East Texas music artists win awards at the 8th Annual Josie Music Awards in Nashville

It was a night to remember for two East Texas music artists Sunday at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 12:20 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 11:52 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A Tyler native won big at this year’s Josie Awards in Nashville.

It was a night to remember for two East Texas music artists Sunday at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

They share their experience winning a Josie award on the infamous Opry stage.

“I’m very honored and blessed that I got to stand on the same stage as a lot of other huge, huge legends have gotten to stand,” says Tyler-native and Josie award-winning artist, Heather Nikole Harper.

The 8th Annual Josie Music Awards was held Sunday night in Nashville, Tennessee at the Grand Ole Opry House. The Josie Music Awards is the largest independent music award show in the world.

Harper was shocked to hear her name called for artist of the year. “For me to have that honor to accept artist of the year...I’m just a small town girl from East Texas...I really have no words, It’s just surreal, I’m like walking on air today,” says Harper.

She says the journey has been challenging and she couldn’t have done it without the support of her family. “I’m very blessed that my family has been very supportive because there’s been a lot of endless nights of coming home very late,” says Harper. “Having like eight shows a week, and working really hard writing my own music and going to record. There’s even been times where I’ve lost my voice because I love going out there and performing for people.”

Also in attendance from Carthage was ‘Sheila and the Caddo Kats’, who had won two prior Josie awards for Entertainer of the Year. Sunday they won Album of the Year for their latest album, ‘Country Soul Living in the City’.

“We looked at each other and I was like…[eyes wide open and mouth gaping],” says Sheila Fox. “We looked at each other and said, did we hear that correctly,” said guitarist Alan Fox.

As they looked out at the thousands of people in the audience, they were overwhelmed thinking of all the great performers who had stood on that stage. The surreal moment left them both speechless, but Alan Fox found the words to give. “A shout out to our base player that wasn’t there, thanking Jesus, without him we wouldn’t be able to be there at all without our God given talents, and all of our family and friends and fans that support us. Without our fans we wouldn’t be anywhere.”

Sheila Fox says this year was particularly special to her, and was a dream come true. “It was amazing to be at that place,” says Sheila. “That’s been a childhood dream to be on that stage. It was amazing to be at the Grand Ole Opry.”

Harper has also been nominated by the Josie awards for Songwriter Achievement for her song, ‘Home Sweet Texas’, and we will know the results soon.