Grady Champion
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Grady Champion
Grady Champion
Born (1969-10-10) October 10, 1969 (age 48)
Canton, Mississippi, United States
Genres Electric blues[1]
Harmonicist, singer, guitarist, and songwriter
Instruments Harmonica, guitar, vocals
Late 1990s-present
Website Official website

Grady Champion (born October 10, 1969)[2] is an American electric blues harmonicist, singer, guitarist and songwriter.[1] He has released eight albums to date. His influences include Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Koko Taylor.[3] His "rough, raspy vocals",[4] complement his "authentic Mississippi juke joint blues and... modern ultra produced dance party soul and R&B".[5]

AllMusic noted that "Champion, along with young innovators like Shemekia Copeland and Shawn Pittman, is one of the brighter beacons in the future of blues music".[1]

Biography

Champion was born in Canton, Mississippi, United States, the youngest of 28 children.[6] He was raised on a farm in a religious household and joined his family's local church choir at the age of eight.[1][2] At the age of 15 his family relocated to Miami, Florida, and Champion attended high school there for a year before the family moved back to Mississippi.[2] After his graduation, Champion returned to Florida and worked as a boxer and radio DJ.[1] Despite his initial background in both blues and gospel music, Champion began his professional career in the early 1990s as a rapper named MC Gold.[6] Incorporating hip hop into a blues setting, Champion learned to play the harmonica before self-releasing his debut album, Goin' Back Home (1998).[2]

He began playing clubs across Florida and was quickly signed to a recording contract by Shanachie Records.[2] Tackling social issues in his self penned songs, including racial profiling and youth violence, Champion released Payin' for My Sins (1999) and 2 Days Short of a Week (2001) for the label.[1] Champion's song, co-written with Kevin Bowe, entitled "Trust Yourself" was included on Etta James' Let's Roll album (2003).[] It won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2003,[7][8] and also a Blues Music Award as the 'Soul/Blues Album of the Year' from the Blues Foundation in 2004.

He won the 26th International Blues Challenge in 2010,[9] and toured performing at the Chicago Blues Festival, on the Legendary Blues Cruise and at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival.[2] A triple threat performer, Champion moved back to Mississippi before releasing the live album, Back in Mississippi: Live at the 930 Blues Cafe in 2010.[1] In 2011, Champion and his backing band performed at the Memphis in May event. Dreamin' followed and it was the No. 1 album on the Sirius XM's Bluesville chart,[3] earning nominations in two categories for a Blues Music Award ('Best Soul Blues Album' and 'Song of the Year' for "Thank You for Giving Me the Blues"). Tough Times Don't Last, was released a year later.

Champion built his own recording facilities, Backyard Studio, beside his home in June 2014 and set up his own record label, D Champ Records, which has 2015 International Blues Challenge winner Eddie Cotton Jnr., and JJ Thames on its roster.[10]

Champion was signed by Malaco, and issued Bootleg Whiskey in September 2014. He wrote or co-wrote five of the tracks on the album, while the title track was penned by George Jackson.[9] Champion had the cover story in a 2014 edition of Living Blues.[2]

Discography

Albums

Album title Record label Year of release
Goin' Back Home Gradyshady 1998
Payin' for My Sins Shanachie 1999
2 Days Short of a Week Shanachie 2001
Back in Mississippi: Live at the 930 Blues Cafe Earwig 2008
Dreamin' GSM Records 2011
Shanachie Days Shanachie 2012
Tough Times Don't Last Grady Shady Music 2012
Bootleg Whiskey Malaco 2014

[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Richard Skelly. "Grady Champion | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography". Grady Champion. 1969-10-10. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ a b "Grady Champion - Blues Electronic Press Kit - myPPK Power Press Kit". Powerpresskits.com. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "JazzTimes". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ Bowen, Rick J (2015-07-23). "Grady Champion - Bootleg Whiskey". No Depression. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ a b "Grady Champion - Southern Soul Music Artist". Southern Soul RnB. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ Richard Skelly. "Bobby Murray". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bobby Murray's All-Star Review". Takezomusic.com. Retrieved 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Grady Champion's "Bootleg Whiskey" a Return to Down Home Southern Soul | American Blues Scene Magazine". Americanbluesscene.com. 2014-09-02. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ Burns, Trip (2015-02-25). "Grady Champion: New Roots | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS". Jackson Free Press. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Grady Champion | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved . 

External links


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