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Friday, December 4, 2020

Alumni

Former student Lizzo wins three Grammy Awards


Lizzo attended a Spirit of Houston performance in August 2019, once a member of the organization herself. The setlist for the performance included an arrangement of some of her songs. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Lizzo attended a Spirit of Houston performance in August 2019, once a member of the organization herself. The setlist for the performance included an arrangement of some of her songs. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Former student and award-winning singer Lizzo recently won three Grammys, five months after visiting UH and following her rise nationwide last year.

Lizzo’s three recent Grammy wins included Best Pop Solo Performance for “Truth Hurts,” Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Jerome” and Best Urban Contemporary Album for “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe).”

The remaining five nominations were Record of the Year for “Truth Hurts,” Album of the Year for “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe),” Song of the Year for “Truth Hurts,” Best New Artist and Best R&B Performance for “Exactly How I Feel.”

Lizzo also was Time Magazine’s 2019 entertainer of the year. Two other UH alumni took home Grammys as well. 

During her time at the University, Lizzo was in the Spirit of Houston’s Cougar Marching Band as a piccolo player. Her experience in music at UH expanded into her education as she majored in classical flute. 

Some current Spirit of Houston members are happy to see Lizzo’s success after leaving the University, including Kenneth Rivera, a finance junior involved in Spirit of Houston as a spirit leader and a social media manager. 

“Well we’re pretty excited,” Rivera said. “It’s kind of cool to say that our organization has Grammy winners coming out of it.”

Spirit of Houston plans to discuss Lizzo’s recent accomplishments for recruiting future students.  

“I don’t know that it’ll impact energy, because we’re mostly about just supporting the team and always being spirited,” Rivera said, “but it’ll be a little fun fact to add to our recruitment stuff.”

Other alumni winning Grammy Awards this year included Gabriel Preisser for Best Opera Recording for his work with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and Cecilia Duarte in the Best Classical Choral Performance  for her involvement in “Duruflé: Complete Choral Works” with the Houston Chamber Choir.

Having three former students win Grammy Awards this cycle is a point of pride for some students and something they believe reflects positively on the University. 

“It gives us some street credit,” said nutrition junior Katarina Tomasic. “It’s a nice talking point.”

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