By J.D. Miles

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) –  The Grammy Awards included a nominee whose biggest fans are in the kitchen of a Fort Worth restaurant where musician Leon Bridges used to work.

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Bridges’ 2015 debut album Coming Home was nominated for best R&B album.

Bridges, whose real name is Todd Michael Bridges, first recorded Coming Home at a retro studio in Fort Worth.

To say that the last year of Bridges life has been a roller coaster ride would maybe be an understatement. It was just before Christmas in 2014 when the crooner signed with Columbia Records.

After performing at South By Southwest, and one critic saying he was “witnessing the reality of celebrity unfold in real time,” Bridges made his national television debut on CBS’s Late Late Show With James Corden in March of 2015.

The next month Bridges performed at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony, paying tribute to The “5” Royales. In June he performed Coming Home on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and appeared on Conan in August.

When Texan Willie Nelson received the 2015 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in November, Bridges was among those asked to pay tribute to the red headed stranger.

And one year after signing with Columbia, the retro-soul singer brought down the house on Saturday Night Live. And there was more. On Christmas Day the Will Smith movie Concussion was released. Bridges contributed on the ballad, “So Long,” on the movie soundtrack.

And yes, all that happened while he bounced from city to city during a nationwide tour.

But before all that, the R&B singer’s official title was “dish machine operator” when he worked alongside sous chef Phillip Harris at Del Frisco’s Grille.

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“I know him pretty well we started out here together,” said Harris.

Harris and other employees are floored that a young man who used to mop the floor there tonight walked the red carpet at the Grammy Awards.

“I’m just thankful all the time, like I’ve said ‘it’s crazy’,” said Bridges, whose former coworkers still keep in touch. “You could tell he was meant for something bigger.”

Harris said Bridges could always be heard singing above the noise of a busy restaurant kitchen.

“He would even invite us to some of his shows,” said Kenneth Davis, Del Frisco’s Grille General Manager. “I had no idea he was gonna make it this big.”

Davis said Bridges was a “good worker” during his 9 month stint.

Even though he has traded nights at the grille for nights at the Grammys, his friends back home were rooting for him to win.

“He’s really just one of the most humble, hard-working guys I’ve had the pressure of working with,” said Davis.

Unfortunately for Bridges’ friends, the Grammy he was up for went to another artist.

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