New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Shore Fire Media)
Independent artists and labels celebrated another huge year at the 54th GRAMMY® Awards, taking home 34 awards in a wide variety of categories, including Best New Artist, Best Country Song, and Best Album awards in ten categories.
Bon Iver's Best New Artist win marks the second consecutive indie victory in the leading category, following Esperanza Spalding in 2011. Other indie highlights from this year's ceremony include Best Pop Instrumental Album for Booker T. Jones' 'The Road From Memphis,' Best Alternative Album for Bon Iver's 'Bon Iver,' and two statues each for Taylor Swift
and Alison Krauss
& Union Station's 'Paper Airplane.'
This year also marked the second consecutive year, since A2IM started keeping track in 2006, that independent labels and artists led industry nominations with over 50% of all awards; a true sign of the continued strength and importance of independent music. Altogether, independents held 194 of the 387 possible nomination spots.
Jim Mahoney, Vice President of the American Association of Independent Music
(A2IM), pointed out that "Justin Vernon from Bon Iver
thanked his label Jagjaguwar during his acceptance speech from Best New Artist for, among other things, their support and transparency, spotlighting the strong bonds that are common between indie labels and our artists. We congratulate Bon Iver
and all of the talented artists and indie labels who were recognized at the 54th GRAMMY Awards."
Said Jagjaguwar President Darius
Van Arman, "Justin Vernon embodies the celebration, not celebrity of music. Bon Iver
winning two GRAMMYs is well-deserved recognition of a very special talent whose first instinct is to raise up everyone around him. He is, essentially, the independent artist. We are so proud of Justin Vernon and the whole Bon Iver
Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group in Nashville noted "We could not be more proud of our GRAMMY nominated artists including Taylor Swift, The Band Perry
and Martina McBride. Taylor walked away with two victories last night, one for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance, and her performance on the show-- along with The Band Perry's tribute to Glen Campbell-- have already been labeled by television critics as some of the best of the night. We've achieved so much as an independent label since we opened our doors a little over six years ago. Because we are independent, we are able to stay focused on our artists and making great music for the consumer."
Anti/Epitaph GM Dave Hansen said on behalf of the label, "We congratulate both Booker T. Jones and Tinariwen on their GRAMMY wins. We are proud to be working with both artists on these outstanding records."
Glen Barros, Concord Music
Group President, echoed their enthusiasm, stating "Being associated with 7 GRAMMY winners in a year where there are 31 less categories makes us feel especially great. We're blessed to work with some of the greatest artists in the world, and we congratulate all those who received awards as well as those who were nominated this year."
Naxos of America CEO Jim Selby said "Naxos of America is proud to be the North American distribution home for so many GRAMMY-winning recordings and artists this year. The independent record labels continue to be recognized by the industry as influential leaders, and I am compelled to say that this trend will continue well into the future. Congratulations to all of the independent label artists who were nominated or who have come home winners from the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards."
Denny Stilwell, President of Mack Avenue Records extended congratulations to winner Christian McBride, noting "As one of the most prolific musicians of his generation, Christian has won several GRAMMY Awards as a sideman but had never been nominated as a leader. When news broke that he received his first nomination for the ambitious big band project, we were thrilled for him. And now that he has won, we are even more thrilled. Congratulations, Christian!"