Mormons Who Have Won Grammy Awards (+ LDS Nominees)

6. Jenny Oaks Baker

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Photo courtesy of Shadow Mountain Music

The daughter of President Dallin H. Oaks, Jenny Oaks Baker is one of the world's most successful violinists. She's released albums covering everything from Disney tunes to rock classics, and many of them have ended up on Billboard charts, including her 2010 album Then Sings My Soul, her 2012 album Noël: Carols of Christmas Past, and her 2014 album Classic: The Rock Album.

Her 10th album, Wish Upon a Star: A Tribute to the Music of Walt Disney, was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Album for the 54th Grammy Awards. The album is a compilation of Disney classics such as “God Help the Outcasts,” "Colors of the Wind," "A Whole New World," and “Beauty and the Beast,” arranged by Emmy-winning composer Kurt Bestor.

"When I perform music that is uplifting and edifying, I feel the Spirit very powerfully," Baker told LDS Living.  "I hope that people who hear my music can feel this Spirit and it brings them peace, comfort and joy. I hope my music can touch hearts and help people feel the love of The Lord. My favorite thing to hear from the audience as a performer is not the applause—it is the tears."

Watch Jenny Oaks Baker perform "A Whole New World" in the video below:

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Acclaimed classical violinist Jenny Oaks Baker joins Emmy Award–winning composer Kurt Bestor to create a memorable and entertaining album adapted from classic Disney favorites. Wish Upon a Star will prove to be a favorite among generations who grew up with these Disney classics and children who are now discovering them for the first time. No family's music collection is complete without this album.

7. Dallon Weekes of Panic! at the Disco

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Photo from panicatthedisco.wikia.com

Returned missionary Dallon Weekes, who served a mission in Oklahoma, performed in the alternative rock band Panic! at the Disco as a bassist, keyboardist, backing vocalist, and songwriter from 2009 to 2017.

Their 2005 debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, reached #13 on the "Billboard 200" chart and has sold more than 2.2 million copies. The band's four subsequent albums all skyrocketed on the "Alternative Albums" chart. Their second album, Pretty. Odd., was released in 2008 and reached #1. Their third album, Vices & Virtues, hit #2, and their fourth album, 2013's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, reached #1. In 2008, they received a nomination for Pretty. Odd., Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. In 2016, the band received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album for their album Death of a Bachelor.

On December 27, 2017, Weekes announced on social media that he would be leaving the band. “I’m grateful for the chance I’ve had to be part of Panic! at the Disco for nearly a decade,” he wrote. “I will always consider myself indebted to those who made me feel welcome to be a part of P!ATD. You changed my life.”

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8. Natalie Ai Kamauu

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Photo from staradvertiser.com

Natalie Ai Kamauu grew up on the island of Oahu as part of a family that performed traditional Hawaiian music and dance. “We were a hula family,” she told midweek.com.

When she was a little girl, Kamauu was trained as a hula dancer. But when she was 15 years old, the family needed musicians for their performances, so her father asked her to sing and play the ukulele.

“I wouldn’t say that music came naturally, even though we were singing all the time at church,” she said.  “It took about three years before I realized I wasn’t going to be dancing in the shows anymore, and it was then that I realized that this is what I should be doing. Without being given a ukulele, I wouldn’t have started to sing, and so I credit my daddy for putting the ukulele in my hand and my mommy for requiring it because we had a show.”

Today, Kamauu carries on the family tradition by performing with her son and daughter and her husband, Iolani, who acts as executive producer for her albums and also performs guitar and vocals. She released her first album in 2005 and has released five more since then. In 2015, Kamauu’s album LaLaLaLa was nominated for a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album.

lead image by D. Mileson, from Wikimedia Commons
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