OutKast Wins Album of the Year Grammy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hip-hop duo OutKast won the album of the year Grammy on Sunday for its chart-topping double package “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.”
The award goes to the performer, as well as the producers, engineers and mixers. OutKast, which picked up six nominations, earlier won two prizes.
The other nominated albums were “Under Construction” by rapper Missy Elliott; “Fallen” by rock band Evanescence; “Justified” by pop singer Justin Timberlake; and “Elephant” by rock duo the White Stripes.
R&B singer Beyonce Knowles won five Grammy Awards, but was prevented from making a clean sweep when English rock band Coldplay surprisingly won the coveted record of the year prize.
In another unexpected development, rock band Evanescence was named best new artist — to the chagrin of favored fellow nominee 50 Cent, who briefly took to the stage while the band was accepting its award.
Amid the fallout from Janet Jackson’s breast-baring stunt at the Super Bowl last weekend, CBS broadcast the event with a five-minute time delay.
The network also insisted that Jackson and her partner-in-crime, Justin Timberlake, apologize on air as a condition for appearing as planned.
Timberlake obliged. Jackson, who has been scheduled to participate in a tribute to soul singer Luther Vandross, opted out of the event altogether.
Along with rapper Jay-Z, hip-hop duo OutKast and producer Pharrell Williams, Knowles led the Grammy contenders with nominations in six categories.
Critically acclaimed rock band Coldplay rained on her parade though, winning the record of the year prize for its tune “Clocks.”
Frontman Chris Martin dedicated the award to late country singer Johnny Cash and to leading Democratic presidential hopeful “John Kerry, who hopefully will be your president one day.”
OutKast was also nominated for record of the year, for its infectious dance hit “Hey Ya!” It won three awards including Album Of The Year.
BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE
Rock band Evanescence was also in contention for album of the year. Besides the best new artist Grammy, it also won the Grammy for best hard rock performance.
Former Evanescence member Ben Moody, when asked about the gangsta rapper’s impromptu appearance on stage, joked: “50 Cent is actually a former member of Evanescence.”
Evanescence is no stranger to controversy, creating a storm in the Christian music community last year by disavowing its spiritual roots. Moody’s sudden departure last year, while the band was on tour, has created a rift with singer Amy Lee.
Knowles, the 22-year-old frontwoman with R&B trio Destiny’s Child, was lauded largely for her debut solo release, “Dangerously in Love.” She told reporters backstage that she was not disappointed about losing to Coldplay.
“I love that song, and they definitely deserved it. That song was just genius,” Knowles said.
Her album “Dangerously in Love” was named best contemporary R&B album, while the title track was honored for female R&B vocal performance. She and boyfriend Jay-Z, who also had six nominations, shared Grammys for the song, “Crazy in Love,” which won for rap/sung collaboration and R&B song.
Her other Grammy was for a duet with soul icon Luther Vandross, “The Closer I Get To You,” which won for R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals.
Vandross, who was stricken by a near-fatal stroke last April, won two other Grammys. “Dance With my Father” was named best R&B album, and its title track best male R&B vocal performance. Vandross picked up five nominations overall and had hoped to attend the Grammys, but he was not well enough.
In his absence, singers Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Richard Marx performed a tribute to him. Vandross, in his first public appearance, sent his greetings a taped video message, and sang the line, “I believe in the power of love.”
Bluegrass musician Alison Krauss also picked up three Grammy Awards, taking her career total to 17 — eighth on the all-time list of Grammy winners.
Other double-winners included rapper Eminem, rock band White Stripes, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and Timberlake.
OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” won the Grammy for urban/alternative performance. During the televised portion, OutKast’s double album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” was named best rap album.
In one of the shortest acceptance speeches in Grammy history, group member Andre “3000” Benjamin took the stage to say “Thank you,” and then bounded off. His cohort, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, was not present.
OutKast Wins Album of the Year Grammy