OK, Kacey Musgraves — you’re 31 years old today and we couldn’t be happier for you. But, come on, how’s a mere birthday going to stack up to the excitement of that album of the year Grammy you scored back in February for Golden Hour?
Do you ever just sit there staring at it and thinking “Screw you” to an old nemesis?
There’s no getting around it. An album of the year prize is a big damn deal. And it has been since the honor was instituted in 1959. That year, Henry Mancini took the laurels for The Music from Peter Gunn, which was a popular TV series back then.
Your win was particularly impressive, not simply because it’s been a rare occurrence for country artists, but because of the star power you were competing against — Cardi B., Brandi Carlile, Drake, H.E.R., Post Malone, Janelle Monae and the music from Black Panther. Lucky for you we Grammy voters are sworn to vote for the quality of the music and not for the noise surrounding it.
Country music first stuck its nose into the top album tent in 1969 when Glen Campbell copped the prize for By the Time I Get to Phoenix. Of course Campbell had an enormous pop following, too, owing to his variety series, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
The year before Campbell won it, the award went to a short-lived group from England for their Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1994, Whitney Houston lugged the trophy home for The Bodyguard soundtrack, which, as you well know, was embroidered around Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” So maybe we can count that a country win.
In 2002, the soundtrack from O Brother, Where Art Thou? swept this category, and it don’t get no more country than that.
As you gaze on your album of the year Grammy, Kacey, it should buoy you to know that its siblings have perched on the shelves of such notables as Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, U2, Paul Simon, Judy Garland, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss and Ray Charles, just to name a few, and Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, the Dixie Chicks, Carole King and Barbra Streisand, just to name a few more.
So have a dram with your cake and your Grammy, Kacey. You deserve it. And that’s us fans you hear cheering in the distance.