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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Louisiana musicians honored at 2024 Grammy Awards

Louisiana+musicians+honored+at+2024+Grammy+Awards
Mylie Bluhm

The 2024 Grammy Awards was a night of multiple musical triumphs. There were some surprises: Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy for her song “Flowers,” R&B artist Victoria Monet won Best New Artist and the members of the indie rock supergroup boygenius slyly secured a collective three trophies. Unsurprisingly, the awards committee continued their love affair with artists like Billie Eilish, bestowing her and her brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell with Song of the Year for “What Was I Made For,” and with Taylor Swift, who took home a historic fourth Album of the Year for “Midnights.” 

While we may all just be living in Swift’s world at this point, artists born or based in Louisiana made a claim to a considerable amount of space in the list of nominations and awards. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is, as of last night, a Grammy-winning symphony. The award was granted to the album “Live: Orpheum Theater Nola,” which was made in collaboration with the progressive Cajun band the Lost Bayou Ramblers. This is the Rambler’s third Grammy nomination and second win in the category of Best Regional Roots Music Album, their first being for their album “Kalenda” in 2017. This year, the band shared a rare tie with Buckwheat Zydeco Jr. and the Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band for the same category. 

In fact, all six nominees for Best Regional Roots Music Album hail from Louisiana. The others were Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, the New Breed Brass Band, the New Orleans Nightcrawlers and The Rumble featuring Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr.

Roots music is somewhat vague as a category; essentially, it contains less commercial forms of music inspired by some distinctly American tradition, including “folk, traditional country, Tejano, blues and gospel.” In past years, the Regional Roots Music award has gone to Hawaiian and Native American musicians, as well as other Cajun musicians. 

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Louisianians also won in other categories. Country singer Lainey Wilson won Best Country Music Album for her album “Bell Bottom Country,” Bobby Rush won Best Traditional Blues Album for “All My Love For You,” New Orleans native PJ Morton won Best Traditional R&B Performance for his song “Good Morning” and Terrence Blanchard — another New Orleans native — won Best Opera Recording for his opera “Champion.” Rush, Morton and Blanchard are all Grammy veterans, having brought home three, five and six trophies, respectively, in past years. 

Jon Batiste, the New Orleanian musician of greatest fame these days, was nominated six times but struck out at this year’s Grammy Awards. This loss comes in the wake of his quintuple win of 2023, which included the Album of the Year award for “We Are” and Best Score Soundtrack award for the movie “Soul.” He was, however, honored with a performance during the memorable “in memoriam” segment of the show; he paid tribute to the late Black music executive Clarence Avant by playing the songs of artists he assisted, including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Stand By Me” and “Optimistic,” backed by a gospel choir.

At another event that focused the spotlight on Swift — who even managed to upstage herself by announcing her next album live — Louisiana artists were a powerful force.

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