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USM student part of “Song of the Year” writing duo

University of Southern Mississippi senior Kyle Graves received a songwriting award at the...
University of Southern Mississippi senior Kyle Graves received a songwriting award at the recent Josie Music Awards.(Autumn Hendrix/University of Southern Mississippi)
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – University of Southern Mississippi student Kyle Graves took home “Rock Duo/Group Song of the Year” at the Seventh annual Josie Music Awards.

The Josie is an independent music awards show held in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The song, “Wicked Woman,” was written by Graves and Ryan Purser and released by the pair’s Brookhaven-based band, Four Way Stop.

“I really was not expecting to have this award because there are so many talented people in this room,” Graves said after receiving the award.

Graves thanked “the Lord above,” track personnel, friends and family before apologizing to anyone he may have inadvertently neglected to mention.

“My mind is going in three billion different places right now, so if I missed you, I am so sorry.”

Graves touched on the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked Josie founders for continuing to support independent music

“This right here gives us hope,” he said.

Founded in Nashville in 2015 by mother-daughter duo Tinamarie Passantino and Josie Passantino-Boone, the Josie Music Awards has quickly become one of the largest independent music awards shows in the United States.

A Jayess, Mississippi-native, Graves is currently in his final year at USM pursuing a bachelor’s in Liberal Studies with a minor in marketing.

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