When Sturgill Simpson woke up on Tuesday morning (December 6) he was surprised with the news that his album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, had been nominated for two Grammy Awards. The album earned a nomination in the Best Country Album category, and is nominated alongside Maren Morris‘ Hero, Keith Urban‘s Ripcord, Brandy Clark’s Big Day In a Small Town, and Loretta Lynn‘s Full Circle.
As impressive as that nomination is, Simpson’s second Grammy nod is the one that really blew him away. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth was nominated for the prestigious title of Album of the Year, which is an all-genre category. Simpson is the only country artist nominated in the category, with the other nominees being Beyoncé (Lemonade), Justin Bieber (Purpose), Drake (Views), and Adele (25).
Simpson told The New York Times that the nominations were absolutely “unexpected.” Although A Sailor’s Guide to Earth has received immense praise from critics and fans, it has only sold 200,000 copies. But Simpson has proven that sales numbers aren’t necessarily an indication of quality music.
With the exception of the song “In Bloom,” Simpson was the sole songwriter and producer on A Sailors Guide to Earth. The project was a personal one to him, because he wrote it as a message to his young son. After Simpson learned about his Grammy nominations, he immediately went to his son’s room to see him. “I got out of bed and went into his room and gave him a hug,” he said. “I feel like he did this, not me.”
Now, Simpson and his wife are expecting their second child together. Their little bundle of joy is due to arrive in February…the same month as the Grammys.
When Simpson was asked if he would perform at the ceremony on February 12, he confessed that he may not be able to attend at all. “I can tell you that my wife and I have our second child on the way, due any time in the first two weeks of February,” he said. “So this is all a little hairy. But it’s all so fresh. I would love to be there, but I’m not going to miss a birth for it.”
We sure hope that Simpson will be able to make it to the ceremony, but we certainly understand if he can’t!
Simpson said that the Grammy nominations won’t change the way he approaches his music, so no need for fans to worry about that. However, the nominations did change the plans he had established for the year. Prior to hearing the news, Simpson had planned on taking anywhere from a year to 18 months off. But now he’s thinking that he may have to stay out on the road.
“It might be a good idea to go play some shows again,” he said, “I don’t know, given how many millions of people are saying, ‘Who the [expletive] is Sturgill Simpson?’ as of this morning.”
People certainly won’t be saying that after the Grammys! Simpson is certainly deserving of the nominations he received, as you can tell from listening to one of the songs off of his album in the clip below. Congratulations and best of luck to him!