The Grammys recognize the best and brightest singers, songwriters and music producers, many of whom are also USO entertainment veterans.
This year, 18 USO supporters or entertainment veterans were nominated for Grammys, including one who was up for the coveted Album of Year award. Here’s a look:
Best R&B performance (“Beyoncé”); Nominated and won Best R&B song (with Jay Z, “Drunk in Love”); Nominated and won Best surround sound album (“Beyoncé”); Nominated and won Album of the year (“Beyoncé”); Nominated Best urban contemporary album (“Beyoncé”); Nominated Best music film (with Jay Z, “On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z”); Nominated
Beyoncé and Jay Z treated approximately 2,000 troops stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan to USO screenings of HBO’s “On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z” on New Year’s Eve. The screenings each kicked off with a pre-taped message from Beyoncé who thanked troops for their service and sacrifice and wished them and their families back home a happy new year.
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Best rock song (“Ain’t it Fun”); Nominated and won
Paramore went on USO tour to the Persian Gulf in 2010 to entertain troops. The group also recorded a special segment for the USO’s 2010 “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops” show at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, while traveling overseas.
Best traditional R&B performance (“As”); Nominated
In December, Anthony Hamilton performed in his first USO show at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Hamilton sand an assortment of original songs and holiday classics off his latest studio album “Home For The Holidays.”
Jack Black (of Tenacious D)
Best metal performance (“The Last in Line”); Nominated and won
Black, who also starred in Tropic Thunder, visited Camp Pendleton, CA in 2008 for a special USO screening of the film with co-stars Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr.
[caption id=“attachment_6225” align=“aligncenter” width=“750”] Superstar recording artist/music producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds delivered musical delight to soldiers and their families stationed at Fort Benning on September 23, 2011. USO photo by Mike Clifton[/caption]
Best R&B album (with Toni Braxton, “Love, Marriage & Divorce”); Nominated and won
In 2011, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds performed for troops in Fort Benning, Georgia, as part of the “BRAC to the Future" celebrating the arrival of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, an armor school that moved from Fort Knox, Kentucky, to Fort Benning.
“It’s a different feeling, playing for the troops,” Edmonds said in a 2011 USO story. “You feel like you’re giving something back to [those who] have done so much for us. At this particular point … it means more to me. I appreciate what the service men and women and their families do for all our lives.”
Best pop duo/group performance (with Jessie J, Ariana Grande, “Bang Bang”); Nominated Best rap song; Nominated
Minaj performed for troops alongside other female music stars in the 2010 “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops” show presented by the USO.
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Best pop vocal album (“Prism”); Nominated Best pop duo/group performance (with Juicy J, “Dark Horse”); Nominated
Best country solo performance (“Invisible”); Nominated
Hayes helped create scores of USO moments throughout his Tattoo (Your Name) Tour in this fall, making exclusive USO show stops for troops in Norfolk, Virginia, and at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. The 2012 CMA New Artist of the Year also created a unique USO moment for one military family this fall, surprising them onstage with complementary tickets to the 2015 CMA Awards during an a USO concert in Nashville.
“Every Moment Counts – I love those three words,” Hayes said in a 2014 USO blog post. “I love that that’s what our current focus is. And the message is the fact that they give so much for us, that every moment with them, we never want to take it for granted.”
[caption id=“attachment_12724” align=“aligncenter” width=“706”] Country music singer Carrie Underwood greets service members during a USO stop at Camp Anaconda on December 16, 2006. USO photo by Mike Theiler[/caption]
Best country solo performance (with Miranda Lambert ,“Somethin’ Bad”); Nominated and won Best country duo/group performance (“Something in the Water”); Nominated
Underwood visited troops during a 2006 holiday tour to the Persian Gulf.
The Band Perry
Best country duo/group performance (“Gentle on my Mind”); Nominated and won
In 2014, The Band Perry performed at their first USO show at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom, entertaining over 1,000 military family members.
“They were such a responsive audience, and that’s what we love most about playing shows, is whenever the crowds are crazy and are singing along,” Neil Perry said in a 2014 USO story. “It was just fun having all the families there.”
Best contemporary christian music performance/song (“Shake”); Nominated and won Best contemporary christian music album (“Welcome to the New”); Nominated
In 2011, MercyMe entertained troops during an eight-day USO tour of Southwest Asia.
“We’ve always appreciated our armed forces and anytime we can give them an escape at one of our shows, we’ll do it,” said the band in a 2011 USO story. “Several guys in the band had fathers and other loved ones serve in the military, so yes all of this hit pretty close to home.”
Best comedy album (“Oh My God”); Nominated
Louis C.K. has gone on two USO tours — including a 13-base trip to Afghanistan in 2008 — and even worked the USO into an episode of his hit FX show.
Little Big Town
[caption id=“attachment_12728” align=“aligncenter” width=“710”] Members of Little Big Town perform for fans at the second annual Academy of Country Music/USO concert event at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on April 2, 2011. USO Photo by Fred Greaves[/caption]
Best country duo/group performance (“Day Drinking”) ; Nominated
In 2014, Little Big Town performed for troops and the Virginia Beach, Virginia, community as part of the city’s Patriotic Festival, which coincided with the USO’s inaugural Warrior Week. The also group performed for troops and their families at a free concert in 2011 hosted by The Academy of Country Music and the USO for military members and their families at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Great Big World
Best pop duo/group performance (with Christina Aguilera, “Say Something”); Nominated and won
The group signed the USO’s “Every Moment Counts” flag to help break the Guinness World Record this year.
[caption id=“attachment_12729” align=“aligncenter” width=“750”] Country music artist Dierks Bentley performs during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. USO Photo by Fred Greaves[/caption]
Best country album (“Riser”); Nominated
Bently performed for military families at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV in 2010 as part of the first USO/ACM Lifting lives concert.
Lee Ann Womack
Best country album (“The Way I’m Livin’”); Nominated
In 2010, Womack entertained troops as part of the first USO/ACM Lifting lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Songwriters of “Let it Go,” performed by USO entertainment veteran Idina Menzel
Best song written for visual media (“Let it Go”); Nominated and won
Menzel, who recently sang the national anthem at the Superbowl, participated in a 2014 USO satellite media tour promoting USO Wishbook, an alternative giving catalog that supports troops and their families. Menzel also met with three New York City-area military families before performing at Bloomingdale’s Holiday Concert and Window Unveiling show in November.
Songwriters of “Moon Song,” sung by USO supporter Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix
Best song written for visual media (“Moon Song”); Nominated
In 2008, Johansson visited troops during a USO tour to the Persian Gulf.
“This USO tour to the Gulf region truly means a lot,” Johansson said in a press release. “I’ve wanted to go over and visit for some time, and now my moment has arrived. It’s one thing to reply to a letter or extend your thanks to service members in a speech, but it’s another thing to visit them and spend time with those that do so much for us back home.”