Since releasing their album Uncaged last summer, the Zac Brown Band has been nothing but busy. And this weekend will be no different, as Uncaged has been nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Country Album.

That nomination is “very cool,” Zac told Steve Grunwald of Detroit’s WYCD. Any award nomination is an honor, of course, but as Zac explains, a GRAMMY nod is extra special. And he should know: the Zac Brown Band has won two GRAMMYs during their career so far.

“There’s so many other award shows,” Zac says, “where everything’s so political. Unless you’re from Nashville, unless you’re in the circle with everybody, you’re not going to win all of those. Although they’ll get you to come play and hang out. Which is fine with us.”

But in the music business as a whole, “the GRAMMYs, that’s the highest level of award,” he says.

Listen to the full Zac Brown Band interview on WYCD

While Zac is a bona fide country artist, he and his band do have appeal among fans and artists in other genres. So are there any artists outside country that he’d particularly love to record with, sooner than later?

He lists four of them off quickly and without hesitation: Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and Paul McCartney. “If I could get those four out of the way this year,” he says, “that’d be good.” Uh, no kidding.

But in fact, Zac is already on his way, as he’s performing at an event tonight (Feb. 8) honoring one of the people on his list. The pre-GRAMMY concert in L.A. honors Springsteen, who is the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year. Zac will be joined at the tribute by artists from across genres including Alabama Shakes, Jackson Browne, Kenny Chesney, Ben Harper, Emmylou Harris, Tim McGrawFaith Hill, Elton John, John Legend, Natalie Maines, Tom Morello, Mumford and Sons, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Sting, Eddie Vedder, and Neil Young.

Zac will also be performing during the GRAMMY Awards themselves, in a tribute to another musical hero: the late Levon Helm. He’ll be joined in that performance by Elton John, Mumford and Sons, Mavis Staples, and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.

The 55th GRAMMY Awards air Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8pm ET on CBS.

– Kurt Wolff,


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