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Music and politics will unite at The Recording Academy's 2014 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on April 2 at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C. Seven-time GRAMMY winners Lady Antebellum will be presented with the Recording Artists' Coalition Award (named for The Academy's artists' rights program founded by Don Henley and Sheryl Crow), while House of Representatives Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will also be honored for their support and understanding of music creators' unique role in American life. Known as "Washington's most interesting mix of music and politics," the event also features live performances and one-of-a-kind tributes.
Additionally, Westfield Academy and Central School (Westfield, N.Y.) music teacher Kent Knappenberger, the recipient of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation's inaugural Music Educator Award, will be acknowledged for his dedication to music education.
"We are proud to honor Lady Antebellum for their artistry and inventiveness in the country arena as well as their philanthropic efforts to make a difference for disadvantaged children here and abroad," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "The Academy is also pleased to honor House leaders McCarthy and Pelosi for their tireless support of music, and we look forward to another incredible evening in our nation's capital."
The high-profile celebration, which will feature a cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation, will be attended by members of the recording and entertainment industries, including GRAMMY-winning group Los Lonely Boys, pop trio Hanson, Wesley Schultz (of folk rock group the Lumineers), SESAC hit songwriters Gary Burr and Victoria Shaw, and pop music legend and five-time GRAMMY winner Dionne Warwick, among others, in addition to numerous Washington luminaries and policymakers.
The day after the awards ceremony, on April 3 The Recording Academy will host GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, where hundreds of music professionals from across the country will visit with lawmakers to advance policies that improve the environment for American music. Now in its 10th year, the program is the music community's only annual advocacy day in Washington, D.C.
Since their 2006 inception, Lady Antebellum — Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott — have been awarded seven GRAMMYs, including Record and Song Of The Year. The trio's accolades include sales of more than 11 million albums worldwide, five platinum singles and earning the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music's Vocal Group of the Year honor three times in a row. Lady Antebellum are currently headlining their 2014 Take Me Downtown tour with guests Kip Moore and recent GRAMMY winner Kacey Musgraves. They also recently released a deluxe edition of their 2013 studio album, Golden, which includes their current Top 5 song "Compass" and platinum-certified chart-topper "Downtown."
The group's LadyAID Fund brings awareness to and generates support for the plight of children locally, nationally and globally who cannot otherwise help themselves. The multilevel campaign focuses primarily on children's hospitals in the United States and Canada, and the overall betterment of children's lives around the world.
McCarthy represents the 23rd District of California, which spans Kern, Tulare and Los Angeles counties. First elected in 2006, McCarthy is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident. After the 2010 midterm elections, he was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives. In 2013, McCarthy joined Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) as the new co-chair of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus. Since its founding with Recording Academy consultation in 2005, this bipartisan caucus has provided members of Congress with opportunities to interface directly with music creators to better inform their understanding of the music business and the impact it has on the U.S. economy.
McCarthy was announced as the new co-chair of the caucus at the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards in 2013, giving the caucus the high-profile leadership of both the House Majority Whip and the House Minority Whip. At the ceremony, McCarthy lauded the creative work of the music community and affirmed the need to protect it from online theft. On Jan. 25, 2014, during GRAMMY Weekend in Los Angeles, McCarthy led a first-of-its-kind GRAMMY Town Hall with Recording Academy leadership, engaging in a frank conversation with Academy Trustees and Chapter Presidents regarding the congressional outlook for the coming year.
For 25 years, Pelosi has represented California's 12th District in the House of Representatives. The 12th District includes most of the city of San Francisco. Congresswoman Pelosi has led House Democrats for a decade and previously served as House Democratic Whip and is currently the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 113th Congress.
From 2007–2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history. In October 2013 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, N.Y., the birthplace of the women's rights movement. Under Pelosi's leadership, the 111th Congress was heralded as "one of the most productive Congresses in history" by congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi "an extraordinary leader for the American people," and the Christian Science Monitorwrote: "…make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics and the most powerful House Speaker since Sam Rayburn a half century ago."
A familiar presence to America's creative community, Pelosi gave the featured address at GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day in 2010 and convened a meeting with leading music producers from The Recording Academy the following year. Addressing music advocates at GRAMMYs on the Hill, Pelosi noted, "Artists deserve to be compensated for their work and rewarded for their contributions to our economy and our culture. You have an army of advocates standing by your side — from both parties — on Capitol Hill."
The GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards are sponsored by SESAC, and proceeds from the event will benefit the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Signature Schools, which provides support for underserved music programs throughout the country. For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's Advocacy social networks on Twitter and Facebook.