Norah Jones was the big winner last night (Feb. 23) at the 45th annual Grammy Awards ceremony in New York, taking home all five awards for which she was nominated. Jones won the coveted best new artist award, as well as the album of the year and best pop vocal album of the year for her debut Blue Note set “Come Away With Me.”
Jones also won record of the year and female pop vocal performance awards for the song “Don’t Know Why,” and performed the song during the ceremony. It also earned a song of the year award for songwriter Jesse Harris. In addition, Arif Marden won producer of the year for his work on the album, while engineers S. Husky Hoskulds and Jay Newland took the best engineered album, non-classical honor for contributions.
Bruce Springsteen took home three awards, including the best rock album trophy for his latest Columbia set, “The Rising.” He also won the rock song and male rock vocal performance awards for the title track, which he performed during the event with the E Street Band.
Establishing a New York theme, the show opened with a reunion between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, performing their 1966 hit “Sounds of Silence.” The duo, who were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the night, were introduced by actor Dustin Hoffman, who commented “I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a more fitting way to open the show than with Simon & Garfunkel, whose music defined a generation.”
Of the 104 Grammys handed out at Madison Square Garden, only 11 were presented during the three-and-a-half hour CBS broadcast. The majority were awarded during a non-televised pre-show ceremony. In addition, Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Tito Puente, Glenn Miller, Johnny Mathis, Alan Lomax, and Etta James.
As is often the case, performers seemed to have the edge, with many picking up awards announced immediately following their performances. No Doubt won the best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal award for “Hey Baby” after performing “Underneath It All” and “Hella Good” (all tracks come from the band’s Interscope album “Rock Steady”). John Mayer won the best male pop vocal performance Grammy for “Your Body Is a Wonderland” only moments after finishing a rendition of the song during a segment that also featured Vanessa Carlton performing “A Thousand Miles” and James Taylor and cellist Yo Yo Ma turning out the former’s classic “Sweet Baby James.”
Faith Hill performed “Cry,” for which she won the female country vocal performance Grammy during the pre-show ceremony, while the Dixie Chicks performed their hit cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” then picked up the best country album award for their Monument/Sony set “Home.” Rapper Nelly, who performed a medley of “Hot in Herre” and “Dilemma” with Kelly Rowland, won best male rap solo performance for the former and best rap/sung collaboration for the latter.
The show also included tributes to the Clash and its late singer/guitarist Joe Strummer as well as the Bee Gees, both of which were honored with awards. Following ‘N Sync’s a capella medley of “Lonely Days, Lonely Nights,” “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” “How Deep Is Your Love?,” and “Stayin’ Alive,” the Bee Gees’ Barry and Robin Gibb accepted the group’s Grammy Legend Award. The pair spoke eloquently of their late brother Maurice, and gave the trophy to his son, Alan.
Meanwhile, during the pre-show, the Clash’s “Westway to the World” won the best longform music video honor for director Don Letts. After a video acknowledging music figures who died in the past year (including a memoriam of late Billboard editor-in-chief Timothy White), Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, and the Attractions/Imposters’ Pete Thomas teamed for a bombastic rendition of the Clash’s “London Calling.”
The New York Philharmonic, conducted by David Robinson, performed a selection from a very New York musical, “West Side Story,” then, under the leadership of Michael Kamen, members of the Philharmonic accompanied a dramatic reading of “Politik” by U.K. modern rock act (and two-time winner) Coldplay. Later, Sheryl Crow performed “You’re an Original” as a duet with Kid Rock, while double-winner Eminem (best rap album for “The Eminem Show” and best short form video for “Without Me”) was joined by the Roots for “Lose Yourself.”
Five-time nominee Avril Lavigne, who left without any awards, played “Sk8er Boi,” while best contemporary R&B album winner Ashanti performed “Dreams,” from her self-titled Murder, Inc. debut album.
For the first time in its history, the Grammys functioned without a host, instead relying on a cavalcade of personalities associated with New York to introduce segments and performances. Along with Hoffman, those taking part were Tony Bennett (winner of a traditional pop vocal album Grammy for “Playing With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues”), “The Late Show With David Letterman” bandleader Paul Shaffer, Marc Anthony, “60 Minutes” principal Ed Bradley, actor/comedian Robin Williams (who won the best comedy album award), rapper-turned-actress Queen Latifah, actress Kim Cattrall of “Sex and the City,” Broadway actor Harvey Fierstein (“Hairspray”), actor Willem Dafoe, actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and actor Joe Pantoliano of “The Sopranos,” actor/comedian Kevin James (“King of Queens”), and “Late Show With David Letterman” announcer Alan Kalter.
Here are the winners announced during the Grammy Awards broadcast:
Album of the year: “Come Away With Me,” Norah Jones (Blue Note)
Record of the year: “Don’t Know Why,” Norah Jones
Song of the year: “Don’t Know Why,” Jesse Harris – songwriter (Norah Jones, artist)
Best new artist: Norah Jones
Best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal: “Hey Baby,” No Doubt
Best female pop vocal performance: “Don’t Know Why,” Norah Jones
Best male pop vocal performance: “Your Body Is a Wonderland, ” John Mayer
Best rap album: “The Eminem Show,” Eminem (Aftermath/Interscope Records)
Best country album: “Home,” the Dixie Chicks (Open Wide/Monument/Columbia)
Best hard rock performance: “All My Life,” Foo Fighters
Best comedy album: “Robin Williams – Live 2002,” Robin Williams (Columbia)
For the full list of winners, visit the official Grammy Web site.