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Former NMSU music student gets Grammy nomination

If you told Eric Burton he’d be nominated for a Grammy Award as he wrote songs on practice pianos in the NMSU music building 10 years ago, he would have laughed. Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada’s R&B/soul funk duo, Black Pumas, were the Cinderella story of the 2020 Grammys, receiving a nomination for Best New Artist alongside major stars like Billie Eilish. In 2019 they played sold-out tours in the U.S. and Europe.

Burton valued his time at NMSU. “I was immediately accepted and shown around to the open mics, music labs, house shows and befriended the people who hosted them. NMSU gave me my first extended music family. I just wouldn’t be who I am without Las Cruces.”

Black Pumas performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The band dominates the local music scene in Austin, Texas, where they are based, and took home the Best New Band trophy in 2019. Their breakthrough hit single “Colors,” from their self-titled debut album, has 14 million views on YouTube.