NEW YORK — The Secret Sisters, an Americana duo that includes MTSU alumna Laura Rogers, was honored Saturday by the College of Media and Entertainment at its annual industry event preceding the Grammy Awards.
Recording Industry graduate Laura Rogers and her sister, Lydia, are nominated for Best Folk Album in Sunday’s 60th annual Grammy Awards. They shared their excitement, and some life lessons, at a Manhattan venue crowded with industry executives and university alumni.
“We’re shocked, we feel like deer in the headlights, and we don’t know what to expect, so we’re just taking it moment by moment and trying to relish each in the sense of excitement,” Laura Rogers told Recording Industry chair Beverly Keel in an on-stage interview.
“More than anything, I feel a sense of redemption,” she said. “It’s a big honor for us.”
The sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, had a difficult path to the success celebrated during this weekend’s Grammy festivities. Catching on shortly after Rogers graduated from MTSU, they went from touring with Bob Dylan to losing their label, purging their team and filing bankruptcies.
Yet those hardships became the material for the songs for their third album, a crowd-funded project that would garner the nomination.
“The Secret Sisters’ success story is one of ups and downs that is truly a lesson in perseverance and believing in yourself,” Keel said. “Instead of giving up, Laura and her sister Lydia kept fighting for what they believed in, driving by their passion for music, and their hard work has resulted in this Grammy recognition.
“That is certainly something we want to instill in our students. Laura continues to make MTSU proud and I am thrilled we are honoring her in this way.”
President Sidney A. McPhee joined Keel in congratulating Laura for not only the nomination but demonstrating the grit and perseverance found in so many MTSU students and alumni.
“Laura is a perfect example of what we mean when we talk about True Blue spirit,” he said.
Laura Rogers described her years at MTSU as “really transformative,” adding, “It put me in a place where I had absolutely, continuous access to music on every level…
“The great thing about MTSU is that they aren’t stuck in one old way of doing things. They keep up with an ever-changing industry so that they are modern and up to speed on everything,” she said.
Her advice to students now? “Take it all in. Go to your classes. Do your homework. Respect your teachers.”
Several MTSU alumni are also among the many nominees for Grammys this year. Find out who they are.
- Andrew Oppmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)