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Federal Way honors Grammy winner Justin Henderson

Justin Henderson poses with the Decatur High School Dance Team on June 5 at City Hall. - Courtesy photo
Justin Henderson poses with the Decatur High School Dance Team on June 5 at City Hall.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Music producer Justin "Henny" Henderson, a Federal Way native and Decatur High School graduate, was honored by the city for winning a Grammy Award.

June 5 was declared Justin Henderson Day by the Federal Way City Council during the council's meeting Tuesday. Henderson, a hip-hop and R&B producer, recently claimed one of the top honors in the music industry. He won a Grammy for his work on superstar Chris Brown's album "F.A.M.E."

His 2012 grammy win followed up two consecutive years of nominations for other work he's done with some of the most well-known artists in the business.

Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest expressed his pleasure at being able to recognize a "son of Federal Way."

"As a city, we often measure ourselves in numbers. Crime rates, acres of parks, miles of streets and so on. We would be remiss, however, if we also didn't consider the quality of individuals in our community that are raised here," Priest said. "Federal Way may be a city of almost 90,000 people, but Federal Way is a small town at its heart. And we are proud tonight, extremely proud, to welcome back and celebrate the achievements of Justin Henderson, a proud son of Federal Way."

As part of his efforts to give back to the city, Henderson traveled back to Federal Way from his current home in Atlanta, Ga. He spent the past week working with schools and organizations in Federal Way and the region.

Henderson spent time with Decatur High School and Federal Way High School students, visited with the Boys and Girls Club, and worked with the Boy Scouts during last weekend's Special Olympics in Tacoma.

"When we first got the information that the city was interested in doing this, we said, 'OK, we'll have to do something bigger than me coming home, accepting something, and then leaving,'" Henderson said. "It was an amazing experience, and I just want to thank everybody that was involved."

For his successes, Henderson credits his faith in God and the determination he receives from that faith.

"The success of my journey was the fact I kept my eyes on the prize and set my goals high. And I believed in God and had faith, and kept walking toward those goals, and never believed that it was never going to happen," he said.

The savvy music producer hopes to continue to make an impact on Federal Way, sharing a five-year goal he created in light of the city honoring his achievements.

"I said five years from now, I would love to be able to be part of a situation that would bring a Justin Henderson Performing Arts Center to the city of Federal Way," he said with a smile. "That's just one of the goals that we are trying to make happen in the next five years, among all the other things we want to do to bring a lot more motivation and positive spirit to our city and school district."

"This is just the start," he added.

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