(LOS ANGELES) — The 62nd Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys, did not disappoint for Louisiana natives. 14 Louisiana artists were nominated for 21 awards, and three people were honored during the award ceremony, two of them taking home an award. New Orleans native, PJ Morton, 2019 Grammy winner for Best Traditional R&B Performance, won the award for best R&B song “Say So,” and was nominated in two other categories. Also from New Orleans, and perhaps the biggest name of the three, Hip-Hop sensation DJ Khaled won the award for best Rap/Sung Performance for “Higher” featuring Nipsey Hustle and John Legend.
Educator, saxophone player, and Louisiana native Mickey Smith Jr. also won a Grammy. He has taught band and music for 15 years at Maplewood Middleschool in Sulphur, Louisiana. He was awarded the National Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum. This award is given to people who are committed to growing, educating, and maintaining music in schools across the country. In just over one decade, Smith has grown the music program from 28 students to 146. His inspiration comes from the opportunity he is giving some of the kids.
There were two big news events that impacted the 62nd Grammys throughout the night. The death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna left many people in tears, with several tributes to him during the ceremony from the performing artists.
There were also many allegations directed toward the Recording Academy for rigging votes and sexual misconduct. The Grammys have been accused for many years for being too male, white, and old. The President of the Recording company, Deborah Dugan, was set on administrative leave 10 days before the award ceremony for a pending investigation for bullying a female assistant.