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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Diné Singer Nets Two Nammy Nods With Debut Effort
by Jan-Mikael Patterson - Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, AZ - The Navajo Nation's own country music songbird, Victoria Blackie, has netted her first two Native American Music Awards nominations for her debut album "Wanted Man."

She is nominated for best country album and best female debut artist.

"I'm just happy to be nominated," she said in a recent telephone interview. "Even if I don't win, just being nominated is good enough for me."

Blackie has taken the country music scene in Indian Country by storm with her voice, a combination of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. She recently won the best country and best blues album at the Indian Summer Music Awards in Milwaukee where she also performed.

She's been invited to perform at the Nammys and said she will sing "Remember America," a tribute to veterans.

The 12th Annual Native American Music Awards ceremony is Nov. 12 at the Seneca Niagara Hotel and Casino in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

"To be nominated is great but I'm excited to perform out there as well," she said.

Blackie, 23, is Haltsooí (Meadow Clan), born for Hispanic. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Dennison, originally from Tohatchi, N.M., and Carlos I. Chavez.

Her parents met as students at Brigham Young University and she was born and raised in Salt Lake City. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Brian Blackie, who is Navajo.

Blackie said she loves to perform for Navajos and almost got the chance to do so in August, when she was asked to sing in Church Rock, N.M., as part of the Turquoise Rose Classic bull-riding event. Regrettably, the plan fizzled when the promoter failed to secure a venue.

Dinétah's loss is Norway's gain, however, as she has been invited to perform there.

"A show in Bergen is scheduled for the Christmas season," she said. "I'm excited for that."

Currently Blackie is working on her next album, and says, "This one is going to be all me, from the beginning to the end."

Much of the money coming from sales of "Wanted Man" - about 1,500 copies so far - goes back into travel and promotion. She's on PR Web, an online publicity site.

Life has gotten pretty busy but Blackie looks to role models like the Lumbee singer Jana Mashonee.

"I really look up to her for inspiration," Blackie said. "If she can do it, I know I can and that's what I really want to be, a role model for younger women to show them that they can achieve their dreams."

Online Nammy voting is open to anyone but requires that you register with the site to vote. Voting closes Nov. 11.

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