"Mississippi is the Birthplace of America's Music" was the theme of a special celebration of entertainers in Jackson Thursday night. The celebration of the state's Grammy legacy was hosted by Governor Haley Barbour and First Lady Marsha Barbour. The homegrown talent of Grammy winners and nominees like singer and actress Brandy, Mavis Staples of the famed Staples Singers, the Williams Brothers, Eddie Cotton, and dancer Kathy Thibodeaux were recognized.
"We're the first state that the recording academy has ever allowed to have a Grammy-sanctioned event to honor our Grammy nominees and Grammy winners," said Governor Barbour. "In Mississippi we have more Grammy nominees and winners per capita than any other state in the country."
Read the full story here: State's Grammy Legacy Celebrated at Gala
Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Ron Brown interviews Staples and Barbour and reports about the event. Listen to it here: Mississippi's Grammy Legacy
The Clarion Ledger also reports:
"The governor ... he's one cool fellow," said Staples, who resides in Chicago. "He's not stiff and stern like most governors." Barbour chuckled when told of Staples' comment. "That's about as cool as it gets, for Mavis Staples to say that about you," he said. "But being the governor of the state that has produced more Grammy winners and nominees per capita than any state in America ... that makes you cool - even if you're not."
Overstreet, a two-time Grammy Award winner for co-writing the country hits Forever and Ever Amen and Love Can Build A Bridge, said Mississippi's secret is "our culture, the way we were raised. We just got that Southern thing going."
Next year's gala, the third in what Barbour plans to become an annual event, will be held in Tunica "where we can seat 1,200 instead of 400," Barbour said. "Then, hopefully, we'll have the Convention Center done and be back in Jackson in 2010."
A trio of Swedish divas also performed. Hannah Holgersson paid tribute to Mississippi opera legend Leontyne Price, who grew up in Laurel, by singing Caro Come, which Price has performed countless times. Anorah performed Here Without You, a hit song by the Mississippi Gulf Coast rock group 3 Doors Down. And Beatrice sang What's In It For Me, honoring country superstar Faith Hill of Star.
Kathy Thibodeaux, founder and artistic director of Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, performed a dance interpretation of Holgersson's song.
Dazed and Confused and Chasing Amy actress Joey Lauren Adams served as emcee.
Read the full story here: State's Grammy winners honored