Backstage At The Grammys: All Hail Norah
On stage at last night's (Feb. 23) Grammy Awards in New York, all eyes were on singer/songwriter Norah Jones, whose Blue Note album "Come Away With Me" was at the heart of eight awards. Backstage, itOn stage at last night's (Feb. 23) Grammy Awards in New York, all eyes were on singer/songwriter Norah Jones, whose Blue Note album "Come Away With Me" was at the heart of eight awards. Backstage, it seemed everyone was talking about her success.
"I'm a little proud that I toured with Norah before I could be accused of jumping on a bandwagon," fellow singer/songwriter and Grammy winner John Mayer said. "Norah's a sweetheart and I completely understand why people love her music."
Jesse Harris, the songwriter who won the song of the year award for Jones' "Don't Know Why," noted that he wrote the song in 1999 and "when Norah and I started playing together ... I suggested to her that it would be good for her."
"She sang this song live with the band in the studio," he explained. "I think that's a rare occurrence on an album these days. Norah happens to be extremely good at that. It was a beautifully recorded album and she chose good songs for her. It's a unique thing and maybe something that people are missing."
Female country vocal performance award winner Faith Hill admitted that Jones is "a young lady whose CD has not left my CD player." The reason? Her songwriting and "the mood it puts me in."
Jones said performing "Don't Know Why" during the ceremony turned out to be more daunting than originally expected. "Halfway through the song I saw Aretha Franklin sitting in the front row; I was really nervous."
Tony Bennett, who introduced Jones' performance, told reporters that he is confident she won't turn out to be a one-hit wonder. "She's gonna be around for a long time," he said. "And she sings the great American songbook, which many young performers have ignored.
"It's great that young artists are starting to pick up on that tradition," he added, because "that's more important than money in the long run."
Humble about her Grammy achievements, Jones said, "I never thought that the music I make would be considered pop music. Pop music is alive and well -- and it's great."
As for winning the album and song of the year awards over such musical icons as Bruce Springsteen, Jones said, "I can't even believe it," adding, "But Bruce, he's the Boss, and I can't take that away from him."
-- Reporting by Billboard's Larry Flick & Chuck Taylor, and The Hollywood Reporter Staff