Chicagoan wins Grammy after advocating for 6 years for spoken word category

A Chicagoan advocated for spoken word to be acknowledged at the Grammy's and his perseverance is now inspiring the masses.

His name is J. Ivy, and he first performed 30 years ago this month.

J. Ivy started a journey as a spoken word poet in high school as a student at Rich Central when his teacher, Paula Argue, had him write a poem and read it out loud. He had no idea that one day he'd be a Grammy Award winner.

J. Ivy did odd jobs to make ends meet, but then on his birthday — March 3 —  21 years ago, he made a crucial decision. 


"I rolled back over and said man I am not going back to that job ever again," said J. Ivy. 

For the last six years, J. Ivy advocated for the Grammy's to have a spoken word category. 

"I went to the Academy because spoken word artist poets weren't getting any love," said J. Ivy.

There are 14 tracks on his album, "The Poet who sat by the Door."

His wife, the talented Tarrey Torae, is also on the album.

The couple packed up and left Chicago for two months to focus on this body of work and recorded it in Nashville.