Sunday night proved a pleasant surprise for Gloriana, the four-member music group who beat out Lady Gaga for the T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist award.
“Hands down, we thought Lady Gaga was gonna win,” Rachel Reinert told reporters backstage. “We just freaked out when they called our name.”
The win brought congratulations from Taylor Swift, a five-time AMA winner and friend of the group. “I always believed in you guys and always knew you could do it,” Swift reportedly said to Gloriana, adding with a laugh, “But didn’t actually think you’d do it!”
Rachel Reinert’s family expressed enthusiasm upon news of the win. “We were jumping up and down when we heard their name announced,” said Brad Reinert, Rachel’s cousin. “We are so proud of Rachel and the group and wish them congratulations on a well deserved win,” Reinert said.
Gloriana has been the opening act on Swift’s Fearless tour this year and is expected to join her again next year. The group thanked Swift for that opportunity in their acceptance speech.
Gloriana’s accomplishments do not start with last night’s win. They also have the best-selling debut country album of 2009.
Tom Gossin, a member of Gloriana, asked the audience upon accepting the award, “Can we get a show of hands from everybody who just said, ‘Who the heck is Gloriana?'” The crowd burst into laughter.
Gloriana features brothers Tom and Mike Gossin with Rachel Reinert and Cheyenne Kimball.
The band’s journey took off when they sent a demo to Emblem Music Group. They began working with songwriter Jeffrey Steele, who has written for Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw and others. They also began writing with other songwriters like Brett James, Trey Bruce, Stephanie Bentley, Aimee Mayo, Wayne Kirkparick, Chris Tompkins, Josh Kear, Chris Lindsley, Danny Myrick, Chuck Jones, Kevin Kadish, Kyle Cook and Ben Glover.
The members of Gloriana decided to move in together to isolate themselves in order to focus on working on the songs and musical arrangements. Once satisfied with their hard work, they agreed to take a weekly gig at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, Calif. At the start of recording their album, they had established a strong foundation of musical harmonies within their vocal talents.
Gloriana released their first single, “Wild at Heart,” earlier this year, and is the best selling single by a new country artist in 2009. They have sold over 375,000 copies to date.