Halestorm has arrived.
The hard rock act with Red Lion roots took home the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Sunday. In the process, it beat out some of the biggest names in the genre: Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Megadeth and Marilyn Manson.
The band seemed overjoyed and a little flustered as it accepted its award.
Drummer Arejay Hale, who was rocking a red tie and matching hair, stepped up to the mike first.
"(We) did not expect this," he said. "(I've) gotta thank ... our parents for turning us on to great music."
The band thanked Atlantic Records, their families and others who helped them get onto the stage Sunday.
"I have stuff written down, and I don't even care anymore," lead singer Lzzy Hale said. "Thank you to our fellow nominees, if it wasn't for your inspiration ... we would not have written this song and been in this category. (This is) dedicated to all the Halestorm freaks. Here's to us."
Halestorm's Grammy was announced along with several other winners before the Sunday night telecast on CBS.
Lzzy became the first female winner 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.
The award came after about 17 years of hard work on Halestorm's part.
Lzzy and her brother, Arejay, performed in a family band with their parents and as a duo through the late '90s. They worked with local music teachers and played shows all across the region from the Tourist Inn in Hellam Township to Millennium Music Conference in the Harrisburg area.
A music conference connected the group to Philadelphia Grammy chapter president and producer David Ivory.
"What impressed me the most was (that) they played 260 gigs in one year," Ivory said during an interview last month. "(Lzzy's) work ethic was off the charts. She had a lot of really good raw talent. We basically embarked on six months of writing songs and working on them."
He worked with the band on its songs and auditioned musicians to join singer Lzzy and drummer Arejay. Eventually, Ivory found Joe Hottinger for guitar and Josh Smith for bass.
A 2004 showcase in New York City helped connect Halestorm to the right people, Ivory said. Through a series of introductions, the band met a rep from Atlantic Records and inked a deal in 2005. The band released songs, toured with big-name acts and played larger arenas, including the York Fair in 2009.
Last April, the band released its new CD "The Strange Case Of...," which hit No. 1 on Billboard's hard rock albums chart. In December, its single "Love Bites (So Do I)" earned a Grammy nomination.
"There were local bands back in the day ... who let us open for them," Lzzy said during an interview the day after she learned about the nomination. "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. On Jan. 29, the group performed its single "Freak Like Me" on ABC's late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
"(The nomination) is going to open up a lot of opportunities," Lzzy said in December. "Our mission statement has been: 'let's just continue to do what we love.'"
A Grammy win will likely open even more doors for the group.
York County Grammy connections include:
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."
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.
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.
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.
Trisha Bowden formed Hanover-based Mysterium Music, specifically for healing music, and began to learn the ropes from Peter Kater and others. Bowden's collaboration with Kater "Light Body" was nominated, but did not win, for best New Age album Grammy in 2012. Bowden planned to attend the Grammy ceremony Sunday in Los Angeles.