U2 cruised by leading contenders Mariah Carey and Kanye West to win five awards at the 48th annual Grammy Awards, held last night (Feb. 8) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band surprised many
U2 cruised by leading contenders Mariah Carey and Kanye West to win five awards at the 48th annual Grammy Awards, held last night (Feb. 8) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band surprised many by winning album of the year and rock album of the year for "How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" as well as song of the year and best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal for "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own."
The veteran Irish rock act's other trophy came for "City of Blinding Lights" (best rock song). "This is really a big, big night for our band," frontman Bono said while accepting album of the year, making sure to acknowledge the other nominees in the category. The "Atomic Bomb" single "Vertigo" won three Grammys at last year's ceremony, including best rock song.
Asked backstage if U2 truly are the best rock'n'roll band in the world, guitarist the Edge replied, "We are tonight," to which Bono retorted, "You can't ask me to be humble at a moment like this."
It was also a big night for West protege John Legend, who was named best new artist. Additionally, took home best male R&B vocal performance for "Ordinary People" and best R&B album for his debut, "Get Lifted," released on West's G.O.O.D. Music label via Columbia. "It doesn't sound like anything else and we made it a hit," Legend said of "Ordinary People."
Carey and West came into the evening with eight nominations and wound up winning three each. Carey won best contemporary R&B album for "The Emancipation of Mimi," best R&B song for "We Belong Together" and best female R&B vocal performance for the same tune, none of which were handed out during the CBS telecast. The artist had not won a Grammy since being named best new artist in 1990.
Also shut out from the major categories was West, whose sophomore release, "Late Registration," won best rap album, while "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" won best rap song and "Gold Digger" took home best rap solo performance.
"I'm not disappointed," West conceded backstage when asked about coming up short for album of the year. "It’s all good. It just gives me another goal: to go back in the studio and keep on delivering great albums until they finally let a rapper win this award."
In another surprise, Green Day won record of the year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" from its 2004 release "American Idiot," which was named best rock album last year.
Other multiple winners included Kelly Clarkson, who snared best female vocal performance for the massive crossover hit "Since U Been Gone" and best pop vocal album for "Breakaway" (RCA). Clarkson thus became the first "American Idol" participant to win a Grammy. "To be honest, winning is great, but the favorite part for me was my performance," she said backstage of her version of "Because of You." "I've been wanting to perform on this show since I was a little kid."
Perennially recognized in bluegrass categories, Alison Krauss & Union Station won for country collaboration with vocals ("Restless"), country instrumental ("Unionhouse Branch") and country album ("Lonely Runs Both Ways," Rounder). "We’ve always kind of made records for ourselves and sent them in when we’re done," Krauss said backstage. "We don’t have meetings with anybody. To be recognized in a whole other category of music is remarkable to us."
The show was driven by more than two dozen performances, beginning with Madonna's segment with "virtual band" Gorillaz. Sly Stone made his first major public appearance since his 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction to briefly perform during a tribute to his band the Family Stone, while West and Jamie Foxx brought down the house with a medley of "Gold Digger" and "Touch the Sky."
A tribute to victims of Hurricane Katrina closed the telecast and featured performances by Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and Dr. John.