Grammys diversify - Bob Marley tribute an example of the varied collaborations

Published: Tuesday | February 12, 2013 Comments 0
Damian Marley (left) and Rihanna perform.
Damian Marley (left) and Rihanna perform.
Members of the musical group Mumford & Sons (from left) - Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Winston Marshall - pose backstage with the best long-form music video award for 'Big Easy Express' and the Album of the Year Award for 'Babel'.
Members of the musical group Mumford & Sons (from left) - Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Winston Marshall - pose backstage with the best long-form music video award for 'Big Easy Express' and the Album of the Year Award for 'Babel'.
Frank Ocean performs on stage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, in Los Angeles.
Frank Ocean performs on stage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (AP):

Unlike last year, when the Grammys became the Adele show, each of the leading nominees in a diverse and eclectic field got a chance to bask in the spotlight of music's biggest night.

Fun., whose anthemic and semidark jam We Are Young dominated the charts in 2012, won Song of the Year. Gotye's massive and oddball pop hit, Somebody I Used to Know, picked up Record of the Year. And folk rockers Mumford & Sons won Album of the Year for their platinum-selling Babel.

Fun. also won Best New Artist, besting Frank Ocean in an upset.

The Recording Academy had a clear message at its 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night: There are a lot of top acts today with both mainstream appeal and an edge to their music, and the academy was happy to spread the love.

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, the night's big winner with four trophies, was one of six acts with the most nominations - six each. He won Non-classical Producer of the Year, while the Black Keys earned the Best Rock Album, Song and Performance honours.

The Black Keys dominated the rock category, while Jay-Z and Kanye West did the same in the rap area. But the pop, country and R&B categories were a reflection of the top four honours, with no single act dominating. Winners in those categories ranged from Adele to Paul McCartney, Carrie Underwood to the Zac Brown Band, and Usher to Miguel.

Ocean, Mumford & Sons, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Fun. were also the top nominees of the night, and they won multiple Grammys.

Ocean snubbed

But Ocean - who was anticipated to win Best New Artist - won two trophies and was restricted to the urban categories. It was another year the Grammys dissed a rap or R&B artist from the top awards. Last year, West lost in an upset and in 2011 it was Eminem.

Ocean's official studio debut, channel ORANGE, did win Best Urban Contemporary Album. He also won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for No Church In the Wild with West, Jay-Z and The-Dream.

But the R&B singer released one of the year's most critically revered albums last year, which made several best-of-the-year lists. He also made headlines when he revealed his first love was a man shortly before the album's release.

Ocean's loss to Fun. for Best New Artist was a shock, but the band's win was understood. The pop-rock trio had two of the year's biggest hits with We Are Young and Some Nights. Their sophomore album, Some Nights, is also near-platinum.

Like Fun., Gotye had a monstrous hit with the Kimbra-assisted Somebody that I Used to Know, and it won Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Collaboration. His album, Making Mirrors, won Best Alternative Music Album.

Gotye's three wins were joined by Black Keys, West, Jay-Z and Skrillex, who picked up the same trophies he won last year.

Double winners included Ocean, Fun., Mumford & Sons, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding and Matt Redman.

Many varied performances

The performances - as usual - were also a reflection of diversity in music: Taylor Swift opened with her pop smash We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and Miguel sang his R&B hit Adorn onstage and off of it.

The night's most memorable performance was the tribute to Levon Helm, which featured Elton John, Mumford & Sons, T Bone Burnett and the raspy vocals of Mavis Staples and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.

They earned a standing ovation. Jack White, who was nominated for the Album of the Year, was also well received Sunday night.

Justin Timberlake made a return to the Grammy stage, performing his new hit Suit & Tie and a new song, the falsetto-heavy Push Your Love Girl. Jay-Z joined the pop star onstage, and there were more collaborations like it throughout the night.

Alicia Keys joined Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert sang with Dierks Bentley, and Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Sting paid tribute to Bob Marley. They were joined by Damian and Ziggy Marley. The crowd sang along during Could You Be Loved.

Adele, who was last year's big winner with six trophies, won Best Pop Performance for Set Fire to the Rain (Live).

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