ASHE COUNTY — The Josie Music Awards, founded in 2015, are the largest independent artist awards in the world — and now Ashe County native Keith Brooks has been nominated for four of them.

Brooks is nominated for the Musician of the Year, Outlaw Country Song of the Year for “So Long Baby Baby Bye Bye” and Male Album of the Year for “Fan Favs.” The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 21 at Dollywood in Pidgeon Forge, Tenn.

Brooks grew up singing in The Brooks Family Quartet, which set in motion a life-long love for music. He has recorded at three of the nation’s top recording studios: Crossroads in Asheville, Ardent in Memphis and Unique in New York City. Brooks has also worked alongside artists and bands such as Doc Holliday, Black Oak Arkansas, Billy Thorpe and David Johnson.

“Music is more than what it means to me, it is who I am,” Brooks said. “Almost every memory of my life has a song attached to it.”

Brooks has performed at two Ashe County Relay for Life events with a song called “I’m a Survivor,” which is dedicated to cancer patients. He said he is hoping to release a self-produced, 22-song album in the Fall.

“I am excited to experience this whether I win an award or not,” Brooks said. “The fact that my music is getting heard is a great award to me.”

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