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Grammys to feature local talents

Friday - 2/8/2013, 9:09pm  ET

Producer behind top hits hails from Reston

Kristi King, WTOP

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WASHINGTON - This weekend's Grammy Awards will feature local talent among the music industry's royalty.

Two nominees have worked with a producer from Reston, Va., and seven area musicians and engineers are nominees in a wide range of categories from R&B to mandolin quartet.

But producer Benny Blanco's work is easily recognizable. He produced Trey Songz' single "Heart Attack," which is nominated for best R&B song of the year.

Additionally, the 24-year-old produced Maroon 5's hit "Payphone." The band is in the running for best pop duo or group performance.

Blanco also produced "Die Young" for pop diva Kesha, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts.

He was born Benjamin Levin, but takes his pseudonym from a villain in the 1993 Al Pacino crime thriller, "Carlito's Way."

The seven other local Grammy nominees include:

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Cheryl Clemons - D.C. Chapter Member
SWV
If Only You Knew

Best Rap Song
Wale - D.C. Chapter Member
Lotus Flower Bomb
Wale Featuring Miguel

Best Historical Album
Jeff Place - D.C. Chapter Member
Pete Reiniger, mastering engineer - D.C. Chapter Member/Governor
Woody At 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection

Producer Of The Year, Classical
Dan Merceruio - D.C. Chapter Member

Best Choral Performance
Julian Wachner, conductor - D.C. Chapter Member
Handel: Israel In Egypt
(Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Trinity Choir Wall Street)

Best Surround Sound Album
Daniel Shores, Surround Mixing and Mastering engineer - D.C. Chapter Member
Rupa-Khandha - Los Angeles Percussion Quartet

Best Engineered Classical Album
Daniel Shores Mixing and Mastering Engineer - D.C. Chapter Member
Americana - Modern Mandolin Quartet

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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