Northwest Indiana man receives one of the most prestigious recognitions in country music

One of the most prestigious recognitions in country music was awarded to a northwest Indiana man.  

Nate Venturelli brings a sizzle and unique story to the country music stage. 

"I don't know really of any musicians preaching about unions or blue collar…I'm proud to be a union worker and write music about it," said Venturelli, who is a union steelworker.  

He rose to fame locally, in his hometown of DeMotte with his song, "Union Man", written about his grandfather who was also a union steelworker.  

"I wanted to get the union image out more than it is because it's a great living and college really isn't for everybody," said Venturelli.  

Last month, on the Grand Ole Opry stage, Venturelli received the Josie Music "Male Rising Star" award.  The competition is the largest music awards show for independent artists in the country.  

Venturelli beat out 50,000 other applicants.  


"My heart sank into my stomach. I just didn't think it was real, you know," he said.  

Even more shocking considering the 31-year-old didn’t start singing in public until four years ago or pick up the guitar until he was 25. He’s hoping more people can relate to his music, that’s not the norm in the glitz and glamour of the Nashville music scene.  

"Northwest Indiana is a big union region, all the steel mills, you have BP Refinery, all the factories up north, it's heavily influenced my blue collar writing."

Venturelli and his band hope to release eight more songs in the next couple years.  The award has already helped them book gigs around the country.