Downers Grove Songwriter Nominated for 2 Grammy Awards

Downers Grove North alum Matthew West is a nominee for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for "Into the Light."

Amidst the glitz and the glam of the 2013 Grammy Awards, Downers Grove will have at least one familiar face.

Singer/songwriter Matthew West, a graduate of Downers Grove North High School, is up for two awards this Sunday—Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for his latest "Into the Light" and Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for his contribution to the Casting Crowns hit "Jesus, Friend of the Sinners."

West, 35, is a four-time Grammy nominee whose discography includes four studio albums and four No. 1 radio hits. He has also written songs for country stars Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus and Diamond Rio.

His latest album, "Into the Light," was released in September 2012, and was inspired by just a handful of the thousands of emails and letters he has received from fans.

"When you write (people's) stories, it brings other people into the light. There's a healing effect that can take place when we all kind of step into the light with our stories, even the not-so-good parts," West told the Daily Herald.

West was a star athlete at Downers Grove North before realizing his love for music in college. Soon after, he landed a songwriting contract in Nashville, where he now lives.

He is the son of the Rev. Joe West, the recently retired pastor of Hobson Road Community Church in Downers Grove.

The Grammy Awards will air at 7 p.m. CST Sunday on CBS.

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