Some of the biggest music artists of the year will gather at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to celebrate their achievements on Sunday evening. Among them will be two former Lipscomb University students turned Country Music stars: Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini.

Rhett, who attended Lipscomb from 2008-2011, is nominated for Best Country Song with his hit single “Die A Happy Man.” Ballerini, who attended from 2011-2013, is nominated for Best New Artist and is also making her Grammy performance debut with Danish, soul-pop band Lukas Graham.

Seeing former Lipscomb students achieving such success in the music industry is inspiring for current students, such as Contemporary Music major Hannah McFarland.

“It’s a blessing that we are fortunate enough to go to a school that has developed well-rounded people such as Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett,” McFarland said.

McFarland had the opportunity to open for Kelsea’s show in Alabama last year and recalled getting to meet her. Her first impression of Ballerini was nothing but positive, proclaiming the country-pop star was “sweet, mature and outgoing.”

“Going to Lipscomb has proven to me that this university creates not only amazing talent but strong-willed and overall amazing students,” McFarland said. “Their success proves that with perseverance and hard work, you can definitely reach your goals.”

The Grammy’s will be hosted by late-night show host James Corden and will feature a star-studded lineup of performances from John Legend, Adele, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and many more. Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Little Big Town and Celine Dion will be collaborating on a special performance to salute the music of the Bee Gee’s.

To see these performances live and watch Rhett and Ballerini represent country music, tune into the 59th Grammy Awards this Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS.

Photo by Erin Turner

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