Tonight is the CMT Music Awards, and Taylor Swift is nominated for video of the year and collaborative video of the year with country music's next big thing: The Civil Wars. Taylor and the folk group — made up of Joy Williams and Johnny Depp lookalike John Paul White — are nominated for "Safe and Sound" off the Hunger Games soundtrack; and The Civil Wars are also nominated for "duo video of the year" for their song "Poison & Wine."
To say Joy and The Civil Wars are having a good year would be an understatement. At the Grammy Awards this year the first-time nominees not only got to perform ahead of Taylor's performance, they won two Grammys: best folk album and best country duo/group performance for their album Barton Hollow. They were on the cover of Billboard magazine in March, performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live in April, and met President Barack Obama and Morgan Freeman when performing at Ford's Theatre Society's Annual Gala last weekend.
Here are five more things you should know about this woman who rocks (including her Taylor Swift and Adele connection!):
- Hailing from Santa Cruz, CA, Joy was 17 when she signed a recording contract with Reunion Records, balancing a singing career with finishing up high school. She began her career as a contemporary Christian music artist before leaving Reunion and founding Sensibility Music with her husband. Then one of her first songs on her own label, "Charmed Life," appeared on the season finale of Grey's Anatomy in 2009.
- Joy's been married since 2004, and it's not to her Civil Wars partner. Joy's happily paired up with her manager and Sensibility Music cofounder, Nate Yetton.
- In 2009, Joy formed The Civil Wars with John Paul White, whom she met at a songwriting session in 2008. Their first studio album, Barton Hollow, was released in 2011 and debuted at No. 1 on iTunes's album sales chart and at No. 12 on the Billboard 200. The band even opened for Adele's 2011 North American and UK concert tour.
- Joy, 29, and her husband are expecting their first child this month! Joy announced the pregnancy on Twitter right before the Grammys this year, saying, "My baby bump & I will see you on the red carpet."
- Fellow singing starlet Taylor Swift gave Joy and The Civil Wars a helping hand when she included the band's song "Poison & Wine" on her official iTunes playlist, saying, "I think this is my favorite duet. It's exquisite." And then she really brought them into the spotlight when she teamed up with the group for "Safe and Sound" on the Hunger Games soundtrack.
Check out photos of Joy and The Civil Wars over the years now!