Who the heck is Gloriana? We answer last night's AMA burning question with a backstage Q&A!

Their win for Breakthrough Artist elicited the biggest press room gasps at last night’s American Music Awards (well, besides J.Lo falling) (oh, and Adam Lambert’s fellatio follies), because who on earth thought Gloriana would beat out Lady Gaga, Keri Hilson, and Kid Cudi to take the Stabby Trophy of Death™ home? And, more importantly, who on earth are Gloriana?

To country fans, they’re a familiar up-and-coming group that’s put in the miles opening for Taylor Swift’s 2009 Fearless tour, as well as Alan Jackson, the Zac Brown Band, Brooks & Dunn, and several others over the past couple years. Their first single, “Wild At Heart,” is the year’s highest-selling country debut. Back in July, the Music Mix streamed an exclusive live track (“The Way It Goes”) from the band, I confessed “Wild At Heart” makes me want to stab Care Bears, they very kindly sent me a signed Care Bear, and then I more or less panned their debut album when it dropped a week later. Happily, this Nashville foursome — brothers Tom and Mike Gossin, Rachel Reinert, and America’s Most Talented Kid winner Cheyenne Kimball — was able to speak to me yesterday without punching me in the face.

Fun fact: When I caught up with them, they’d just come from being mobbed by the photographers in the press room, and were still carrying the prop AMA they were given to hold. In all the excitement, they would go on to inadvertently steal the fake trophy and take it back to their hotel. No word on whether or not it has since been returned to Dick Clark Productions.

After the jump, Gloriana introduce themselves…

Entertainment Weekly: I’ve been told that when you walked the red carpet tonight, no one knew who you were — but you just caused serious chaos in the press room.
Rachel: When we first got out to take photos on the red carpet, there were maybe three, four flashes of the cameras.
Cheyenne: They were all looking the other direction.
R: They’re like, who are these kids? And then all of a sudden we win this and it’s like, blinding light over there.

What does that feel like?
R: It’s amazing. And it’s satisfying. We’ve worked so so so hard for the past two and a half years together, and to see it finally pay off, and to see that we have such incredible, incredible fans, and to bring this home for country music, it’s just such a blessing.
Tom: I think we feel we’re in like one of those cheesy high school movies where they take the dorky girl and take her glasses off and put her in a nice dress and give her a haircut, and then everyone’s like, “Whoa, where’d she come from?” That’s us right now.

So, who the hell is Gloriana?
Mike: We’re a band, we’re all young kids, Tom and I are brothers, we came from North Carolina and moved to Nashville about three years ago. We immediately started looking for people to play music with. We found Rachel on MySpace, she had some songs up. Sent her a message to see if she wanted to jam. The three of us got together, we were playing in Nashville and Cheyenne came and heard us play one night, and asked if she could jam with us, and it just took off. We have an amazing record label behind us, amazing fans, people supporting us. It’s been a crazy two and a half years, and now we’re holding this award in our hands and it’s unreal.

When people now come flocking to your music, what should they expect to hear?
M: Country. Four part harmony. We’re all lead singers, so we all take turns singing different songs.
R:  And I think we’re doing something different.

Which is what?
C: It’s new wave country. More like Taylor Swift.

Can we talk honestly about the effect Taylor Swift had on this, exposing you to her fans?
T: That was really the coolest thing one artist could ever do for another artist. She had no ties to us, no reason to reach out to us whatsoever. She literally just liked our music. She said she was a fan of the band and called us one day when we were in a van, touring… somewhere in America, doing small bar shows, you know? She was like, “You wanna come on my tour?” And we were like, “Uh, lemme think. Okay.” That never happens. People do stuff for business—she was really just a fan of the music and said, “I dig you guys and want to give you a shot.” How cool is that?

How are you going to use this momentum to do something that matters?
M: We’re trying to just play for as many people as we can, and if we can change people’s lives in any positive way and make good out of our music and what we love to do, then we’re doing the right thing.  We make music for the fans. We’re trying to be a positive influence.

[Mike is gesturing with the trophy and very nearly impales Rachel.] Are you worried you could actually hurt somebody with that?
R: He stabbed me backstage when we won!
M: I was like, YEAH! [stabs at her again]
R: I’m actually bleeding profusely now under this dress.

