Courtesy of the Recording Academy
On the red carpet just outside the bash, Jason Aldean mused on the feeling of receiving his very first Grammy nods on top of a year filled with awards, platinum sales and chart-topping songs. "Last year was such a great year, such a career-changing year for us, and we ended the year by finding out we had three nominations for [the Grammys], so what do you say?!" Jason tells The Boot. "This is as big as it gets for an artist, so I'm obviously really excited and was excited before I found out we were performing! Now we're performing on the show, so it's getting better and better. I've never been to the Grammys, never had a reason to go, so the fact that I even have a reason to go now is pretty exciting!"
Jason is up for three of the prestigious gold gramophones, for Best Country Album for 'My Kinda Party,' Best Country Solo Performance for his smash hit, 'Dirt Road Anthem,' and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for his duet with Kelly Clarkson, 'Don't You Wanna Stay.' He'll take the stage with Kelly to perform that tune during the Grammy broadcast on CBS.
George Jones was on hand to celebrate his Lifetime Achievement Award from the organization, and seemed happy to be milling amongst fellow artists like Kenny Chesney, Steven Curtis Chapman, Tom T. Hall, and Jason Aldean (who, along with wife Jessica, stopped to pose for a pic with the country legend and his wife, Nancy). Hall walked the carpet with Eric Brace and Peter Cooper, the producers of his CD, 'I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow,' which is nominated in the Best Children's Album category. A surprise last-minute guest, Kenny Chesney popped in from work on his new album in the Caribbean with a pair of hot blonde and brunette bookends – nominees Deana Carter and Matraca Berg -- on each arm. All three were celebrating their nomination for Best Country Song for Kenny's recent smash with Grace Potter, 'You And Tequila,' written by Deana and Matraca. Kenny is also up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the song.
Inside the gala event, artists like Keb Mo, Eric Paslay, Steven Curtis Chapman, Brandon Heath, writers David Lee Murphy and Dave Barnes, and tons of industry guests and leaders dined on tenderloin, fish tacos, grilled vegetables and other yummy dishes as they mingled and chatted with excitement about the upcoming awards show, which will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 12. See a list of 2012 Grammy nominees in the country categories here.
Watch Kenny & Grace's 'You and Tequila' Video