It was her Grammy moment and she knew it. When Mary J. Blige’s name was called as winner of best R&B album award, she choked back tears as she thanked God and said: “This is the first time I’ve ever been up here to receive anything…and I thank you so much.” She added that “for so many years, I’ve been talked about negatively. Now I’ve been talked about positively by so many people. She thanked her husband and children then started down a loooooooong list of names. The orchestra music began but Mary J. Blige wasn’t going anywhere. She kept reading names and as the music got louder, so did she. It wasn’t quite Cuba Gooding Jr. at the Oscars when he won for “Jerry Maguire” all those years ago…
I love this Grammy telecast, at least the first 15 minutes of it. I have heard of the performers and winners to so far. First off, The Police reunited and simply turned back the clock with the opening song, “Roxanne.” They sounded great and that kind of reunion is so rare and special. That was followed by a Grammy win for Tony Bennett (his second tonight) and Stevie Wonder for their duet “For Once in My Life” from Bennett’s “Duets” CD. Tony’s speech was similar to the non-televised one only this time when he thanked tour sponsor Target, the audience laughed! Tony didn’t much care.
Said Wonder: “This is an amazing moment for me..I have to tell you all, this is a bittersweet, sweet moment. I have to accept this award in memory of my m other.”
Now Beyonce, introduced by Prince, is singing “Listen” from “Dreamgirls.” It. Is. Glorious. Love it. Love her. She is dazzling. Absolutely fantastic performance. She was preceded by the Dixie Chicks who performed “Not Ready to Make Nice” and what I loved most, was that they were introduced by the great Joan Baez who is a Grammy Legend recipient tonight.
One of the emotional highlights of the pre-telecast Grammys was Nancy Wilson’s win for best jazz vocal for her album “Turned to Blue.” Wilson, who turns 70 next week, won her first Grammy in 1964 and her most recent one last year. “I don’t believe it! I’m so surprised to be standing here saying, ‘Thank you.’ To win back-to-back Grammys…I’ve got a lot of nominations and won quite a few but back to back? I’m so proud and pleased that my grandsons understand: “Oh, you’re THAT Nancy Wilson.”
Not that any of them showed up! Lemme tell ya, unless there is a rapt nationwide television audience to hang on their every word, it seems that some superstars have better things to do than accept their non-televised Grammys. I’m gonna make a vow: if I’m ever nominated for a Grammy, televised or not, I will be there!
Aguilera won another Grammy for best female pop performance (“Aint No Other Man”), Dylan got the best solo rock vocal performance Grammy for “Someday Baby” and the Dixie Chicks for best country performance by a duo or group with vocal for “Not Ready to Make Nice.” So, if the chicks don’t win during the telecast, they have missed their chance to say something controversial.
Dammit. I was sorta counting on that.
When her name was called out as the winner of the female country vocal solo performance, you had to figure she’d won a Grammy before. But actually, it’s American Music Awards, Country Music Awards and People’s Choice Awards that she’s been cleaning up on in the past year.
“This is my first Grammy! Hopefully, the first of a few more!”
The “American Idol” winner from a few seasons back thanked the show’s creator Simon Fuller and said: “That’s the reason I’m here…I’ve been so blessed over the past couple of years and I’m so grateful for it.”
Vince Gill won in the country male category but he was not present to accept his Grammy.
What can you say about Tony Bennett? He just keeps getting better all the time. His massive-selling duets album took the Grammy for traditional pop vocal performance. He must have run out of room for all of his Grammys by now…most of them won in the past decade or so of his career. Bennett accepted in person, unlike many big names, and he was overjoyed: “I have so many people to thank” including his sons who produced the record and his manager son Danny Bennett (“the greatest manager I’ve ever had.”) Thank you! Thank you! Everybody thank you!”
Has it really been 30 years since the phenomenon that was “Frampton Comes Alive.” ? Time flies. How cool it was to see Peter Frampton win a Grammy today for pop instrumental album for “Fingerprints.” With far less hair than in his hey-day, Frampton was also wearing a suit and tie as a tribute to his late father who died during the making of the album and who he said “was always my champion.”
Frampton thanked his wive for “wholeheartedly understanding my passion for guitar playing.” And he couldn’t resist looking back when he was, for a time, the biggest rock star in the world: “Thirty years ago, I got nominated for another record. I didn’t get that one as the pop star but today, I got this one as the musician.”
Former president Jimmy Carter can add Grammy Award winner to Nobel Peace Prize winner. Carter was not present to accept but he won in the best spoken word category for “Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis.” Carter tied with Ruby Dee and her late husband, Ossie Davis, who won for the reading of their autobiography “Wikth Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.”
Dee, looking terrific in a blue suit, was present and accepted the Grammy for herself and her husband. “How exciting it is to be celebrating the spoken word.” Dee referred to Davis in the present tense “because I truly believe he is here with us today. ..We had to beg him to do this and thank God we had a year to get it done…. We owe it to our children and their children to tell our stories so they will have a sense of themselves.”
All five nominees in the category are forces to be reckoned with. They also included Bob Newhart’s “I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This!” Bill Maher’s “New Rules – Polite Musings From a Timid Observer,” and Al Franklin’s “The Truth About Jokes.”
The musical that tells the story of the singing group the Four Seasons did pretty well at the Tonys last year and now it is also a Grammy winner beating out the albums from the Broadway shows “The Color Purple,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Sweeney Todd – The Demon of Barber Street,” and the Harry Connick Jr. penned “The Pajama Game” in which Connick Jr. also starred.
Pretty tough competition.
Who could blame presenter Lynn Redgrave for saying “I wish these guys would show up so I can say hello!” Those guys, who both won Grammys during the non-televised ceremony, are Bob Dylan (winner for contemporary folk album “Love is My Religion”) and Bruce Springsteen for traditional folk album, “We shall overcome.”
Good for them! It would be a shame if they missed the ceremony because they were stuck in traffic!