Norah Jones Sweeps Grammy Awards
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The soft, jazzy voice of Norah Jones inviting listeners to “Come Away With Me” swept up eight Grammy Awards at Sunday night’s top music industry awards that were punctuated by a smattering of low key anti-war protests.
Jones, 23, nominated personally for five awards and tipped by many music critics to dominate the 45th annual Grammys, did just that by taking home the golden gramophone statuettes for Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of The Year for the single “Don’t Know Why,” Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Album.
“I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this. Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin. This is freakin’ me out,” Jones, who wore a black dress, said on the Madison Square Garden stage after receiving the Record of the Year award from the famous singers.
Later, after receiving the coveted Album of the Year, the modest Jones said, “I just want to say that at a time when this world is very weird, I feel really blessed and really lucky to have had the year I’ve had. Thank you very much.”
The number “Don’t Know Why” from her debut album “Come Away With Me” won Song of the Year for songwriter Jesse Harris while the album collected Best Engineered Album, non-classical category and Producer of the Year, non-classical.
Jones outdid the critics’ other top pick, veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen, who won three Grammys for his album “The Rising” influenced by the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, killing nearly 2,800 people.
The three-women country band Dixie Chicks won four Grammys for work on the album, “Home.”
Jones is the daughter of Indian music master Ravi Shankar, 82, and former music promoter-turned nurse Sue Jones who were not married and split up before she was born. When she stood on stage to accept the first of her gold gramophone statuettes Sunday night, she thanked her mother but did not mention Shankar.
A few musicians made low-key statements or gestures opposing the U.S. buildup to the possible war on Iraq. The most pointed remarks were made by award presenters, rocker Fred Durst and Raitt.
“I don’t know about you but I just really hope we are in agreeance (sic) that this war should go away as soon as possible,” Durst said before presenting the Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy to Foo Fighters.
Raitt, who joined Franklin to present the Record of the Year Grammy, said, “Enough about building a mystery, let’s build some peace.”
Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy winner Sheryl Crow sported a guitar strap with the words “No War” written on it and wore a large, silver peace sign on a necklace as she performed on stage during the show broadcast live by CBS.
In the pre-telecast segment the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences gave Springsteen, 53, three Grammys in rock categories for “The Rising,” the first all-new recording with his famous E Street band since 1984.
Springsteen and the band performed a rousing version of “The Rising” during the awards ceremony.
The Springsteen album includes the track “Into the Fire,” which he wrote after the Sept. 11 attacks. Another track was “My City of Ruins,” an earlier song about down-on-its-luck Asbury Park, New Jersey, that the musician dedicated to New York after the attacks.
In another echo of the attacks on New York, country singer Alan Jackson’s emotional “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” won in the category of Best Country tune.
Dixie Chicks won Grammys for Best Country Album for “Home” and Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, “Long Time Gone,” and Best Country Instrumental Performance, “Lil’ Jack Slade” and Best Recording Package on “Home” went to art director Kevin Reagan.
Dixie Chicks talked about how satisfying it was winning with the “Home” album, which they put together themselves.
“This is special,” said lead singer Natalie Maines. “We feel we made this one by ourselves. We had no on else to answer to.”
The Blues album called “Screamin’ and Hollerin’ The Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton” won three Grammys in the pre-telecast show — Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, Best Album Notes and Best Historical Album.
The Grammys returned to New York for the first time since 1998. The awards were moved to Los Angeles in 1999 after then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had a much-publicized dispute with Academy executives.
If you are interested, you’ll find a complete list of the winners at the official Grammy website.
Norah Jones Sweeps Grammy Awards