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Texas has produced some of the biggest Grammy winners over the last 60 years

Katey Psencik
kpsencik@statesman.com

You’ve got your Grammys. And then you’ve got your “Big Four” Grammys. 

In layman’s terms, those are the four biggest categories of the coveted music awards: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. 

And according to a Decluttr study, Texas has the fourth-most “Big Four” winners in the country.

In first place, you’ve got New York: your Lady Gaga, your Jay Z, your Mariah Carey. In second place, you’ve got California: The Eagles, The Carpenters. In third place, maybe surprisingly, there’s a tie between Illinois and New Jersey -- but perhaps not so surprisingly when you remember folks like Chance The Rapper and Bruce Springsteen. 

And Texas is in fourth, with 12 “Big Four” winners. Now, Decluttr didn’t say if these musicians had to win all of the “Big Four.” The study also didn’t say which musicians they counted. So we did some sleuthing of our own, and according to the official Grammys page for the Texas Music Office (and my ability to CTRL+F search the page), it looks like there are only 10 “Big Four” winners, with 23 “Big Four” awards between them.

The winners are as follows (in alphabetical order):

  • ?Beyonce: “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” won Song of the Year in 2009 (shockingly, she’s never won any of the other three big awards).?
  • T-Bone Burnett: He won Album of the Year in 2001 for the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” He won the same award in 2008 for “Raising Sand,” performed by Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. He also won Record of The Year for “Please Read the Letter” by Plant and Krauss.
  • ?ShawnColvin: “Sunny Came Home” won Song of the Year in 1998, and he won Album of the Year for the album with the same title. 
  • ?Christopher Cross: “Sailing” won Song of the Year in 1980, and the album by the same name won Album of The Year. That same year, he also won Best New Artist and Record of the Year. Really rounding out the “Big Four” there, Chris.?
  • The Dixie Chicks: “Not Ready to Make Nice” won Song of the Year and Record of the Year in 2006, and “Taking the Long Way” won Album of the Year that same year. They also pulled in an Album of The Year award for 1999’s “Fly”. 
  • ?Will Jennings: He won Song of the Year twice: once in 1992 with Eric Clapton for “Tears in Heaven” and once in 1998 with co-songwriting credits to James Horner for, of course, “My Heart Will Go On” performed by Celine Dion.
  • ?Norah Jones: “Don’t Know Why” won Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 2003, and her album “Come Away With Me” won Album of the Year. She also scored the Best New Artist award in 2003. Four for four.
  • Leann Rimes: She won for Best New Artist in 1997. You may remember her album “Blue” from the previous year, with such timeless hits as “Blue” and “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)” (both classics, truly).
  • Esperanza Spalding: She won Best New Artist in 2010. It was also the last time a Texan won any of the “Big Four.” 
  • Stephen Stills: Of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, he won Best New Artist in 1969 (with the other two bandmembers, of course).

Suspiciously not on this list? Our man Willie Nelson, who has won 12 Grammys in his long career (that number seems low, just sayin’), as well as Texas legends like Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Roger Miller, Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Doug Sahm, Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Leann Womack...what gives, y’all?