves how her faith is her true north, but also shows others yearning to get there a path toward. This feeling culminates on the record’s title track, which frames her open love of Jesus as an act of rebellion in today’s world. A lesson in "what it means to have faith, not backing down from it and clinging to what we know is true," Wilson says the song was also inspired by previously having a song turned away at Christian radio for sounding "too country."

"I’m not going to try to please Christian music and I’m not going to try to please country music, I’m just going to be who I’ve always been and let the songs fall where they want to," asserts Wilson. "That was fuel not just for the song, but going against the grain on this entire album to be my most authentic self yet."

At the end of the day, genre labels, accolades and being included in the Grand Ole Opry’s NextStage Class of 2024 are secondary to Wilson’s adoration for the man above and her brother who, albeit tragically, set her on the journey she’s on now.

"I want to make sure I’m honoring him in everything that I do," reflects Wilson, "because he’s the reason I started doing music in the first place." 

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