As another February comesto an end, it leaves behind one of the most anticipated days of the year. No, not Valentineʼs Day, but the Grammy Awards. The Grammy Awards first came about in 1958 to honor accomplishments by artists in all areas of music from rock to rap to spoken word and now the night is known for being a time when the best and brightest of the music industry come out to show what theyʼve got, on and off the red carpet.
The 47 annual Grammy Awards were broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. Acclaimed recording artistand diva extraordinaire Queen Latifah had the honor of hosting this yearʼs festivities. Latifah herself was a nominee this year in the Jazz category for her album of popular jazz standardsentitled The Dana Owens Album. Performances are always one of the highlights of the telecast, and this year was no exception. It all began with a frantic, powerhouse performance consisting of the Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani and Eve, Los Lonely Boys, Maroon 5 and Franz Ferdinand.
All the artists were on separate stages scattered throughout the auditorium. Each act had about thirty seconds to sing their nominated song before the montage ended with all the performers on the main stage together singing their songs at once in the musical manifestationof ADD.
Additional performers who graced the stage included Green Day, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx in a Ray Charles tribute duet of “Georgia on my Mind,” Tim McGraw, and U2. Kanye West, who was nominated for 10 Grammies, performed with a group of soul, R&B and gospel artists including newcomer John Legend, R&B great Mavis Staples, and Grammy nominee the Blind Boys of Alabama.
In addition, Bonnie Raitt and Billy Preston performed in honor of Ray Charles. Country stars Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, members of the definitive Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and legendary musicians Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers Band along with Elvin Bishop appeared in a special tribute to Southern rock.
Among those who took home awards are Los Lonely Boys for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Maroon 5 for Best New Artist. The big winner of the night was the late Ray Charles, who posthumously took home honors for his duet album Genius Loves Company in the Album of the Year category, as well as Record of the Year for his duet with Norah Jones entitled “Here We Go Again.” Even former president Bill Clinton took home a Grammy, and no, it wasnʼt for his infamous sax solo on Arsenio Hall, but for his reading of his autobiography My Life.