Comments (16 total) Add your comment
  • Karen B

    “…makes me want to stab Care Bears” is my new favorite catchphrase. Thank you very much for the early holiday gift!!!!!!!!! (twitter: karenb0716)

  • t.t

    yay for gloriana i discovered their music this summer and I think they deserve it cause unlike GAGA and the rest of them they create REAL music and not flashy autotuned crap

    • theJuanStar

      GaGA may not be your taste but she does create her own REAL music. No need to put someone down because it’s not your flavor.

    • yeahandalso

      I’m sorry t.t. but you’re ridiculous if you think Lada Gaga doesn’t make her own music. She writes or co-writes all her songs and before getting her own record deal worked behind the scenes for others. She also attended Titch a very elite arts college. don’t hate just cause something isn’t your taste.

  • Jan3

    This just shows that the public vote does not respresent the public view, only the segment of the population that has the time to vote online, aka tweens. How can they be the breakthrough group if most people don’t know who they are. Like her or hate her, you know who Gaga is. When they mention they went on tour with taylor swift, it all made sense. It is same group of voters that helped her win the best female video over beyonce’s single ladies at the vmas. These awards do not matter because they do not reflect the true public opinion.

  • Jane

    I’m sorry, something must be wrong here. How did Taylor Swift beat out Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga in a bajillion different awards? Taylor may be great- but she beat CARRIE UNDERWOOD too and Carrie has waaay better country music. As for Gloriana, I’ve never even heard of them, Gaga is way better. And I still don’t understand how Taylor Swift won so many awards. She’s good— but not *THAT* good.

    • David

      Maybe if Carrie’s, Gaga’s, Michael’s fans were out there voting for them, they would have won. They just took it for granted that they were going to win. Maybe next year, those fans will try harder to support their artist!

  • philip john

    HEY Gloriana! I’m sOOOO happy for all of you. I’m a big, big fan from the Philippines. I don’t think the Filipinos know you at all but it’s better that way; I don’t want anyone else singing “Wild at Heart” except me while on a bus trip to the country. Taylor Swift is known though..

  • linz_3210

    i love all types of music… and ive been to 12 different styles of concerts since august… if you are good to your fans they will be good to you back… taylor is good to her fans and they reward her… she writes great music, shes entertaining amd yes she can sing… if she couldnt then people like reba and tim mcgraw would praise her… then with gloriana once again if you are good to your fans they will be good back… im not just a country fan… i will say the same thing about a band named paramore… they are great to their fans and they get rewarded for it… im not saying carrie underwood and lady gaga isnt but something about their fans must be different… as for michael jackson he is the great musician to ever live he us the one that allows taylor swift to sing country music and it be played on a pop radio…

  • yeahandalso

    LOL I’m sorry but Lada Gaga had 4 number one hits in 2009, there is no way anybody else is more deserving of a break through artist award

    • David

      You may be right, but that wasn’t the criteria for the award. The fans’ votes determine the winner of the award.

  • Robin

    While I’m no fan of Swift since I like country music and she isn’t that, she did sell more music than Gaga and since people buying records vote and not people spinning records that dictate what hits number 1, then I’d say Taylor did it right.

    While she doesn’t deserve country awards, she owns the pop world.

  • hahha

    who’s gaga? he is a man rite? why that ugly tranny famous? what good message that she bring from day one.. NOTHING.. I’m glad taylor, gloriana win AMA… that tranny gaga need to know that all those fashion that she used only just a meaningless form as well as her music and her unsteady fans who just into what current music.. lets see next year do we hear from that tranny again HA!

  • JR Jake

    Apologetically, I have not heard of Gloriana until two days ago. I watched a couple of their video’s yesterday, and they are fresh. They remind me of the ‘kids next door’. Very refreshing voices and I like the spirit in which they sing. All very nice looking adults and I believe we should be seeing alot of them in the future. Congratulations on the award, and hopefully many more. Really like your sound, very nice.

  • kj

    omg..how cud lady gaga not win breakthrough artist dats just freaken ridiculous This online voting shit 2 determine the winners is just utter BS!!!..dn’t know y da hell they changed the system to determine da winner, now the true winners arn’t winning shit…n unknown ppl like glorianna cum n win best new artist..wtf!!!..these awards have all lost their credibility..

  • johnnie


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