Grammy museum closer for metro Atlanta

Otis Redding’s famous red suit from his 1967 tour of Europe and the overalls from a music video. At the Grammy Museum exhibit detailing Redding’s life. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC
Otis Redding’s famous red suit from his 1967 tour of Europe and the overalls from a music video. At the Grammy Museum exhibit detailing Redding’s life. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Georgia's country music group Lady Antebellum kisses recently earned Grammy Awards. The state's strong musical heritage that spans from blues belter Ma Rainey to the Allman Brothers and the hip hop moguls of today helped attract a proposed Grammy museum to the Atlanta area.
Georgia's country music group Lady Antebellum kisses recently earned Grammy Awards. The state's strong musical heritage that spans from blues belter Ma Rainey to the Allman Brothers and the hip hop moguls of today helped attract a proposed Grammy museum to the Atlanta area.

Credit: Associated Press

Credit: Associated Press

The Grammys are officially coming to Atlanta.

Atlanta and Fulton County’s long flirtation with the Grammy Museum Foundation to build and operate a Grammy Museum here finally paid off with an announcement Monday, but the project has a long way to go to completion.

One of Atlanta’s musical heavyweights, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, told the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday that he “wished upon a star,” to see the museum in Atlanta.

He played a video featuring Michael Sticka, president of the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum and the GRAMMY Museum Foundation, announcing that the organization would partner with the Georgia Music Accord to expand here.

“The future looks very bright,” Ludacris said. “To see it first-hand, how it is going to help [kids] be even more inspired. And we gonna create more jobs. This is long overdue in my opinion. I cannot wait.”

But he may have to.

Missing from the announcement was how much it was going to cost, who would pay for it, where it was going to be built and when construction would begin.

The announcement Monday was “to have a benchmark to move forward, and we’re starting to move now,” said Tammy Hurt, president of the Georgia Music Accord, the nonprofit helping draft the museum.

Brad Olecki, CEO of the Georgia Music Accord, said getting to this point has been a lot of hard work “and now we are excited about the harder work that the future shows.”

Olecki said a site has not been identified, but it would make sense to have it near existing attractions and hotels. He would not estimate how much the museum would cost, or say where the funding would come from or when ground would be broken.

“There is a lot more good news to come,” he promised.

It won’t be the first regional Grammy museum. One in Mississippi opened in 2016 showcasing the state’s musical roots. An exhibit in Nashville honors country music, and a New Jersey annex highlights homegrown artists including Whitney Houston and Frank Sinatra.

As reported last year in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the state and Fulton County governments spent a combined $500,000 on a feasibility study for the museum.

Whenever it is built, the museum will usher Georgia back into the music curation business. The state-supported Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, which opened in 1996 to tell the stories of Georgia luminaries like Otis Redding, James Brown, the Allman Brothers Band and Little Richard, lost money for years and closed in 2012.

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