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First Cajun/Zydeco Grammy

The first-ever Grammy Award for Best Cajun/Zydeco album brought out quite the field of nominees — not just the standard five, but thanks to a three-way tie for the last slot, a lucky seven: Terrance Simien, Geno Delafose (pictured at right), the Pine Leaf Boys, the Racines, Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars, the Lost Bayou Ramblers — and Jethro Tull.

At least that’s how some people see it, evoking the infamous incident when in 1989 the first-ever heavy metal/hard rock Grammy went not to the expected winner, Metallica, but to the veteran English classic/prog-rock band. This Sunday, the "outsider" is Lisa Haley, a Los Angeles-based fiddler who is not only the sole non-Louisianan in the mix, but also the act who has moved farthest away from traditional sounds; her King Cake album showcases her upbeat mix of Americana, R&B and pop with Creole zydeco touches.

Anyone who’s followed the music awards show, marking its 50th year, Feb. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, knows that a little controversy comes with the territory. And traditionally, having at least one act that raises questions about the criteria and process nominated in a new category is almost a rite of passage. Not only was there the Tull incident, but Public Enemy lost the first rap Grammy in 1988 to D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The definition of just what is or what isn’t eligible has caused a lot of raised eyebrows and some heated tempers. But what's a Grammy Awards without controversy?

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