Ray Charles receives eight awards
The 47th Grammy Awards concluded with a few twists. Ray Charles, who died earlier this year, won eight awards; Kanye West and Usher both won three awards each, but were eclipsed by Alicia Keys, who won four Grammys.
The most unexpected moment of the night was Maroon 5 winning Best New Artist, a category that Kanye West was favored to win. Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine even congratulated West as he accepted the award himself. Kanye West did win Best Rap Song for "Jesus Walks,” and "The College Dropout” by West was one of the best-selling albums this year and won Best Rap Album.
Ray Charles, though, was the main character tonight among multiple awards and tributes. Charles won Record and Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Gospel Performance. Many of these awards were expected due to the recent passing away of Charles. His CD, "Genius Loves Company,” was one of the most acclaimed of the year, due partly to the star-studded cast of featured artists from Norah Jones to Van Morrison.
Other award winners included Gretchen Wilson, who won Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Wilson was also nominated for Best New Artist, but was seen as a great underdog and did not win in the end.
Jay-Z won Best Rap Solo Performance for "99 Problems” and The Black Eyed Peas won Best Rap Group Performance for "Let's Get It Started." Best Rap or Song Collaboration was given to Usher for his hit "Yeah,” featuring Lil' Jon.
John Mayer won two awards this year that were very unexpected. Mayer received Song of the Year for "Daughters.” Mayer also won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the same song.
U2 also won several awards this year, such as Best Rock Group Performance and Best Rock Song for "Vertigo.”
These Grammy Awards also featured some of the most elaborate performances in their history. John Legend, Kanye West, Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama led an especially memorable Gospel-oriented performance featuring both old and new songs, dominated by Kanye West's "Jesus Walks.”
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