Remember Christopher Cross, Or Kris Kross for that matter?

Grammy has a Jones for Norah, but will it be a jinx?
By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
Norah Jones’ five-for-five Grammy sweep may include a booby prize.
The jazz-pop chanteuse, 23, took three of the four top categories Sunday: best new artist, album and record. Best song went to Jesse Harris for writing Jones’ hit, Don’t Know Why, from debut Come Away With Me, which accounted for an extraordinary eight trophies.
History casts a pall over Jones’ triumph. Among new artists, she’s eclipsed only by Christopher Cross, who took all four top slots in 1980 and then promptly faded, as did Grammy-showered newcomers Hootie & The Blowfish and Tracy Chapman.
Will Jones succumb to the new-artist curse? Past winners Mariah Carey, LeAnn Rimes and Sheryl Crow didn’t. But in Grammy physics, a sky-high victory often portends a backlash. Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker dubbed her “terribly over-rewarded.”
Jones’ defeat of legend Bruce Springsteen “could lead to critical resentment,” says Grammy historian Paul Grein. “I’m sure there were people in her camp who were thinking, ‘Uh-oh.’ She might have been better off if Bruce had won best album.”
Come Away has sold 3.5 million copies and could steamroll toward 10 million, “making this album that much harder to follow,” Grein says. “I hope it doesn’t bury her. She’s already shown she can defy odds, so maybe she’ll find a way to break the Grammy jinx.”
Geoff Mayfield, Billboard’s director of charts, says Jones could follow the trajectory of Bonnie Raitt or Tina Turner, whose Grammy bonanzas yielded enduring boosts in stature and sales clout.
In addition to boosting sales of her Nick of Time album, Raitt’s 1989 coronation “set up the rest of her career,” Mayfield says.
Jones’ motherlode probably will spark a sales spike for Come Away, which is No. 3 in Billboard this week. Santana’s eight-Grammy jackpot in 2000 triggered a 166% jump for Supernatural the next week.
“People will plunk down money this week to find out what the fuss is about,” Mayfield says. Longer-term success “will depend on what she comes up with next, which would have been scrutinized anyway. … It’s refreshing to see this quiet little record that didn’t fit any format find an audience.”
That audience grew with Sunday’s 24.9 million Grammy viewers. She’ll gain more exposure with today’s release of DVD Norah Jones Live in New Orleans, tonight’s performance on CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman and a U.S. tour that kicks off June 6.
Jones, who was weaned on jazz and blues, grew up in Texas with her mother, a nurse. She recently reconciled with her father, sitarist Ravi Shankar, after a lengthy estrangement. Blue Note signed her in early 2001.
“I didn’t expect this,” she said, holding an armload of statuettes backstage. “Nor did I need it.”
If Grammy gold turns into a career millstone, she could be right.