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Grammy's Snubs & Surprises

Discussion in 'Celebrities Forum' started by Gama, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Gama

    Gama JF-Expert Member

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    Grammy's Snubs & Surprises


    by: Paul Grein - Sun, Feb 13, 2011, 9:06 PM PST
    Arcade Fire wins Album of the Year Everybody expected Eminem to take Album of the Year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. Recovery was the year's best-selling album and one of its most critically acclaimed. And since Eminem had lost in that marquee category twice before (to Steely Dan and Norah Jones), he was overdue. But, as you may know by now, he lost again, this time to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs.
    The Black Keys The Suburbs was also a #1 album and was also critically admired. But when it lost for Best Alternative Music Album early in the evening to the Black Keys' Brothers, its chances of upsetting Eminem for Album of the Year appeared to be next to nil. The Black Keys ("Tighten Up) also beat Arcade Fire ("Ready To Start") in the category of Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. But then Arcade Fire turned around and won the big one. You just never know with Grammy voters.
    The first sign that Eminem's sweep might not pan out came when the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys smash "Empire State Of Mind" beat Eminem's collabo with Rihanna, "Love The Way You Lie," for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song. "Empire State Of Mind" was an instant classic, but everyone figured this was going to be Eminem's year. Usually that means a sweep. In the end, Eminem's "sweep" consisted of just two awards, the same number he won last year for his so-so album, Relapse.
    Eminem has won 13 Grammys, including a category-leading five awards for Best Rap Album. But after 12 years of stardom, he has yet to win in any of the "Big Four" categories-Album, Record or Song of the Year or Best New Artist. I'm starting to wonder: What's it going to take?
    Here were some of the night's other biggest shockers:
    Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Spalding takes Best New Artist. Few had even heard of the talented jazz musician before the nominations were announced on Dec. 1. Most observers figured that Spalding's nomination would be its own reward; her ticket to the Grammy stage. I expected Drake to take the award, but Mumford & Sons, Florence + the Machine and Justin Bieber also had their supporters. In the end, the tightness of the race, and the lack of a clear-cut front-runner, may have enabled Spalding to squeak through. This may have been one of those years when all five candidates drew roughly 20 percent of the vote.
    "I take this honor to heart so sincerely and I'll do my damnedest to make great music for all of you. It's such an honor and God bless," was Spalding's shocked response.
    Herbie Hancock Herbie Hancock beats Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Hancock's all-star remake of John Lennon's "Imagine" beat three megahits ("California Gurls," "Airplanes" and "Telephone") for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. I figured the combined diva power of Lady Gaga and Beyonce on "Telephone" would take the award, but the voters opted for Hancock's remake, which featured P!nk, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck and Oumou Sangare. (Hancock won a second Grammy for "A Change Is Gonna Come," another track from The Imagine Project, which took Best Improvised Jazz Solo.)
    Paul McCartney wins his first Grammy in 31 years. The ex-Beatle won for Best Solo Rock Performance for "Helter Skelter," a track from his live album Good Evening New York City. It was McCartney's first Grammy since his band Wings won for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1979. (It helped McCartney's chances that everyone knows the song, which first appeared on the Beatles' White Album in 1968.)
    Mavis Staples Mavis Staples wins her first Grammy ever in a career dating back to the 1950s (in gospel) and the 1970s (in R&B). Staples, the lead singer of the Staple Singers, won for Best Americana Album, beating out such high-profile artists as Rosanne Cash and Robert Plant. The Staple Singers received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, but they never won a Grammy in competition. "That was the shock of my life," Staples said when she tearfully accepted the award, which was presented in the pre-telecast part of the show. "It's been a long time coming...It was worth the wait."
    Neil Young Neil Young wins his first Grammy for his music in a career dating back to the 1960s. Young took Best Rock Song for "Angry World," beating such powerhouse rivals as Mumford & Sons' "Little Lion Man" and the Black Keys' "Tighten Up." Young won last year for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, but even he seemed to not count that as a meaningful recognition of his work. "This is my first Grammy for music," he said in picking up the award, which was also presented in the pre-telecast part of the show. He then alluded to Mavis Staples' even longer wait for Grammy recognition. "I'm not Mavis, but I'm close."
    Crazy Heart beats Glee: The Music, Volume 1 for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. This wasn't exactly a shocker: After all, "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart won an Oscar and a Golden Globe a year ago and a Grammy tonight for Best Song for Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media. But it means that the Glee phenomenon, which has been one of the few commercial bright spots in music in the past year, went unrecognized at the Grammys. (The Glee Cast's version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" also lost for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.)
    Stay tuned: I'll soon post a report on all the night's top winners. And Chris Willman will weigh in on the high and low points of the TV show. Also, I'll have an early look at the likely 2012 nominees in the key categories. (Grammy handicapping never stops!)

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