2 La. musicians, band director honored at 2020 Grammy Awards

2 La. musicians, band director honored at 2020 Grammy Awards
Two Louisiana artists took home Grammy awards Sunday, Jan. 26, and a music teacher from Calcasieu Parish was honored. (Source: unsplash.com)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles Sunday, Jan. 26, and three people from Louisiana were honored, two of which took home awards.

“For centuries, Louisiana musicians have made lasting contributions to popular American culture. That important legacy continues throughout our state today through recorded music and live performances, along with the important work our music educators are doing in Louisiana schools to inspire the next generation of artists. We salute all of Louisiana’s Grammy winners and nominees,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

PJ Morton won the award for Best R&B Song (Say So) and was nominated in two other categories. He also won a Grammy in 2019 for Best Traditional R&B Performance.

DJ Khaled took home the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance (Higher) ft. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend.

Band director at Maplewood Middle School in Sulphur, Mickey Smith Jr., was also honored at the ceremony, says Louisiana Economic Development (LED). He received the national Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum. It recognizes teachers who’ve made lasting contributions to music education and who show a commitment to maintaining music education in the country’s schools.

Smith graduated from Westlake High School, then attended McNeese State University. He has taught music in Calcasieu Parish since 2009, LED says.

“I think everyone should have an opportunity to pour into someone else. If you pour your cup empty, I think it comes back twice as full,” Smith said in an interview with CBS This Morning after being asked why he’s a teacher.

LED says in just over a decade, Smith has grown the school’s band from 28 students to 146.

Also at the awards ceremony, an in memoriam tribute was performed for New Orleans music legends Dr. John, Dave Bartholomew, and Art Neville. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue performed along with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

In 2019, six Louisiana musicians won seven Grammys.

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