Grammys say go, go, go


The melding of eras was the theme of the 50th anniversary Grammy Awards on Sunday, but it will be remembered as the night Amy Winehouse was crowned as the new queen of pop present.

And the night a 67-year-old jazzman walked off with album of the year.

Herbie Hancock pulled off one of the biggest Grammy upsets in memory when "River: The Joni Letters," his reimagining of Joni Mitchell songs from 20-40 years ago, took the night's biggest prize. The album spent two weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 118.

It was only the second jazz set to win album of the year, following the Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto collaboration "Getz/Gilberto" in 1965.

"What a beautiful day this is in Los Angeles," Hancock said in accepting the award at Staples Center. He acknowledged the rarity of a jazz record winning, citing such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane having been overlooked. "I'd like to thank the academy for breaking the mold today," he said.

Later backstage, Hancock was asked about whether he thought his album was the conservative choice. He looked genuinely shocked. "I think I play music that's further out than any of these musicians ever heard," he said.

Hancock's shocker trumped a near sweep by Winehouse, who led the field with five awards, and continued the frustration of Kanye West in the major categories. He settled for a second-place haul of four — all in rap categories.

Winehouse, the young British singer-songwriter with the vintage sound and very modern tabloid image, had gone 5-for-5 before the last award was announced. Her haul included record and song of the year for "Rehab" and best new artist.

Earlier in the week, the U.S. embassy in London had denied Winehouse a visa to attend the Grammys, but after word came Friday that the visa had been granted, her reps said she wouldn't be attending, citing "logistics involved and timing complications." Instead, the show featured her two-song performance live from Riverside Studios in London — at 4 a.m. GMT.

Brad Paisley had the misfortune of arriving on the media-room stage during Winehouse's show. He looked at a monitor and promptly walk offstage. When she finished, he returned to applause. During his chat, however, Winehouse won record of the year and keyboards were aflutter — likely not with Brad Paisley quotes.

Meanwhile, West had led the field with eight nominations going in. He walked off with four, bringing his career tally to 10. But despite all three of his discs having been nominated for album of the year, his career shutout in the Big 4 categories remained intact.

West did, however, make the most of his spotlight time, giving the most notable acceptance speech of the night. He ran on a bit at the podium after winning best rap album for "Graduation," and the music came up on him. He acknowledged it, then continued. The play-off music ebbed and flowed a bit, then West began to talk about his mother, who died in November. He looked up from the podium and said, "It would be in good taste to stop the music now."

He went on further, basically telling the Recording Academy and everyone else that he deserved the big prize. But later, fellow album of the year nominee Vince Gill one-upped West. The singer's "These Days" won best country album, which was presented to him by Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart.

"I just got an award given me by a Beatle," he said. Turning to West, he added: "Have you had that happen yet, Kanye? The rapper grinned on camera.

Other multiple winners included Bruce Springsteen and gospel group the Clark Sisters with three each, and two apiece for Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Justin Timberlake and Foo Fighters.

Grammy Lifetime Achievement awards went to the Band, Burt Bacharach, Earl Scruggs, Itzhak Perlman, Max Roach and Doris Day. Motown architect Berry Gordy was named Grammy Industry Icon.

The past and present mingled early and often during the 3 and1/2-hour show. Keely Smith duetted with Kid Rock on "That Old Black Magic," and Andy Williams, who has hosted the show several times, was among the presenters.

The night opened with a clip of Frank Sinatra at the Grammys in the early '60s. Then Keys took the stage and sang a virtual duet with him on "Learnin' the Blues." It was the first of several inspired pairings of performers and presenters on the awards' golden anniversary.

The original lineup of the "Purple Rain" funksters the Time was onstage for the first time in 15 years, doing "Jungle Love" in a medley with Rihanna — no Prince intro, though — or Alice Cooper, for that matter.

Among the other notable performances: Beyonce and Tina Turner, spanning a tad more than a generation, burned up "Proud Mary"; West ran through a medley with Daft Punk; John Fogerty was joined by Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis; and East met West and classical met jazz when Chinese pianist Lang Lang and Hancock led an orchestra in "Rhapsody in Blue," which included a memorable keyboard face-off between the headliners.

It was veterans day during the nontelevised portion of the show, presented during the afternoon down the street at the Convention Center. Among big-name sexagenerian-and-up winners of the 100 categories handed out were Willie Nelson and Ray Price, Joni Mitchell, Springsteen, Khan, the Eagles (who won in a country category for a song written in 1972) and Robert Plant (with Alison Krauss).

