ATLANTA (AP) — The Grammy Awards are a family affair for the Mortons.
Both Bishop Paul S. Morton and PJ Morton are nominated for best gospel album for "Best Days Yet," the elder Morton's album — PJ wrote and produced four songs. PJ's song, the Stevie Wonder-featured "Only One," is up for best R&B song. The Mortons are the first to accomplish this feat since Bob and Jakob Dylan in 1998.
Bishop said he's excited because of his nomination — his first at the Grammys — but is even more thrilled for his son.
"That's when I just went crazy. Oh my God, this is too much," he said. "People will be able to see that, wow, father and son in the same year, on the same Grammy program. ... This is certainly out of the box."
The 63-year-old singer, who has won six Stellar Awards, is a pastor of churches in Atlanta and New Orleans. PJ, who joined Maroon 5 as a keyboardist in 2010, won the best R&B album Grammy in 2003 for his songwriting work on India.Arie's "Voyage to India." The 32-year-old's nominated song is from his album "New Orleans," released on Lil Wayne's Cash Money Records. The album includes collaborations with the rap prince, Adam Levine and Busta Rhymes.
"This shows that I'm not just one thing. ... This confirms to me that I wasn't crazy being inspired by so many things," he said. "My mom put me on to the Beatles. My dad is a big Anita Baker fan. ... This says I'm accepted."
PJ said being nominated in both R&B and gospel categories has brought him gratification since facing backlash from some people in the church community for branching outside of the gospel realm to perform secular music. At one point, the singer thought his father would have a problem with his musical choice.
"'Dad, if God is love and love is God, why can't I sing about love?'" he recalled. "That wrapped that up for me. I'm not talking about dirty love. We're talking about real love. When you look through the Bible, and go through the Songs of Solomon, it's all about love."
"He just really freed me," the younger Morton said of his father's acceptance. "He is my hero. He's a guy that represents faith and integrity."
The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26.
Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. at.com/MrLandrum31