Country legend Tanya Tucker's musical demand for respect "Bring My Flowers Now" and the album its from, While I'm Livin', earned her first two career Grammy awards, Best Country Song and Best Country Album, on Jan. 26, 2020 at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
Yet before an ongoing career renaissance aided by album co-producers Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings and Carlile bandmates Tim Hanseroth and Phil Hanseroth, Tucker's roller coaster ride netted 10 prior Grammy Award nominations.
Tucker's first Grammy nomination (Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for 1972's "Delta Dawn") came for a teenage singing sensation who'd cut a career-defining hit by age 13. The Recording Academy kept calling through 1993, when "Soon" became her sixth song to compete for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, and a very different multi-artist super-hit featuring Billy Ray Cyrus in the Tucker, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis and Dolly Parton team-up "Romeo" was up for the Best Country Vocal Collaboration prize. It should be noted that Cyrus also won his first two Grammy awards for a very different pop cultural happening, "Old Town Road," the same night Tucker snapped a decades-long drought.
In between, Tucker's sometimes turbulent yet always creatively rich career can be summed up through the following five performances of Grammy-nominated songs. They make her long wait for Grammy wins and her absence from the Country Music Hall of Fame all the more baffling.
1. "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)"
This classic from Tucker's teenage years came from the mature (to put it lightly) catalog of David Allan Coe. Singing about topics more relatable to older performers means Tucker never outgrew singing a 1974 nominee for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, as shown in this grainy footage from 1985.
2. "Texas (When I Die)"
This version of an Ed Bruce song appears on the 1978 album TNT. Tucker was so unapologetically herself at age 20 that the Recording Academy positioned her as a Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female nominee, even if this standout song from the album is as country as they come.
3. "Dream Lover" (Featuring Glen Campbell)
Tucker helped Glen Campbell channel Bobby Darin for this 1980 nominee for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. While TNT barely resembles rock to ears used to hearing Travis Tritt, this one still sounds like line dance-friendly disco.
4. "Strong Enough to Bend"
The first "comeback" for an artist who's never really left us came right as country music returned to its roots. Tucker's Billboard hits at the time include three Best Country Vocal Performance, Female nominations: "Love Me Like You Used To" (1987), "Strong Enough to Bend" (1988) and "Down to My Last Teardrop" (1991). The middle selection gets the nod here for being one of Tucker's catchiest singalongs.
5. "Tell Me About It" (With Delbert McClinton)
That late '80s and early '90s success with Capitol Nashville positioned Tucker for everything from the Super Bowl halftime show to this powerful duet with roots rock icon Delbert McClinton. It earned both artists a 1992 nomination for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. In 2020, McClinton joined Cyrus as a former Tucker co-nominee to win a Grammy (Best Traditional Blues Album for Tall, Dark and Handsome) on the "Delta Dawn" singer's big night.
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