The National Governors Association Conference was held in Biloxi, Miss. on July 18 with 25 U.S. governors in attendance. At the invitation of conference host and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow was invited to address the attendees prior to a musical showcase of Mississippi artists including GRAMMY-winners Brandy and Paul Overstreet. Portnow spoke on the importance of state funding for music education. Other performers that participated in the salute to Mississippi music included Beatrice, Eddie Cotton, and the Williams Brothers.