Saturday, February 16, 2008

Its Amy all the way
Gaurav & Saurabh

Music, tradition and drama marked the 50th Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards rang in its 50th show with a comprehensive, celebratory telecast that honoured the old, the new and everything in between as The Recording Academy paid tribute to its legacy as well as the exciting list of this year’s honourees and performers.

Amy Winehouse, who earned acclaim for her retro-tinged musical style, won five awards, including the Record of the Year and Song of the Year for her now-prophetic Rehab, while the innovative Chicago rapper Kanye West took home four Grammys, including the Best Rap Album award for Graduation, and in his acceptance speech he talked about the album as a sign of hip-hop’s continuing vitality and, addressing his mother, said, "I know you’re really proud of me right now, and I know you wouldn’t want me to stop."

Though the Album of the Year eluded him for the third time, the award went to longtime jazz legend Herbie Hancock for his tribute to Joni Mitchell, River: The Joni Letters. Other top winners included gospel star Karen Clark Sheard and Bruce Springsteen with three Grammys each.

But the talk of the night was a live satellite performance by Winehouse, whose disturbed personal life has been the talk of the music industry. She received a visa to enter the United States too late to perform on the show in Los Angeles, and was beamed-in live from a London studio. The moment was a highlight in a show packed with astonishing performances from the start.

Following a pre-recorded video clip of the great Frank Sinatra from the Fifth Grammy Awards helping introduce TV audience to the Grammy, mighty soul songstress Alicia Keys opened the telecast with a triumphant shout. Singing Ol’ Blue Eyes’ classic Learnin’ The Blues, Keys united past with present, singing a duet with Sinatra as the master of vocals joined her via a large screen presentation.

Resurrecting a blast from the 1980s past, Prince hit the stage running with hip-hop diva Rihanna joining in the fun. First up, the Time featuring Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, blasted into their mighty funk workout Jungle Love, the trio’s first performance in 15 years. Rihanna then entered stage singing her smash hit Umbrella, taking command like a glorious diva. Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama beat Bill Clinton in the category of Best Spoken Word Album with his audiobook The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.

Following Stevie Wonder’s President’s Merit Award to Industry Icons presentation to Motown founder Berry Gordy, Alicia Keys performed her impassioned song No One, followed by a brief film tribute to jazz innovator Max Roach and classical icon Itzhak Perlman, pianists Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock joined forces for George Gershwin’s masterpiece Rhapsody In Blue.

To cap the raucous evening, John Fogerty, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard took the stage to form the latest rock supergroup. Beginning with a new Fogerty composition, Comin’ Down The Road, the band stormed the stage like Creedence Clearwater Revival circa 1972. It was also an energetic send-off for a remarkable how that somehow fit the drama, tradition and music of 50 years worth of Grammy’s into a single night.

And the Grammy goes to...

Record of the Year Rehab by Amy Winehouse

Album of the Year River: The Joni Letters by Herbie Hancock

Song of the Year Rehab by Amy Winehouse

Best New Artist Amy Winehouse

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Rehab by Amy Winehouse

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance What Goes Around...Comes Around by Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Performance By A Group Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5

Best Pop Instrumental Performance One Week Last Summer by Joni Mitchell

Best Pop Instrumental Album The Mix-Up by Beastie Boys

Best Pop Vocal Album Back To Black by Amy Winehouse

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen

Best Rock Performance by a Group Icky Thump by The White Stripes

Best Hard Rock Performance The Pretender by Foo Fighters

Best Metal Performance Final Six by Slayer

Best Rock Album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

Best Alternative Music Album Icky Thump by The White Stripes

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance No One by Alicia Keys

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Future Baby Mama by Prince

Best R&B Performance by a Group Disrespectful by Chaka Khan

Featuring Mary J. Blige

Best R&B Song No One by Dirty Harry, Kerry Brothers & Alicia Keys

Best R&B Album Funk This by Chaka Khan

Best Rap Solo Performance Stronger by Kanye West

Best Rap Performance by a Group Southside by Common Feat. Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Umbrella by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z

Best Rap Album Graduation by Kanye West

Best Country Song Before He Cheats by Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins

Best Country Album These Days by Vince Gill

Best Score Soundtrack Album Ratatouille composed by Michael Giacchino