News Column

Grammy Awards Has a Little for Everyone

February 24, 2003

Karen Butler, United Press International

Norah Jones walked away with five Grammy Awards last night, including Album of the Year.
Norah Jones walked away with five Grammy Awards last night, including Album of the Year.

NEW YORK (UPI) -- Newcomer Norah Jones swept the major categories at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, coming away with five statuettes and earning three more for her producer, engineers and songwriter.

Norah Jones's album "Come Away With Me" was named Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, while her record "Don't Know Why" earned Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance. The 23-year-old singer also was named Best New Artist of the Year. Jesse Harris, the man who wrote "Don't Know Why," won a Grammy for Song of the Year, Arif Mardin took home the prize for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical and S. Husky Hoskulds and Jay Newland got one for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

"We thought if it sold 100,000 records that would be great," said Harris of "Don't Know Why."

Asked why he thinks the song caught on so well, he replied simply, "I think Norah's really good."

"I never thought music I made would become popular music," she said.

Reminded that she said earlier in the evening she would be more than satisfied with two Grammys, Jones said: "I was happy with two! This is insane!"

Noting that veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen was a favorite in the Grammy race, Jones insisted, "He was heavily favored by me, too."

At another point in the evening, she noted, "He's the Boss and I'm not going to take that away from him."

"She's not a marketed artist," said Tony Bennett, the winner of the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. "The public just loves her so much."

Springsteen didn't do too badly, though. He won three Grammys before the broadcast section of the event even began. His Sept. 11, 2001, anthem, "The Rising," earned him honors for Best Rock Song, Rock Album and Rock Vocal Performance.

The Dixie Chicks also won three awards, including Best Country Album for "Home," Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for their song "Long Time Gone" and Best Country Instrumental Performance for "Lil' Jack Slade."

Asked what they had planned next, Dixie Chicks member Natalie Maines joked: "Get with Dr. Dre? Who knows?"

Controversial rapper Eminem took home Grammys for Best Rap Album for "The Eminem Show" and Best Short Form Music Video for his song, "Without Me."

R&B icon BB King can also add a pair of miniature gramophones to his mantle. He earned the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album for his "A Christmas Celebration of Hope" and Best Pop Vocal Performance for "Auld Lang Syne."

Rap Artist Nelly also picked up two Grammys -- one for Best Male Rap Solo Performance for his song "Hot in Herre." The second award was for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Dilemma," the song he recorded with Kelly Rowland. India Arie won Grammy for Best R & B Album for "Voyage to India" And Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her song, "Little Things."

Author and activist Maya Angelou won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for "A Song Flung Up to Heaven," while Tom Chapin grabbed the prize for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for his album, "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."

Demonstrating the comedic talent that won him his latest Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy Album, Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams joked his way through his duties as host, stopping to poke fun of Aretha Franklin's voluminous ensemble and Dustin Hoffman's mispronunciation of "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band" as "Springstreet."

Harvey Fierstein, dressed in drag and Rod Stewart, carrying a puppy, walked out to present the award for Best Spoken Comedy Album.

"And you thought the dog would be too camp?" Stewart deadpanned.

"Doesn't Harvey look like a pinata?" Williams mused upon collecting his trophy.

Backstage he told reporters his 11-year-old son was rooting for Eminem.

"That's the one autograph I've been ordered to get ... if I can make it through the posse," he said.

Highlights of the show included the 'NSYNC's tribute to the Bee Gees; Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl and Steven VanZandt's tribute to the Clash and a rare performance by legendary rock duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. The pair set aside their differences long enough to rehearse and play a number to celebrate their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hoffman kicked off the show by introducing the duo he said "defined a generation." The pair performed a slightly slower and seemingly appropriate "The Sounds of Silence." The two have had a somewhat strained relationship and had not performed together for 10 years.

Garfunkel said that although "The Sounds of Silence" might seem especially appropriate given the social climate of the day, that was not the reason they chose to perform it.

"We're aware it has a resonance for the time, but we chose it because it was the first hit we had and it sort of bookends on our career," he said.

Asked if they would ever consider working together again, Simon answered: "It's possible. We don't have any plans to. It's possible. Sure."

Garfunkel added: "We're 15 seconds off the stage after a nice experience. I would be digesting it now if I wasn't here."

He said the first time he and Simon had talked in a long time was when the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences notified them about their Lifetime Achievement Award.

"I knew I would get to see Paul and I hadn't (in a long time,) and then it was, 'Shall we do a tune?' We had some laughs and cozied up," Garfunkel recalled, adding that he is busy promoting his own new CD and hasn't given much thought to getting back together with Simon.



Source: Copyright 2003 by United Press International.


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