GRAMMY award-winning and nominated musicians from Acadian

Music has been the soul of Acadiana since the area's humble beginnings, with a melting pot of Cajuns, Creoles, European and Native American cultures inspiring fresh new sounds. South Louisiana has fostered folk music, country, rock, and rhythm and blues, and from the bayous have risen new genres like Zydeco and Swamp Pop. While Acadiana is much smaller than other music cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Austin, the area is fertile ground for a significant number of GRAMMY-nominated artists as well as 16 coveted golden gramophones.

Clifton Chenier - 1975 - Festivals Acadiens et Créoles
Image courtesy of Philip Gould
 
King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier received the GRAMMY's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, putting Acadiana's musician in the same category as Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Hank Williams, The Beatles, and Aretha Franklin. How's that for getting a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
 
Area musicians once dominated the short-lived "Best Zydeco or Cajun Music" category before it was folded into the "Best American Roots" and "Best Regional Roots" categories. In recent years, Acadiana has expanded its footprint in the music world with local artists garnering attention in a variety of categories, including Contemporary Christian, Country, Folk, and Gospel.

Lauren Daigle
Image courtesy of LaurenDaigle.com
 
In 2018, Lafayette native Lauren Daigle took home two GRAMMYs for her Contemporary Christian music while Abbeville's Koryn Hawthorne was nominated for "Best Gospel Performance/Song." Local Creole artist Sean Ardoin was nominated alongside Willie Nelson in the "Best American Roots" category as well as for "Best Regional Roots Album."
 
Visitors can hear GRAMMY-winning and nominated musicians at a variety of live music venues around town like Blue Moon Saloon, Rock'n'Bowl and Acadiana Center for the Arts as well as special events like the free fall and spring concert series throughout the area, Louisiana Crossroads, SOLO Songwriters Festival, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, and Festival International.
 
This year's nominees will be announced Nov. 20, and winners will be announced Jan. 26, 2020, at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Acadiana's GRAMMY Winners Through the Decades

1982
Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band  
Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
"On Tour"

1983
Clifton Chenier
Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
"I'm Here"
 
1985
Rockin' Sidney
Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
"My Toot Toot"
 
1997
BeauSoleil
Best Traditional Folk Album
"L'Amour ou La Folie"
 
2007
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album
"Live! Worldwide"
 
2008
BeauSoleil
Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album
 "Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival"
 
2009
Buckwheat Zydeco
Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album
"Lay Your Burden Down"
 
2010
Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album
"Zydeco Junkie"
 
2011
Clifton Chenier
Grammy Hall of Fame inductee
"Bogalusa Boogie"
 
2012
Steve Riley, Wilson Savoy, Joel Savoy and Wayne Toups
Best Regional Roots Music Album
"The Band Courtbouillon"
 
2013
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
Best Regional Roots Music Album
"Dockside Sessions"
 
2014
Clifton Chenier
Lifetime Achievement Award
 
2014
Jo-El Sonnier
Best Regional Roots Music Album
"The Legacy"
 
2017
Lost Bayou Ramblers
Best Regional Roots Music Album
"Kalenda"
 
2018
Lauren Daigle
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
"You Say"
 
Lauren Daigle
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
"Look Up Child"

Notable Nominees

Corey Ledet

Musicians with Cajun roots have been nominated dozens of times at the GRAMMYs. A few recent nominees include Barry Ancelet, Sam Broussard, Dr. Josh Caffery, Koryn Hawthorne, Hunter Hayes, Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars, Yvette Landry, Corey Ledet, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and The Revelers, among others.
 
Country music sweetheart Hunter Hayes quickly rose to fame in 2011 when his debut album reached No. 1 on the country charts. He has been nominated five times, including for "Best New Artist." Past winners in this category have included John Legend, Adele and Carrie Underwood.

Savoy Family Band
 
The Savoys are the area's most-nominated family. Joel Savoy of Valcour Records is a GRAMMY-winning recording engineer and record producer, as well as a nine-time GRAMMY nominee. His mother, Ann Savoy, has been nominated four times, including twice with the band "The Magnolia Sisters." Joel's brother Wilson Savoy has been nominated four times with his band "The Pine Leaf Boys" before winning a GRAMMY with "The Band Courtbouillon," where he collaborated with his brother. Wilson and his mother were up against each other for "Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album" in 2009 but were beaten out by another local group, Buckwheat Zydeco.
 
Sources:
The Daily Advertiser
Grammy.com