Plant & Krauss nab 5 Grammys
LOS ANGELES — Raising Sand raised a whole lotta Grammy gold at the Staples Center.
Sixty-year-old Led Zeppelin belter Robert Plant and 37-year-old bluegrass star Alison Krauss led the way with five Grammy Award wins, including album and record of the year, thanks to their collaborative CD.
Rapper Lil Wayne won four Grammys. Coldplay won three.
Plant and Krauss won two Grammys for Raising Sand — album of the year and contemporary folk/Americana album — and three more for songs from that album: Killing The Blues won for country collaboration with vocals, Rich Woman for pop collaboration with vocals, and Please Read The Letter for record of the year.
“When we started this project together the whole game was a mystery,” said Plant in accepting the latter award.
“We gave ourselves three days. We said, ‘If it doesn’t work, we’ll just take lunch and I’ll go back to Wolverhampton.’ But we brought this song out. It’s an old song that Jimmy Page and I wrote together, post-Led Zeppelin, and it’s been given that Nasvhille touch and it feels pretty good.”
Earlier, Plant said, “Wow, 40 years after landing in this town, it’s all different, it’s fantastic.”
Krauss has won more Grammys than any other female artist; she entered the night with 21. Plant had won only two previously — and none with Led Zeppelin, which never won a Grammy.
Coldplay won song of the year (the songwriting award) for Viva La Vida, which also won as best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals. The band also won for best rock album for Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends.
“Thank you and sorry to Sir Paul McCartney for blatantly copying the Sgt. Pepper’s outfits,” said Coldplay drummer Will Champion of he and his bandmates being decked out in brightly coloured jackets.
Accepting the best rock album award, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin said: “We’re more limestone, a little softer but just as charming. We feel so grateful to be here. I’m going to tear up, it’s going to be crazy.”
One of the telecast’s early emotional high points was Jennifer Hudson’s Grammy win for best R&B album for her self-titled disc.
“I would like to thank my family in heaven and those that are here today,” said Hudson, who was appearing in public for only the second time since an alleged domestic dispute led to the murder of her mother, brother and nephew.
There was also controversy at the outset, as scheduled performers and longtime couple Rihanna and Chris Brown were last-minute no-shows. Brown turned himself in to authorities investigating an alleged domestic battery felony that took place early yesterday. Jail records showed Chris Brown being held on $50,000 US bail.
The police department said in a release that Brown, the 19-year-old R&B singer, and a “woman” were in a vehicle in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighbourhood when they began arguing. Police say they got out of the car and the fight escalated, and the woman identified Brown as her attacker. The report did not say whether the “woman” was the 20-year-old Rihanna, a pop/R&B singer.
In Rihanna’s place, Justin Timberlake and Al Green performed a duet of Green’s classic Let’s Stay Together.
The only other breath-holding moment was when nine-months-pregnant British rapper M.I.A. performed Swagga Like Us with T.I., Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West and didn’t actually give birth on stage.
Raspy-voiced, tattooed and prolific southern rapper Lil Wayne had led all other artists with eight nominations, followed closely by Coldplay with seven and rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West and R&B artist Ne-Yo with six apiece.
Lil Wayne picked up his Grammys during the pre-telecast portion of the ceremony, during which 100 of the 110 trophies were handed out — for best rap performance for A Milli, best rap song for Lollipop, and best rap performance for a duo or group for Swagga Like Us, which also featured Jay-Z, T.I. and Kanye West.
West got a second Grammy for American Boy with Estelle, which won best rap/sung collaboration.
British art-rockers Radiohead, nominated in five categories, won for best alternative music album for In Rainbows, another album-of-the-year nominee, while their art directors won for best boxed or special limited edition package.
Other early double winners were Ne-Yo, Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, French electronica duo Daft Punk and Al Green.
Carrie Underwood won best female country vocal performance for Last Name, while Brad Paisley won the male equivalent for Letter To Me.
With the exception of the Juno soundtrack, Canadian nominees were shut out this year.
Juno director Jason Reitman of Montreal was on hand to pick up the best compilation soundtrack album Grammy and said the win was an “enormous surprise” during the pre-telecast ceremony.
“I forgot to thank the people of Canada,” Reitman, son of filmmaker Ivan, said backstage. “I say to you now, this award is dedicated to the people of Canada, the great people of British Columbia who provided my crew.”
Reitman also praised his Canadian actors Ellen Page and Michael Cera, who sang the show-ending Moldy Peaches song, Anyone Else But You, at the end of the movie.
“It’s a scary thing when you ask your actors to suddenly close a movie in song. Fortunately I had Ellen and Michael, who were terrific musicians and singers. They learned the song immediately,” said Reitman backstage.
During the pre-telcast, the late George Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, was on hand to pick up his Grammy for best comedy album, for It’s Bad For Ya. She said her dad, who passed away last summer, had destroyed a previous Grammy he had won in 1972 for his album FM & AM.
“In a chemically-induced altered state, he took it apart, to the point that the academy had to send him a new one,” Carlin-McCall said up on the stage at the Staples Centre to huge laughs.
Backstage, she explained further: “I guess it was a little bit of a project or something and it was in pieces, and then I think maybe the pieces got lost.”
She said her father’s fifth Grammy win was “bittersweet.”
“It’s been an incredible week, with the Mark Twain honours happening earlier this week, and I just told someone it’s like the cherry on top of really big beautiful cake. So it’s a lovely honour and I’m just so happy that people are honouring my dad. And yet, he’s not here,” she said. “You know, I’d rather have him.”
Plant & Krauss nab 5 Grammys