Willie Nelson decided to record “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” after the Library of Congress awarded him the prestigious Gershwin Prize in 2015. It was clearly a good call: On Sunday, that record earned Nelson his eighth Grammy Award, in the Traditional Pop Vocal Album category.
Nelson wasn’t on hand to accept. He has canceled several performances in the past week, including shows in Arizona and New Mexico on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11. At present, Nelson is still scheduled to perform on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the San Antonio Rodeo.
It’s Nelson’s first Grammy since a Best Country Collaboration With Vocals award for “Lost Highway,” his 2007 album with Ray Price. In addition to his eight career Grammys, Nelson also has received the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nelson’s win capped an eventful afternoon for Austin-associated acts. Wimberley-raised Sarah Jarosz won her first two Grammys, for Best Folk Album and Best Traditional Roots Performance, while also serving as a presenter at the daytime ceremony that preceded the televised evening awards.
Two other Austin acts were nominated but did not win. Electronica duo Survive had two entries in the running for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for their work on Netflix’s “Stranger Things” but lost to legendary film composer John Williams and his “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” score. And the design team of sisters Sarah and Shauna Dodds, winners of last year’s Best Recording Package award, lost that category this time to David Bowie’s “Blackstar,” which went on to win several more awards.