February 12, 2017 6:54 pm

Edmonton-raised Bernie Herms wins Grammy

Nashville based producer and songwriter Bernie Herms is shown in an undated handout photo. Growing up the son of a Pentecostal minister taught songwriter Bernie Herms a few lessons on the road to the Grammy Awards. Most importantly, teamwork with your fellow musicians can elevate the spirit of song.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Dominick Guillemot

Canadian songwriter Bernie Herms came out an early winner at the pre-telecast Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

The London, Ont.-born and Edmonton-raised musician took home a golden gramophone for best contemporary Christian music performance or song for “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family.

Scott, who is a singer in Lady Antebellum, also won best contemporary Christian music album for “Love Remains,” which features Herms’ song.

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The spirit of Leonard Cohen’s music was felt during a performance by Grammy-nominee Judy Collins. The folk singer began with a memory of Cohen, a long-time friend and collaborator, and the first time he brought her the lyrics to “Suzanne.”

“He came into my living room and said, ‘I can’t play the guitar and I can’t sing,” she told the audience.

“And I don’t know if this is a song.”

She then launched into a solo performance of the Montreal poet’s famed song on a grand piano.

A number of other Canadians are up for Grammys in the pre-telecast, including indigenous singing group Northern Cree.

READ MORE: Alberta’s Northern Cree to kick off Grammys in L.A.

Watch below: An Alberta band is heading to the Grammys to help kick off the big award show. Northern Cree is also nominated for Best Regional Roots Music Album.

The early show is streaming at Grammy.com/live.

Several Canadians are also going for gold at Sunday’s main Grammy Awards ceremony, including two of the country’s biggest pop performers.

Drake and Justin Bieber will square off against country singer Sturgill Simpson and pop powerhouses Adele and Beyonce, who are all nominated for album of the year.

READ MORE: 59th annual Grammy awards features notable Canadian nominees

The evening’s biggest prize is only one of eight nominations Drake has in his pocket.

The Toronto-raised hip-hop star’s “Views” is also in the running for best rap album, while “Hotline Bling” is nominated for best rap or sung performance.

Drake is also being considered for his vocal contributions to Rihanna’s smash hit “Work,” which is up for both record of the year and best duo or group performance.

READ MORE: Five Canadian things to watch for at the 2017 Grammys

He’s not expected to attend this year’s ceremony due to schedule conflicts with his European tour.

Drake only counts a single Grammy to his name for the 2011 rap album “Take Care.”

Bieber is another Canadian hoping to grab a few statues at this year’s show.

He’s nominated for his single “Love Yourself” in the best song and best pop solo performance categories.

His album “Purpose” is also up for best pop vocal album.

Bieber also only has one Grammy, which he won last year for contributing vocals to “Where Are U Now,” a side project of Skrillex and Diplo.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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