Whistlin’ Dixie After hatching controversy, Chicks take top three trophies

first_imgUltimately, the gals had it over guys in the top categories. Blige, on the rebound after a tough couple of years in her personal life, took home three awards, including for her single “Be Without You.” Season Four “American Idol” Carrie Underwood won the hotly contested Best New Artist race and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” “Tonight kind of proved `American Idol’ can transcend that talent-show stereotype it has,” Underwood said backstage. “It’s just great talent on the show that couldn’t get discovered doing what they were doing on their own. It worked for me. I owe everything to `American Idol.”‘ Ladies’ night The influence of “American Idol” was felt on the show when the academy put on an online contest in conjunction with Yahoo! Music in which voters selected a finalist to perform with Justin Timberlake on the telecast. The winner was Robyn Troup, 18, a polished University of Southern California student from Houston. Blige won just three of her leading eight nominations. But she did take the prize for longest acceptance speech, a tearful two-minute 55-name wonder that had the house band desperately trying to drown her out. “It’s in the valley that we learn who we really are, because success exposes who you really are,” she told the audience, “and I want to use my success to build bridges, not to burn them.” The three-hour-plus telecast opened with the long-awaited reunion of ’80s trio The Police performing their early hit “Roxanne.” The 49th annual show was full of strong performances, including by Christina Aguilera, whose tribute to James Brown on “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” drew roars, along with other “Grammy moments” from Beyonce and Blige. Underwood performed versions of “San Antonio Rose,” a tribute to Western swing legend Bob Wills, and “Desperado,” an Eagles song written by Don Henley, who was MusiCare’s man of the year. A sexy duet of “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira and Wyclef Jean also heated up the evening. A medley by John Mayer, John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae shone the spotlight on some of music’s younger stars. Double winners included John Mayer, T.I. and Ludacris, and Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder’s duet on a remake of Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” won for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. Early awards Earlier in the day, before cameras rolled, 97 of the 108 trophies were handed out. At this mini-Grammys ceremony, when most of the winners were still on the freeway heading downtown, Hollywood rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers won for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, both for the hit single “Dani California.” Their CD, “Stadium Arcadium,” won for the boxed/limited-edition package Grammy, but the band lost the short-form video race to indie rockers OK Go, whose treadmill video helped put MySpace and YouTube on the mainstream map last year. One of the most popular acts of the year, Gnarls Barkley, consisting of hip-hop singer Cee-Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse, won the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Grammy for their international chart-topper “Crazy.” Their album “St. Elsewhere” also took home the alternative music album Grammy. First-time winners Sunday included New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas, whose Hurricane Katrina-inspired “After the Rain” was named Best Contemporary Blues Album. Double winners included rocker Bruce Springsteen, gospel star Kirk Franklin, late jazz soloist Michael Brecker, jazz pianist Chick Corea, film composer John Williams and classical conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. (818) 713-3676 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! For the Dixie Chicks, winning five Grammys may be the best revenge. Despite a backlash among country fans that had radio stations bulldozing their albums, the defiant Chicks led the Grammy Awards on Sunday at the Staple Center by taking all five of the categories in which they were nominated, including the prestigious Album, Song and Record of the Year trophies. It was the first time since Eric Clapton’s 1993 sweep that a single act has won all three of the top awards. The Dixie Chicks “Not Ready to Make Nice,” aimed at those who criticized the trio for its 2003 criticism of George W. Bush, was also named Best Country Album and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal. Mary J. Blige completed her comeback with three trophies for her double-platinum album “The Breakthrough,” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers won four for their double-disc “Stadium Arcadium.” But the Chicks were the big story of the night as the Recording Academy showed its support for the group with several standing ovations, prompting singer Natalie Maines to joke, “I, for the first time in my life, am speechless.” The flap stemmed from comments Maines made at a concert stop in London when she told the crowd: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” When the news broke at home, the Chicks became targets of hate mail, boycotts and radio boycotts. After winning the Album of the Year award, Maines drew laughs with: “I’m ready to make nice.” Bandmate Emily Robison noted, “We wouldn’t have done this album without everything we went through, so we have no regrets.” last_img

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