Carey, U2 and Kanye Win Grammy Awards
LOS ANGELES – Mariah Carey ended her 16-year Grammy drought by winning three trophies Wednesday, but her hopes of making Grammy history were smashed as rock gods U2 won four awards, including song of the year for “Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own.”
Carey, one of the best-selling artists of all time, hadn’t won a Grammy since her first two as a fresh-faced ingenue in 1990. On Wednesday, she was nominated for eight and won three in the pre-telecast ceremony. No woman had ever won more than five in one night.
But she was shut out through most of the televised portion, losing best female pop vocal performance to Kelly Clarkson’s triumphant “Since U Been Gone,” song of the year to U2 and record of the year to Green Day.
“If you think this is going to go to our head, its too late,” Bono said after the group captured their 19th Grammy.
Kelly Clarkson, who also won best pop album, also helped steal some of Carey’s spotlight.
“I’m sorry I’m crying again on national television,” said Clarkson, the former “American Idol,” tearful and shaking as she held her first Grammy. “Thank you so much, you have no idea what this means to me.”
Carey was considered the year’s comeback queen, having overcome personal difficulties and a career slump of a few years ago to emerge in 2005 with the most popular album of the year.
But Carey’s comeback was upstaged √≥ along with everything else √≥ by the appearance of Sly Stone, the mercurial, psychedelic pioneer who disappeared from the music scene decades ago and hadn’t performed in public since 1993.
Toward the end of a sizzling all-star tribute, Stone emerged onstage sporting a tall blond Mohawk and breathed new life into one of his biggest smashes, “I Want To Take You Higher.” Though the tribute was planned, many didn’t expect Stone √≥ who hasn’t performed in public in years √≥ to show up.
Keith Urban was answering questions backstage when Stone’s performance began playing on a nearby monitor, and he had to stop talking.
“I think we just got upstaged,” Urban said in amazement. “Everything pales in comparison.”
Stone’s performance was one of the many that upstaged the actual awards, but there were some actually given out during the telecast.
U2 won for best rock album for “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Guitarist The Edge said the award meant a lot to the group, “but even more precious than the awards is the gift you’ve all afforded us, you’ve allowed us to continue to make our music.”
U2 provided one of the more rousing performances in the jam-packed show as they sung their hit Vertigo, then collaborated with R&B queen Mary J. Blige’s gospel-inflected fervor for their classic “One.”
West’s three Grammys matched his total for last year. The brash rapper/producer played up (or lived up to) his egotistical reputation as he won best rap album for “Late Registration.
“I had no idea, I had no idea,” West said in mock shock as he pulled a huge sheet of paper that read “Thank You List.”
The show started off on a two-dimensional note as the cartoon-fronted rock group Gorillaz performed their record of the year contender, “Feel Good Inc.” with the help of animation, a blue screen and guest rappers De La Soul. The performance then segued into a Madonna moment, as the pop queen √≥ who was not nominated for any awards √≥ sang her latest hit, “Hung Up,” with a chorus of dancers behind her.
But it was a brief, impromptu performance of Keys and Stevie Wonder, who introduced the first award, that energized the crowd. Wonder pulled out his harmonica and the two soulfully sang his classic “Higher Ground” as a tribute to the late Coretta Scott King, who was buried Tuesday.
“Let’s keep trying to reach that higher ground,” Keys said. “I forever want to reach that higher ground.”
John Legend was also an early winner, beating out Wonder, Keys, Fantasia and Earth, Wind & Fire to snag best R&B album for his platinum debut, “Get Lifted.” He picked up his second trophy for best male R&B vocal for “Ordinary People.”
Alison Krauss & Union Station also had three awards each, including for best country album, while Wonder, who released his first album in ten years last year, also had two.
Carey, U2 and Kanye Win Grammy Awards