MTSU alumna celebrates Grammy nomination, shares advice with students

Photo by Andrew Oppmann

Story by LB Rogers / Contributing Writer

MTSU alumna Laura Rogers was honored Saturday for receiving her first Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. Rogers and her sister, Lydia Slagle, make up the duo The Secret Sisters and were nominated for their album “You Don’t Own Me Anymore.”

The Secret Sisters were interviewed by Beverly Keel, MTSU’s Recording Industry Chair and an accomplished music journalist at a pre-Grammy event put on by MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment at a venue in New York City.

Among other MTSU graduates, faculty and students, The Secret Sisters shared their story.

“I actually had a lot of anxiety about this event because I was afraid you guys would show my transcripts to everybody,” Rogers joked.

From graduating from MTSU’s Recording Industry program to signing a record deal to touring with the likes of Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, Rogers has seen a lot of success in her short career.

She has also been through struggle. After being dropped from their label and forced into filing for bankruptcy, the Sisters used their misfortune to make an album worthy of a nomination for one of music’s greatest honors.

“Our entire third record was inspired by everything that we went through,” Rogers said. “Now I can be grateful for the hard times because they were song inspirations and, well, here we are.”

The Secret Sisters also spoke about their experience as women in the music industry and how they try to employ female professionals where they can, working with a female manager among others. Their Grammy-nominated album was even produced by singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.

“It’s really been a game-changer for us to go with more women on our team. It makes us proud to see women excelling in the music business, so any time we can put a female employee in our circle, that’s something that we really respect and appreciate.”

And Rogers offered some candid advice to current MTSU students.

“Don’t forget to experience music. Don’t forget that there are bands everywhere around you. Don’t forget to experience that.”

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email

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