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Ionia Co. musician Billy Strings nominated for Grammy

Posted at 11:27 AM, Nov 25, 2020

An Ionia County musician has been nominated to receive the Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards.

Billy Strings is 28 and hails from Muir in eastern Ionia County, where he was born William Apostol. He is now based in Nashville, Tenn.

Strings is an acclaimed singer and songwriter and was nominated for his new record "Home." The album was released on Rounder Records and was produced by Glenn Brown.

"Home" reached No. 1 on both Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums and Bluegrass Albums charts.

He started playing the guitar at just 4 years old and played in metal bands in high school before striking out on his own.

"It's just been a long road of like slowly but surely, getting stuff put together," Strings said. "I play about 200 gigs a year, or at least before the pandemic we did. And I've been doing it for like, you know, probably like eight years I think professionally."

Strings called his Grammy nomination a "great honor."

He says he couldn't wait to share the news with one person in particular: his dad.

"Since my dad is the one that taught me how to play and stuff, it's just like he's always the one that I call when any kind of milestone happens," Strings said. "I just called dad to say, 'Hey dad, look. You taught me how to play guitar and look what I'm doing with it.'"

The Grammy ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021.

Strings debuted at No. 11 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart.

He is “one of string music’s most dynamic young stars,” according to Rolling Stone magazine.

The Wall Street Journal said: “Billy Strings has clearly emerged as a premier guitar flatpicker of this era.”

According to the Associated Press: “It is his creative musical storytelling, paired with solid vocals on 'Home' that should seal the deal, pleasing fans of the genre and creating some new ones… the perfect blend of pure talent and pluck.”