Thompson Square, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, other Oklahomans to compete for Grammy glory Sunday night
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Oklahomans to compete for Grammy glory Sunday night
BAM: Country duo Thompson Square, which includes Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson, are relishing their first chance to win one of the music industry’s most prestigious prizes.
Keifer and Shawna Thompson just couldn’t wrap their heads around the big news: The couple, who make country music under the moniker Thompson Square, had just become Grammy nominees.
“I’ll tell you what, “When we found that out, we just about lost our minds. That’s the big enchilada there. It doesn’t get any bigger than Grammys,” said Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson during a recent phone interview.
In a week, he and his wife will play an eagerly awaited hometown show at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami. Before they head back to Oklahoma, though, the couple will be part of “Music’s Biggest Night”: the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, which will air live from Los Angeles from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS.
“We’re definitely gonna go,” said Keifer Thompson. “Are you crazy?”
Thompson Square received its first Grammy nod for best country duo/group performance for its breakthrough hit “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” which earned songwriters Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy a best country song nomination, too.
The couple is hardly the only nominee with Oklahoma ties.
Ada native Blake Shelton is nominated for best country album for “Red River Blue” and best country solo performance for the album’s chart-topping first single “Honey Bee.” The Tishomingo resident’s No. 1 hit “God Gave Me You,” written by contemporary Christian singer Dave Barnes, also earned a nod for best country song, an award presented to songwriters.
In addition, Shelton and The Band Perry will give a special performance with country legend Glen Campbell during the show, and Shelton’s wife and fellow country star Miranda Lambert will be a presenter, along with Chockie native Reba McEntire.
In the best country solo performance category, Shelton will compete against Checotah native Carrie Underwood, who is nominated for her emotional ballad “Mama’s Song.” The Recording Academy this year consolidated many Grammy categories, so solo country artists are longer separated into male and female competitions.
Underwood also is featured on legendary crooner Tony Bennett’s “Duets II,” nominated for best traditional pop vocal album. Underwood, a five-time Grammy winner, and Bennett, who has 14 golden gramophones plus a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, are set to perform together on the awards show.
Vince Gill earned his 41st Grammy nomination in the best country song category with “Threaten Me with Heaven,” which the Norman-born, Oklahoma City-bred star penned with his wife Amy Grant, Dillon O’Brian and the late Will Owsley. Gill already has earned the most Grammys of any male country artist with 20.
Four-time Grammy winners Kings of Leon, who have ties to Oklahoma City and Talihina, are nominated for best rock album for their fifth studio effort, “Come Around Sundown.” Plus, Stephen C. Mitchell’s rock documentary “Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon,” which opened 2011’s deadCenter Film Festival, will contend for best long-form music video.
Tulsa native Charlie Wilson, former frontman of the Gap Band, is nominated for best R&B performance for his hit “You Are,” from his 2010 solo album “Just Charlie.” In addition, Wilson, his wife Mahin Wilson and their fellow songwriters Dennis Bettis, Carl M. Days Jr. and Wirlie Morris share a nomination for best R&B song for “You Are.”
For the second straight year, Christian worship group Gungor, which is fronted by former Tulsan Michael Gungor, is celebrating a nomination for its new album. The group’s 2011 album “Ghosts Upon the Earth” earned a nod in the new best contemporary Christian music album category. Gungor’s 2010 release “Beautiful Things” was nominated last year in the now-eliminated best rock or rap gospel album division.
Best known as the frontman for pop band OneRepublic, Tulsa native Ryan Tedder is nominated for non-classical producer of the year for his work on several records, including Beyonce’s “I Was Here,” Jennifer Hudson’s “I Remember Me” and Adele’s “Rumour Has It.” Since he produced “Rumour Has It,” Tedder shares in the Adele’s nomination for album of the year for her smash “21,” too. (In addition, Tedder co-wrote “Rumour Has It” and another “21″ track, “Turning the Tables,” with Adele.)
Muskogee native Ester Dean also has a share of an album of the year nomination as one of several producers on Rihanna’s “Loud.”
The 40th anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of Derek and the Dominos’ beloved 1970 album “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs” earned a nomination in the best surround sound album category. The late Carl Radle, a Tulsa native, was the band’s bassist.
And, Oklahoma City kindie rock duo Sugar Free Allstars is among the various artists featured on “All About Bullies … Big and Small,” nominated for best children’s album. The Allstars collaborated with fellow kindie rocker Secret Agent 23 Skidoo on the compilation track “Cooperate.”
Thompson Square was enjoying a rare night off when the Grammy nominations were announced Nov. 30.
“I decided to stay in and was in my pajamas, watching, I’m sure, some reality show. … Keifer and I both had forgotten that they were announcing the nominees that night, and about 10 o’clock our manager called and was like, ‘Is your husband there?’ and I know … when he wants to talk to both of us, it’s either really good news or really bad news,” she said.
“He told me about it, and all I could do was just say ‘What?’ over and over again. I was like, ‘What? You’ve gotta be kidding me.’ I thought he was joking. We finally got a hold of Keifer — he was out with some of his buddies in downtown Nashville — and his response was exactly the same. He just kept saying ‘What? What?’ like he couldn’t understand. It wasn’t processing.”
“It’s just crazy to think you’re in that kind of game,” Keifer added. “It feels good, though. We’ll take it.”
Grammy Awards Live Blog
Follow along with Brandy McDonnell’s live blog of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday here at BAM’s Blog at blog.newsok.com/bamsblog.
When: 9 p.m. Feb. 17.
Where: Buffalo Run Casino, 1000 Buffalo Run Blvd., Miami, OK.
Information: (918) 542-7140 or www.buffaloruncasino.com.