But the stars of the preshow were a trio with a combined age of 258. The halftime entertainment offered Pinetop Perkins on piano, Honeyboy Edwards on guitar and Koko Taylor on vocals doing "Let the Good Times Roll." Perkins, 94, and Edwards, 92, later took the stage to accept the best traditional blues Grammy for an album they recorded with Henry James Townsend and Robert Lockwood Jr., both of whom died in 2006.

Preshow co-host Frampton made the afternoon's sole mention of the WGA strike, as he struggled through some clunky canned banter on the TelePrompTer. "I'm super happy to be here," he said with a grimace. "Where are those writers?"

Among the posthumous winners were Johnny Cash, jazz saxman Michael Brecker and Gerald Levert. Brecker picked up a pair of Grammys, to bring his total to 15 dating to 1988. Meanwhile, Levert's win for traditional R&B vocal performance was a first for his famous family, including his group LeVert and LSG and his father Eddie Levert's '70s hitmakers the O'Jays.

Record Of The Year

Rehab Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, producer; Tom Elmhirst, engineer/mixer track from: Back to Black [Universal Republic Records]

Album Of The Year

River: The Joni Letters Herbie Hancock Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza & Tina Turner, featured artists; Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, producers; Helik Hadar, engineer/mixer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer [Verve]

Song Of The Year

Rehab Amy Winehouse, songwriter (Amy Winehouse); track from: Back to Black [Universal Republic Records; Publisher: EMI Music Publishing]

New Artist

Amy Winehouse

Female Pop Vocal Performance

Rehab Amy Winehouse; track from: Back to Black [Universal Republic Records]

Male Pop Vocal Performance

What Goes Around … Comes Around Justin Timberlake; track from: FutureSex/ LoveSounds [Jive]

Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

Makes Me Wonder Maroon 5; track from: It Won't Be Soon Before Long [Octone/A&M Records]

Pop Collaboration With Vocals

Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; track from: Raising Sand [Rounder Records]

Pop Instrumental Performance

One Week Last Summer Joni Mitchell; track from: Shine [Hear Music]

Pop Instrumental Album

The Mix-Up Beastie Boys [Capitol Records]

Pop Vocal Album

Back to Black Amy Winehouse [Universal Republic Records]

Dance Recording

LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Justin Timberlake; Nate (Danja) Hills, Timbaland & Justin Timberlake, producers; Jimmy Douglass & Timbaland, mixers; track from: FutureSex/LoveSounds [Jive/Zomba]

Electronic/ Dance Album

We Are the Night The Chemical Brothers [Astralwerks]

Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Call Me Irresponsible Michael Buble [143 Records/Reprise]

Solo Rock Vocal Performance

Radio Nowhere Bruce Springsteen; track from: Magic [Columbia]

Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

Icky Thump The White Stripes; track from: Icky Thump [Third Man/Warner Bros.]

Hard Rock Performance

The Pretender Foo Fighters; track from: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace [Roswell/RCA Records]

Metal Performance

Final Six Slayer; track from: Christ Illusion [American Recording/Columbia]

Rock Instrumental Performance

Once Upon a Time in the West Bruce Springsteen; track from: We All Love Ennio Morricone [Sony Classical]

Rock Song

Radio Nowhere Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen); track from: Magic [Columbia; Publisher: Bruce Springsteen]

Rock Album

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Foo Fighters [Roswell/RCA Records]

Best Alternative Music Album

Icky Thump The White Stripes [Third Man/ Warner Bros.]

Female R&B Vocal Performance

No One Alicia Keys [J Records/MBK Entertainment]

Male R&B Vocal Performance

Future Baby Mama Prince; track from: Planet Earth [Columbia/NPG Records]

R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

Disrespectful Chaka Khan featuring Mary J. Blige; track from: Funk This [Burgundy/ Sony/BMG]

Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

In My Songs Gerald Levert; track from: In My Songs [Atlantic]

Urban/Alternative Performance

Daydreamin' Lupe Fiasco featuring Jill Scott; track from: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor [1st & 15th/Atlantic]

R&B Song

No One Dirty Harry, Kerry Brothers & Alicia Keys, songwriters (Alicia Keys); [J Records/ MBK Entertainment; publishers: Lellow Productions/EMI April Music, Book of Daniel Music/EMI Music Publishing, D. Harry Prods.]

