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Ionia guitarist wins Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year

Billy Strings won the award Sunday for his most recent album "Home"
Billy Strings 11252020
Posted at 11:01 PM, Mar 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-14 23:01:43-04

IONIA, Mich. — After making the No. 1 Bluegrass Album of the Year in 2020, Billy Strings from Ionia County won a Grammy Sunday evening for his work on "Home".

“All the stuff that my band and I have been through… good times, bad times, you know, loving each other, hating each other. It's just a huge kind of whirlwind of emotions,” Strings told FOX 17 Monday afternoon.

"We've been through a lot, and this is just a huge kind of pat on the back, and a huge boost for morale."

Strings was nominated for the Grammy in late November. He talked to FOX 17 back then.

“It's really crazy... I didn't expect, really, to get nominated in the first place,” he said Monday.

“And then I didn't expect to win, and then we won, and I'm just like, I don't know what to say, I don't know what to think.”

His music is a unique blend of bluegrass, with a focus on honest lyrics and storytelling.

“Not hiding that you're sad, or angry, or depressed or anything, just feeling it and not being ashamed of it,” Strings said.

“I think putting that stuff in the music, the honest stuff, whether it's painful or not, it's real, and it came from my heart. So I think that's why it gets recognized.”

He thanked his parents when recognized by the Grammy's Sunday. His father was the one who taught him how to play guitar when he was younger.

“I called him yesterday, and I just said, you taught me well, you know, and he just laughed. He's awful proud, and that makes me feel really good,” Strings said.

Strings, whose real name is William Apostol, is from Muir, Michigan, and beat out Danny Barnes (“Man on Fire”), Thomm Jutz (“To Live in Two Worlds, Vol. 1), Steep Canyon Rangers (“North Carolina Songbook”) and Various Artists (“The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Vol. 1) to secure the award.