Alt-country innovator Sturgill Simpson has selected to perform during this year’s Grammy Awards. The news comes two months after the country world was shocked by his nomination for Album of the Year, representing the genre alongside pop superstars Beyonce, Adele, Drake and Justin Bieber and Rihanna.
The Kentucky native is also up for Country Album of the Year for his celebrated 2015 record A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. It features an edgier and more experimental sound than his breakthrough release Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, which catapulted him from an unknown Nashville singer-songwriter to the genre’s most innovative and inspiring new artist.
The Recording Academy notes that their picks for this year’s performers (which also include Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban) will expose viewers to “artists across all disciplines and genres.”
And compared to his Top 40 competitors, Simpson especially stands out. Although his most recent release features tracks that dabble with elements from psych-rock to jazz, his unmistakable voice and complex but relatable lyrics keep things rooted in the country realm.
One of the most impressive things about Sturgill, aside from his genius music, is his mind-blowing live show. Yes, his soaring but steely voice sounds exactly like it does on the record, if not better. Say what you will about the legitimacy of the Grammys. But giving Simpson such a large platform to show off his immeasurable talents seems like a gift to us all.
You watch Sturgill Simpson perform at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. EST via CBS.