Country stars dazzle at 2018 Grammy Awards

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Chris Stapleton 2016

Country music idol Chris Stapleton wowed guests on Sunday night, as he took home three of four Grammy Awards in the country music categories. The singer-songwriter also performed with the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and 13-time Grammy winner Emmylou Harris, the two taking to the stage with acoustic guitars to play Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers”, paying tribute to everyone the music world lost in 2017, including country’s biggest losses such as Glen Campbell, Mel Tillis, Troy Gentry and Don Williams.
“This is a wonderful room to be in tonight. We’re so proud. We always try to make great records, as good as we can, and I guess this is a testament to that. It’s a real joy to get to make music,” Stapleton said.
Before the official television broadcast, the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony announced the winners in more than 70 categories, including a handful of country music categories. First up was the Grammy for country solo performance, which went to Chris Stapleton for his song “Either Way.”
“Sorry I’m out of breath. I just ran six miles. I literally walked in the door as they read the last one,” a hatless Stapleton laughed. “So I’m so happy that I made it. This is amazing, this is always an amazing honour to be here and get to be a part of this. This song is just me and an acoustic guitar. That’s all it is. So for that to win is a beautiful thing to me,” he said before thanking the Recording Academy and anyone who had ever bought his record. “Either Way” was originally recorded by Lee Ann Womack for her 2008 album Call Me Crazy.
Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne also came together to perform Eric Clapton’s 1991 Grammy-winning song “Tears in Heaven” at the event to remember the 58 people killed and 489 injured during the Route 91 Harvest festival where the musicians played, and the Ariana Grande music concert in Manchester, UK where a terrorist attack led to multiple deaths.
James Corden hosted the show live from New York City’s Madison Square Garden, and the broadcast featured performances and tributes of every genre.
Little Big Town harmonised on their Grammy-winning “Better Man” with a makeshift roof and the New York City skyline forming a silhouette on stage, winning the Grammy for country duo/group performance.
The criteria for the Grammy Award for country album required that the album contain at least 51 percent playing time of new country recordings. The nominated albums were Kenny Chesney’s Cosmic Hallelujah, Lady Antebellum’s Heart Break, Little Big Town’s The Breaker, Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes, and Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 1.
Winners in the Americana, bluegrass, folk and American roots categories included Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, the Infamous Stringdusters, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Alabama Shakes and Aimee Mann.
The country song Grammy went to Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson, the songwriters of Stapleton’s “Broken Halos.” Reba also won a Grammy for the best roots gospel album for Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope.
Zac Brown was one of the presenters during the Premiere Ceremony in the American Roots, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Folk, Regional Roots, Reggae, World Music and Children’s categories.
The Premiere Ceremony — held at New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden — was hosted by former David Letterman musical director Paul Shaffer.

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