Jackson County native co-wrote Blake Shelton song nominated for Grammy

 Brent Anderson

A former Coast entertainer who grew up in Jackson County may see a song he co-wrote win a Grammy at the awards in February.

Brent Anderson's "Lonely Tonight," a hit for country music artists Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe, is nominated for Grammy Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Anderson, the grandson of Gent and Jo Sherman of Pascagoula, co-wrote "Lonely Tonight" with Ryan Hurd. The song became Shelton's 14th consecutive No. 1 hit and has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America with more than 500,000 copies sold. Shelton recorded the song as a duet with Monroe and it was the second single from his album, "Bringing Back the Sunshine."

The song was also nominated in April for an Academy of Country Music award for Vocal Event of the Year, and in November for the Country Music Association's Musical Event of the Year, but didn't win in either category.

If the song scores a Grammy, the award will go to Shelton and Monroe, not the songwriters, but Anderson is OK with that.

"It's pretty cool to see the word Grammy associated with anything you're associated with," he said.

Anderson, 27, has been writing and singing in Nashville since moving there with his parents, Curtis and Margo Anderson, and younger sister, Cheyenne, about 10 years ago.

In 2009, he signed with Sea Gayle Music Publishing and has since had cuts with Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Tylar Farr, Randy Houser, Bucky Covington and Elliot Yamin.

Besides "Lonely Tonight," his credits include Josh Thompson's "Cold Beer With Your Name On It" and Sheryl Crow's "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely."

He co-produced Chris Jansen's album for Warner Brothers including the breakthrough hit "Buy Me a Boat."

Anderson charted in 2011 with "Amy's Song," which he wrote for himself. The song samples Pure Prairie League's 1973 hit "Amie" and even has Vince Gill singing backup.

These days, however, he is focused on producing and his songwriting and hopes to score more No. 1 hits for other artists.

"The thing that means to most to me is definitely the songwriting," he said. "To me, there's nothing like creating something from nothing."

He's surrounded in Nashville by other songwriters with the same agenda. Many have become his friends.

"They're all here and they're amazing. You're up against all their songs," he said. "You just write it, give it over to God and hope for the best."

His schedule keeps him busy, but he drops in on his Pascagoula family when he can. He's grateful for the hometown folks who have supported him all these years, he said.

"There's a whole lot of support down there. There always was when I was down there playing shows," he said. "A lot of family and friends told me it could be done. My grandpa told me, 'It's gotta happen to somebody, why not you?'"

While Anderson actually performed on the CMAs in November -- that was him in the LSU jersey on guitar behind Brad Paisley on "Country Nation" -- he won't even be in the audience for the Grammy awards.

"I'll be watching it, like everybody else, sitting on the couch and taking it all in," he said.

The 58th Grammy show airs Feb. 15 on CBS.

Other nominees include: "Stay a Little Longer" by Brothers Osborne; "If I Needed You" by Joey + Rory; "The Driver" by Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay; "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town.

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