Courtesy Photo / Jessica Steddom 
                                Anna Graceman, shown in this undated photo, was among two songwriters, whose work was chosen to create a song that will help promote the 2021 Olympics. It was the first time two songwriters were chosen as winners on an episode of NBC’s “Songland.”

Courtesy Photo / Jessica Steddom Anna Graceman, shown in this undated photo, was among two songwriters, whose work was chosen to create a song that will help promote the 2021 Olympics. It was the first time two songwriters were chosen as winners on an episode of NBC’s “Songland.”

Singer-songwriter from Juneau gets golden opportunity

‘Songland’ co-winner’s music will help promote the Olympics.

A singer-songwriter from Juneau knew that she had secured a golden opportunity after performing on a songwriting competition series.

Then, the pandemic placed a pall of uncertainty over exactly what unique success on NBC’s “Songland” would mean for Anna Graceman, now based in Nashville.

Graceman was one of two songwriters, whose works were picked by “Meant to Be” singer Bebe Rexha to create the song “Miracle” intended to be used to promote the 2020 Olympics.

The song’s title and chorus come courtesy of Graceman’s co-winner Greg Scott. Its verses come from Graceman’s song “Gold.”

“It was a really crazy episode, too, because Bebe decided to pick two winners so that she could mash her favorite parts of two songs together, which had never happened on the show before,” Graceman said in a phone interview. “Being able to be a winner was really exciting and being able to have the song used for the Olympics is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

However, in the months following the January recording of the episode, a lot changed, and the Tokyo games were pushed back to July 2021.

“It was way before anything had even started to develop in the United States,” Graceman said of the episode’s recording. “We were all under the impression it would be for the 2020 Olympics when we started filming. When we heard the Olympics were getting pushed back, our episode hadn’t even aired yet. We found that out, and all of us on the episode were stressing out, like, ‘Are they even going to air our episode? Is this going to happen with the Olympics.’”

Shane McAnally, Anna Graceman, Bebe Rexha, Greg Scott, Ryan Tedder stand together. Graceman said she valued her experience on NBC’s “Songland.”(Courtesy Photo / Trae Patton, NBC)

Shane McAnally, Anna Graceman, Bebe Rexha, Greg Scott, Ryan Tedder stand together. Graceman said she valued her experience on NBC’s “Songland.”(Courtesy Photo / Trae Patton, NBC)

To add to the anxiety, Graceman couldn’t discuss either the certain win or uncertain future since the episode had not yet aired.

[Folk Festival draws singer-songwriter back home]

“There was so much unknown with the pandemic and the changing of the Olympics, so sitting on that as well as the fact that I won was very intense,” Graceman said.

However, the episode did ultimately air in June, and “Miracle will still be used to promote the 2021 Olympics.

“People all over the world are going to be watching the Olympics and seeing the promos, and it’s an honor to be a part of something that’s a global event like that,” Graceman said.

More music

In between the recording and airing of Graceman’s episode of “Songland” she released a new album, “The Way the Night Behaves,” in May.

She said she is also staying busy writing and recording music amid the pandemic, and while it took some adjusting, it’s nice to be able to record vocals at home and technology allows for relatively easy collaboration.

She expects to have new music out in the near future, too.

“I’m working on a Christmas song right now,” Graceman said. “So that will be coming out.”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

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