Amy Winehouse, Kanye West go home triumphant
Winehouse took home five awards including Record of the Year, while West garnered an impressive four.
The ceremony went off without a hitch, despite the Hollywood writers strike that loomed over the event, and the absence of major winner Winehouse, who has been battling drug addiction and performed by satellite from London because her US visa was delayed.
The Foo Fighters also took home their share of Grammys, including Best Rock Album and Best Hard Rock Performance. Dave Grohl‘s band performed with a full orchestra on a stage outside the Staples Center. Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones created the orchestral arrangement, which featured a violin solo by the winner of the My Grammy Moment contest, Ann Marie Calhoun.
One of the biggest surprises of the evening came when jazz musician Herbie Hancock won the award for Album of the Year for ‘River: The Joni Letters’, beating out Winehouse, West and Foo Fighters.
“It’s been 43 years since the first and only time a jazz artist has gotten the album of the year award, and this is what I was looking for,” Hancock said.
Earlier in the evening, West gave a surprise performance with Daft Punk, as well as a moving rendition of his song ‘Hey Mama’, which he dedicated to his mother Donda West, who died in November.
When accepting the award for Best Rap Album, West said, “A lot of people say hip-hop is dead. I wanted to cross genres and show people the we could express ourselves with something new.” He ended his acceptance speech by saying, “Mama, I’m gonna make you proud.”
Other notable performances included Tina Turner dueting with Beyonce, The Time performing for the first time in 14 years, and a tribute to The Beatles that included a gospel choir and acrobatics by circus troupe Cirque du Soleil.
The White Stripes walked away with their share of awards as well, garnering trophies for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.
Meanwhile, indie rocker Feist, who was up for four Grammys, went home empty-handed.
Earlier in the afternoon during the pre-telecast ceremony, US presidential hopeful Barack Obama garnered the award for Best Spoken Word Album for his book ‘Audacity Of Hope’, beating out former president Bill Clinton.
–By our Los Angeles staff.
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