Grammy winner comes to NIU

By Nicholas Alajakis

Not too many people can say they beat out the Walt Disney Company for an award.

Barbara Bailey Hutchinson can.

The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter will bring her talents to NIU for two concerts today, along with her dog Lily who accompanies her on her

travels. She won her Grammy in 1995, beating out Disney entries in the Best Musical Album for Children category.

Hutchinson’s voice may be familiar to students from her work in television and radio commercials.

“She’s done around 50 McDonald’s commercials, and almost as many Hallmark ones,” said Hutchinson’s agent, Chris Dallas.

She also has won many awards from the National Association of College Activities for her work touring college campuses. The NACA has named her best female performer, best club performer; best solo performer and best acoustic performer on different occasions.

The idea to bring Hutchinson to NIU came up when the Campus Activities Board saw her at a conference back in November. It will cost CAB roughly $1,750, said Lisa Skaggs, junior communication major and unity in diversity coordinator for CAB.

Hutchinson is part of CAB’s coffeehouse shows. These shows will take place every other Wednesday through the remainder of the semester. Each act will have two concerts, the first being at noon in the MLK Commons and the second at 7 p.m. at Central Park (between Grant and Stevenson towers), weather permitting.

Hutchinson has toured the world with her talents since 1979. Her voice has been compared to that of Sarah McLachlan and Shawn Colvin. She is a political activist and her songs carry messages of human rights and a bit of humor.

Hutchinson is part of Dakota Records, an independent record label she not only created, but on which she also released eight of her 15 albums.

Her performance is sure to be a great experience, Skaggs said.

“She’s an incredible songwriter and about one-third of her show is funny,” Dallas said. “That’s why she’s received awards.”