“It felt like I was walking around in a dream all day, it really did,” recalls Margo Price of awaking to the news of her Best New Artist Grammy nomination last December. “I expected bad news when my phone started ringing in the middle of the night.”
The country singer-songwriter with a head as strong as her voice was tapped by Jack White as the first artist on his Third Man record label, and her 2016 debut album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter was warmly embraced by critics and famous fans like Willie Nelson, who’s since become a friend. She was thrilled to feel that same love from her peers with this nomination following the release of her second album, All American Made, in 2017.
Price now finds herself among a diverse line-up of competitors in the newly expanded category, including fellow country artist Luke Combs, dance pop purveyors Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha, R&B artists H.E.R., Jorja Smith, and Chloe x Halle, and retro rockers Greta Van Fleet. “I feel like an old person when I say this, I’m not incredibly familiar with the other acts that are in there,” she admits. However, the Illinois native, who has long made her home in Nashville, was pleased to see the Recording Academy recognize so many female artists in the category. “I would just be happy to see another woman take it home.”
“We have such a huge fight in the music industry right now,” adds Price, including country radio’s antipathy towards women. “I think Hollywood has been taking it on in a huge way with inclusion riders [stipulating that] 50 percent staff is female, so it is good to see that certain areas of the music business are taking it on because we see time and again — festivals are not equal 50/50 billing, women do not get a headlining slot. I hope in my lifetime I get to see that change.”
Price, who recently announced she is pregnant with a baby girl, has had a whirlwind few months including continued touring for All American Made, performing at a tribute to Nelson in Nashville in January, setting sail on the Outlaw Country Cruise shortly thereafter, and a performance earlier this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live. She expects to open a few dates for Chris Stapleton this summer. But first she will hit the Grammy red carpet on Sunday. In a category with eight nominees she is modest about her chances.
“I don’t have any expectations of winning and it sounds cliché but it really is just an honor to be nominated,” she says. “I’m just looking forward to going and having an excuse to dress up fancy.”
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