Celebrating Mississippi's Grammy legacy in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Musicians, performers and your average music lovers all came together in Biloxi Tuesday night to honor Mississippi's musical heritage at the 5th annual celebration of Mississippi's Grammy Legacy.

The event was hosted by Governor Haley Barbour and First Lady Marsha Barbour, and included an appearance by headliner B.B. King, along with many others.

"Often times states and entities don't have a brand," said event Executive Co-Producer Craig Ray. "Our brand is that we are the birthplace of music. Whether it be blues that has gone on to Memphis, gone on to Chicago, it was born in Mississippi."

With music inspiring so many people in so many places, many of those in attendance agreed that having the title of the "Birthplace of Music" definitely deserves some recognition.

"So much great music, so many great entertainers, musicians that came out of the state of Mississippi," said Doug Williams, of the Grammy award winning Williams Brothers. "So for the Governor to recognize all the wonderful talents, the Grammy nominees, Grammy winners from the state of Mississippi, I think it's a great thing."

Hartley Peavey's company, Peavey Electronics, is one of the event's sponsors. He said, when you consider the magnitude of talent in the state, an event like this seems right.

"If you look at all the artists that are from Mississippi, I mean from Charley Pride to BB King, and everybody in between, there are so many artists on the per capita basis," Peavey said.

While celebrating the richness in music the state has to offer, Grammy producers said this year, they also wanted to give the coast some exposure.

"We really wanted to help show that the Gulf Coast is open for business, that Mississippi is open for business and tourism and share this product here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Ray said.

Shannon McNally and Blackberry Records recording artist Rhonda Chambers-Davis performed a tribute to Mississippi music legends with Benjamin Wright. As first-timers to the Grammy Legacy event, both women said attending the show was an honor.

"This is where it came from," said McNally. "It came from amazingly humble and simple beginnings, and it rocked the globe."

"This the birthplace of good music," said Davis. "Mississippi has so many negative undertones, so it's really good to hear good, positive things coming out of Mississippi."

To learn more about the amazing, Grammy-award winning musicians that call Mississippi home, visit http://www.msgrammy.com/.

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