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a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is December 6, 2022

And the GRAMMY goes to …

By Sandra M. Buckley

And the GRAMMY goes to …

The GRAMMY Awards® are the most prestigious in the music recording industry as outstanding artists and their achievements are honored by their peers. It is unprecedented that Mississippi serves as the only sister site of the original GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, California – and the only other one in the world. Why Mississippi? Well, Mississippi claims more GRAMMY winners per capita than any other state in the country. 

The Mississippi GRAMMY Museum, located in Cleveland on the campus of Delta State University, pays tribute to the fascinating history and culture of music, the legacies of musicians and the many significant contributions made by Mississippians. Encompassing all genres of music, it also showcases the technical production side of recording and the history behind the GRAMMY Awards.

Visitors from across the world come to see and experience this state-of-the-art museum. From one-of-a-kind artifacts on display, like a stage outfit Elvis wore at a concert in 1975 at the Mississippi Coliseum, to dozens of entertaining and interactive exhibits, this museum is a meaningful nod to Mississippi’s historic role in America’s music. 

Executive director of the museum, Emily Havens, was happy to share a few additional thoughts below with Today in Mississippi readers:

Q: As visitors explore the Mississippi GRAMMY Museum, what might they learn about the lasting impact Mississippi has made on America’s music industry?
A: All music derives from blues and gospel, which stems from Mississippi. Whether you mention Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke or Muddy Waters ... all of the legends were born here or influenced by Mississippi artists.

Q: About how many visitors have been to the museum? 
A: Since opening its doors in March 2016, the museum has had more than 92,000 visitors from 50 states and 46 countries.

Q: With a 130-seat venue onsite for live performances, who are a few artists who have played there?
A: Peter Frampton, Bobby Rush, Cedric Burnside, Lee Ann Womack, Mavis Staples and Mary Wilson … to name a few.

Q: As the museum’s mission is to be “engaging, educational, celebratory and inspirational,” how is that put into action? 
A: Engaging our visitors by promoting music education through inspirational exhibits that celebrate the legacy of music and Mississippians is what we strive to do every day.

Q: How would you describe the collective musical heritage Mississippi has had on America’s music? 
A: Mississippi is the birthplace of American music. From the fields to the churches, Mississippi has a rhythm that is filled with pain and joy so unique and distinct that the songs risen from its soil serve as a capsule to American history.

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