With its first Grammy nomination, the hard rock band Halestorm joined the ranks of other York County music giants, including Del McCoury and Dominick Argento.
Halestorm was nominated Wednesday night in the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category for its song "Love Bites (So Do I)." Other nominees in the category are genre heavyweights Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Megadeth and Marilyn Manson.
The band was in the middle of a concert in Madison, Wis., Wednesday night when it found out about the nomination.
"It was perfect timing," lead singer Lzzy Hale said. "I was just about to do a piano ballad by myself, so the guys walked off stage and they found out from the crew. I told everybody, and the place erupted. It was 45 minutes of total shock."
Lzzy added that in the excitement, the band might have messed up a few chords during the remainder of the show. Afterward, the rockers called their moms.
"I feel like I haven't really slept," Lzzy said during a phone interview Thursday evening.
She also had to soak in the fact that she's the first female nominated in the category.
Jethro Tull won the first Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 1989. After that, the category was separated into Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance awards. Previous winners when the categories were separate include Slayer, Metallica and Evanescence, which is fronted by a female singer. In 2011, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences overhauled its awards and recombined the metal and hard rock categories.
In recent years, pop has dominated Grammy ceremonies. So, Lzzy said she's not sure if the hard rock/metal presentation will make the Feb. 10 broadcast of The 55th Annual Grammy Awards on CBS. But she added that the band members still hope to attend, if only to invalidate any moments in which they questioned their "crazy" career.
Lzzy caught the rock bug as a girl and her younger brother, Arejay, was soon accompanying her on drums. At the ages of 15 and 13, respectively, the siblings played their first bar gig - a fundraising concert in Harrisburg.
After that, Halestorm booked shows across the region, and its fanbase grew, especially in York County. In 2003, the band relocated to Red Lion. The following year, it added Joe Hottinger on guitar and Josh Smith on bass. The band's tours expanded and, in 2005, it signed with Atlantic Records.
Halestorm released its self-titled debut in 2009. That fall, the group, which had relocated to Los Angeles, performed at the York Fair. Music magazine covers, late-night TV appearances and more tours followed.
In April, the band released it's new CD "The Strange Case Of...," which hit No. 1 on Billboard's hard rock albums chart. During the summer, it toured with Staind and Godsmack.
Halestorm has outgrown local venues, but it still comes home for the holidays. This month, the band will be back in the region for a Dec. 27 show in Philadelphia and a New Year's Eve concert in Baltimore.
"There were local bands back in the day ... who let us open for them," Lzzy said. "To everyone from the area who came out to shows at the Tourist Inn and places like that... a huge thank you is in order. This is your triumph, too."
She said that the band will be on tour well into 2013, and they'll likely have a few TV appearances. The rest is unknown.
"(The nomination) is going to open up a lot of opportunities," she said. "Our mission statement has been: 'let's just continue to do what we love.'"
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air Feb. 10, 2013, on CBS.
Other York County Grammy connections
York County Grammy connections include:
Yvonne Koyzis, a classically trained opera singer, grew up in Chicago, where she earned master's degrees in opera singing and music education from Northwestern University. She sang for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which earned a Grammy in 1997. Koyzis, who moved Stewartstown in 2002, is also a member of the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, which nominates and votes for Grammy winners.
Dover native Christopher Thorn played guitar in Blind Melon. In 1989, the members met and formed the band in Los Angeles. The group earned two Grammy nominations in 1994 for Best New Artist and for its song "No Rain."
Tim Warfield, a saxophonist and York native, has played on several Grammy-nominated recordings, including Stefon Harris' "The Grand Unification Theory," as well as "Dear Louis" and "Sonic Trance" with trumpeter Nicholas Payton. Warfield will perform Dec. 22 at York's Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center.
William Penn Senior High School graduate Dominick Argento won a 2004 Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for "Casa Guidi." The composer and singer has been nominated for a handful of other Grammys through the years.
The Del McCoury Band won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2005 for "The Company We Keep." According, to the group's website, it's racked up nine Grammy nominations through the years.
Kennard-Dale High School graduate and Miss York County 1990 Amy Perciballi now lives in Phoenix and sings in the Phoenix Bach Choir. In 2007, the group's album "Passion Week" was nominated for four Grammys, including Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, Best Surround Sound Album and Best Engineered Album, Classical. Perciballi and some members attended The 50th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony in 2008 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Brief history of Halestorm
1997: 13-year-old Lzzy Hale decides to start a band with her brother, Arejay
During the next decade, Halestorm played locally and regionally, booking up to 200 gigs a year
June 2005: Halestorm signed with Atlantic Records
April 2006: Halestorm releases its first EP "One and Done"
April 2009: Halestorm releases its first full-length album, "Halestorm."
2010-2012: Halestorm releases two EPs and a live album.
April 2012: Halestorm releases its second full-length album, "The Strange Case of"
Wednesday: Halestorm receives its first Grammy nomination for hard rock/metal performance.
Videos from the 2009 York Fair