Here is a startling Grammy confession: Rising country star Ingrid Andress did not vote for herself for best new artist. What?

She voted for rap sensation Megan Thee Stallion.

"My manager is going to kill me," Andress said from Nashville on Monday. "I'm obsessed with [Megan]. We have absolutely nothing in common, which is why I love it. That just shows you how great the Grammys are; there's room for all different types of creative expression."

Just seeing her name mentioned with Meg's was "the biggest victory for me," she gushed with giggly enthusiasm. "I think I peaked in my career."

A beguilingly shape-shifting singer and smart, liberated songwriter, Andress will be at the Grammys on Sunday in Los Angeles wearing a mask while her parents watch from their home in Grand Marais, Minn.

At 29, she's having quite a rookie ride. With three Grammy nominations, she tied superstar Miranda Lambert for the most of any country artist. Her hit "More Hearts Than Mine" is vying for best country song and her "Lady Like" is a finalist for best country album, a category in which all the nominees are women or feature women (i.e., the coed Little Big Town).

"Isn't that awesome?" she said. "When I first saw the list, I said, 'Wow, look at the nominations and look at the country radio [play]list. They couldn't be more opposite.' ... I'm proud that there's at least one part of the music industry that acknowledges and recognizes quality albums."

The first country star reared in Colorado, Andress is the rare Nashville artist to have attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

"I feel like I learned everything at Berklee but country music," said Andress, noting that no other students were interested in country. "I did learn the basics of songwriting. Berklee made me a better musician, taught me how direct a band and produce things. But as far as country goes, I didn't learn everything I really value until I moved to Nashville."

Jhené Aiko

For the second time, this Los Angeles singer is nominated for three Grammys. She didn't take home hardware in 2015, but now she's competing for the biggest prize, album of the year ("Chilombo"), as well as best progressive R&B album and best R&B performance (for "Lightning and Thunder" with John Legend). The million-selling, made-in-Hawaii "Chilombo" is a seductively chill album with deeply personal lyrics and Hawaiian singing bowls coloring all 20 tracks. Aiko's third album, it features guests Nas, Ty Dolla $ign, Future, Miguel, H.E.R. and a very dramatic Legend. Aiko, 32, will host the pre-telecast Grammy ceremony, streaming at 2 p.m. on

Jacob Collier

"Who's that?" everyone said when his name was announced for album of the year. The first-ever finalist in that category to never have landed on Billboard's Top 200, "Djesse Vol. 3" is an obsessive exercise in kitchen-sink studio experimentation with soulful but manipulated reharmonized vocals and many guests including T-Pain, Tori Kelly, Kimbra, Rapsody and Ty Dolla $ign. A London singer/multi-instrumentalist who has earned four Grammys for arranging, Collier, 26, is also nominated for best R&B performance and, of course, arrangement. By the way, he promises "Djesse Vol. 4" this year; it's the final installment of a 50-song opus launched in 2018.

Mickey Guyton

Even though she has yet to release her first full-length album, Guyton was named country artist of the year for 2020 in a nationwide poll of country critics. Why? She's a Black woman who is making important noise without being heard on country radio. Guyton, 37, gave Nashville a much-needed reality check with the heartbreaking song "Black Like Me," which earned a Grammy nomination for best country solo performance. And she wowed on the Academy of Country Music Awards with her stunning power ballad "What Are You Gonna Tell Her," about equality for women.

Cory Wong

He's Minnesota latest guitar star. Beginning in January 2020, the 35-year-old Shoreview resident released a staggering 12 albums in 13 months. While he plays funk-rock in the band Vulfpeck and his own group, Wong is nominated for New Age album for "Meditations," a collaboration with celebrated pianist Jon Batiste, a recent Golden Globe winner for his score for "Soul" and bandleader on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." The duo recorded the album in a brief session while Wong was in New York to headline Madison Square Garden with Vulfpeck and sit in with Batiste's Stay Human on Colbert.

Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719

Grammy Awards
When: 7 p.m. Sun., WCCO, Ch. 4.
Host: Trevor Noah.
Performers: Bad Bunny, Black Pumas, Cardi B, BTS, Brandi Carlile, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Mickey Guyton, Haim, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, John Mayer, Megan Thee Stallion, Maren Morris, Post Malone, Roddy Ricch, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.