Clarkston teen wins trip to the Grammy's

Clarkston teen wins trip to the Grammy's »Play Video
Kevin Simmons wins second place in a national music contest and recieves a trip to the 54th annual Grammy Awards.
CLARKSTON, WA - A Clarkston teen receives a trip to the 54th annual Grammy Awards after his music was selected as the second place winner in a national contest.

17-year-old Kevin Simmons still can't believe he's going to the Grammy's in January at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

"It's kind of overwhelming, it hasn't really hit me just yet," said Simmons.

Kevin has never been to Los Angeles or been on a plane but he has plenty of life experience to share, which played a huge role in winning the recognition.

He began experimenting drugs at 11 years old. After going in and out of rehab, juvenile detention and being placed on probation, he checked himself into the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations in Spokane, a 90-day treatment center for teens.

While there, he was introduced to a music program and began writing lyrics about his life experience.

"The song is about my experience and just my story with addiction," said Simmons. "The first verse is telling how I started using at a young age and just the experience that happened, what I was doing at that time. The second verse is more about the problems that have caused and ending up in juve and going to treatment. The third verse is just being proud of the change and anyone out there can do it if they chase their dreams."

He submitted his music to the Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest sponsored by the MusiCares and Grammy Foundation, and placed second nationwide.

"He liked hip hop a lot but he never rapped or recorded before much so when he started, he was a little iffy about it and then he caught on really fast and started recording," said Rickie Deekon Jones, an expressive arts program manager at the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations.

Kevin just got released from the Healing Lodge a few days ago. He's now clean and is confident he'll stay that way.

"Now that he has this award there's a lot more for him to look forward to that he didn't think that he could accomplish on his own," said Jones.

"Being sober I can support my family, I can do better things for myself," said Simmons.

In addition to a trip to the Grammy's, Kevin will receive a $250 cash prize, a MusiCares/Grammy certificate of appreciation, two tickets to the Grammy museum, lunch and a gift bag.

He'll also receive a certificate from the National Institute on Drug Abuse acknowledging his role in the dissemination of health information about substance abuse.