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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

City native hopes to hear his name on next Grammys trip

Ben Cooper wrote eight songs for “Mosaic,” a Ricky Skaggs album nominated for a Grammy.
Ben Cooper wrote eight songs for “Mosaic,” a Ricky Skaggs album nominated for a Grammy.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, February 14, 2011 07:00 am
Sunday night at the 53rd Grammy Awards, I heard the phrase “and the Grammy goes to” 108 times.The day's events began with the pre-telecast ceremony, where 98 of the awards were given. (The televised portion includes only the final 10 most popular awards.)

We anxiously awaited the categories in which Ricky Skaggs' album, “Mosaic” – the album on which I had written eight songs – had been nominated.

We were left sitting in our seats when his name wasn't announced.

It was fascinating to realize that for every one person giving a thank-you speech, four more people pocket their lists of thank-yous in hopes of another chance, another year.

For every five people nominated in a category, thousands more worked day in and day out with hopes of garnering a nod from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

One of my favorite moments of the day was during the pre-telecast ceremony. Gospel legend Mavis Staples, sitting only a few seats away from us, won a Grammy for the first time in her career. While the moderators had encouraged recipients to pare down their words for time's sake, I, along with every other person in the room, would have gladly given Staples all the time in the world for her tears of joy and words of genuine thankfulness.

I was also entertained by the televised portion, specifically Mumford & Sons' driving live performance, Miranda Lambert's “The House That Built Me” (written by Allen Shamblin and Tom Douglas) and the fact that it was Esperanza Spalding, not Justin Bieber, who walked on stage to accept the award for Best New Artist.

My wife and I drove away after the ceremony feeling two things: inspiration and pride. Inspiration because we saw true art performed and celebrated, and pride because so much of that art has its roots in Nashville.

I'm looking forward to getting on a plane Monday morning, albeit at 7 a.m., and getting back to the job I love: writing music. If all goes well, it won't be too long before I hear my name complete the golden phrase, “and the Grammy goes to …”

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