R&B Album

Funk This Chaka Khan [Burgundy Records]

Contemporary R&B Album

Because of You Ne-Yo [Def Jam Recordings]

Rap Solo Performance

Stronger Kanye West; track from: Graduation [Roc-A-Fella Records]

Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group

Southside Common featuring Kanye West; track from: Finding Forever [Geffen]

Rap/Sung Collaboration

Umbrella Rihanna featuring Jay-Z; track from: Good Girl Gone Bad [Def Jam Recordings]

Rap Song

Good Life A. Davis, F. Najm & K. West, songwriters (J. Ingram & Q. Jones, songwriters); (Kanye West featuring T-Pain); track from: Graduation [Roc-A-Fella; publishers: Very Good Beats/Hip Hop Since 1978, Warner-Tamerlane Punlishing, Yellow Brick Road Music/Eiseman Music]

Rap Album

Graduation Kanye West [Roc-A-Fella Records]

Female Country Vocal Performance

Before He Cheats Carrie Underwood; track from: Some Hearts [19 Recordings/Arista Nashville]

Male Country Vocal Performance

Stupid Boy Keith Urban; track from: Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing [Capitol Records Nashville]

Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

How Long Eagles [Eagles Recording Co. II]

Country Collaboration With Vocals

Lost Highway Willie Nelson & Ray Price; track from: Last of the Breed [Lost Highway Records]

Country Instrumental Performance

Throttleneck Brad Paisley; track from: 5th Gear [Arista Nashville]

Country Song

Before He Cheats Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood); track from: Some Hearts [19 Recordings/Arista Nashville; publishers: That Little House Music, Mighty Underdog Music/Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing]

Country Album

These Days Vince Gill [MCA Nashville]

Bluegrass Album

The Bluegrass Diaries Jim Lauderdale [Yep Roc Records]

New Age Album

Crestone Paul Winter Consort [Living Music]

Contemporary Jazz Album

River: The Joni Letters Herbie Hancock [Verve]

Jazz Vocal Album

Avant Gershwin Patti Austin [Rendezvous Entertainment]

Jazz Instrumental Solo

Anagram Michael Brecker, soloist; track from: Pilgrimage [Heads Up International]

Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

Pilgrimage Michael Brecker [Heads Up International]

Large Jazz Ensemble Album

A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) Terence Blanchard [Blue Note]

Latin Jazz Album

Funk Tango Paquito D'Rivera Quintet [Paquito Records]

Gospel Performance

Blessed & Highly Favored The Clark Sisters; track from: Live — One Last Time [EMI Gospel]

Never Gonna Break My Faith Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige (featuring the Harlem Boys Choir); track from: Bobby: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Island Def Jam]

Gospel Song

Blessed & Highly Favored Karen Clark-Sheard, songwriter (The Clark Sisters); track from: Live — One Last Time [EMI Gospel; publisher: K. Sheard's Melody]

Rock Or Rap Gospel Album

Before the Daylight's Shot Ashley Cleveland [204 Records]

Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album

A Deeper Level Israel and New Breed [Integrity Music]

Southern, Country Or Bluegrass Gospel Album

Salt of the Earth Ricky Skaggs & the Whites [Skaggs Family Records]

Traditional Gospel Album

Live — One Last Time The Clark Sisters [EMI Gospel]

Contemporary R&B Gospel Album

Free to Worship Fred Hammond [Verity]

Latin Pop Album

El Tren de Los Momentos Alejandro Sanz [Warner Music Latina]

Latin Rock Or Alternative Album

No Hay Espacio Black:Guayaba [Machete Music]

Latin Urban Album

Residente O Visitante Calle 13 [Norte]

Tropical Latin Album

La Llave de Mi Corazon Juan Luis Guerra [EMI Televisa]

Mexican/Mexican-American Album

100% Mexicano Pepe Aguilar [EMI Televisa]

Tejano Album

Before the Next Teardrop Falls Little Joe & La Familia [TDI Records]

Norteno Album

Detalles Y Emociones Los Tigres del Norte [Fonovisa Records]

Banda Album

Te Va a Gustar El Chapo [Disa]

Traditional Blues Album

Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas Henry James Townsend, Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, Robert Lockwood Jr. & David "Honeyboy" Edwards [The Blue Shoe Project]

Contemporary Blues Album

The Road to Escondido JJ Cale & Eric Clapton [Reprise Records/Warner Music Group]

Traditional Folk Album

Dirt Farmer Levon Helm [Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard Records]

Contemporary Folk/ Americana Album

Washington Square Serenade Steve Earle [New West Records]

Native American Music Album

Totemic Flute Chants Johnny Whitehorse [Silver Wave Records]

Hawaiian Music Album

Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar various artists; Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku Jr., Paul Konwiser & Wayne Wong, producers [Daniel Ho Creations]

Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album

Live! Worldwide Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience [AIM Trading Group P/L]

Reggae Album

Mind Control Stephen M