Triumphant U2 steal Carey's Grammys glory

At last night's Grammy awards Mariah Carey completed her comeback, winning three gongs at the US music industry's biggest bash of the year. But the big winners were veteran rockers-turned alternative United Nations, U2. The Irish rock group won five Grammys, including best rock album and song of the year.

At last night's Grammy awards Mariah Carey completed her comeback, winning three gongs at the US music industry's biggest bash of the year. But the big winners were veteran rockers-turned alternative United Nations, U2. The Irish rock group won five Grammys, including best rock album and song of the year.

"If you think this is going to go to our head, it's too late," the group's frontman, Bono, said as he received the Grammy for song of the year.

The rapper-producer Kanye West also emerged triumphant on the night, winning three Grammys, including best rap album and best rap song.

Although Carey lost in the best song and best record categories, she won the best contemporary R&B album award for The Emancipation of Mimi.

In a sign of the cultural tenor of the times, American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson won two Grammys, including best pop vocal album. "I don't know what's going on but thank you Jesus and God and everyone who's supported me," she said as she accepted her second award.

British hopes were satisfied in the dance music categories, where the Chemical Brothers picked up awards for best dance recording and best electronic/dance album. Less self-consciously modern but equally relevant, Monty Python's Spamalot won the Grammy for best musical show album, while the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis won the best opera Grammy for its recording of Verdi's Falstaff.

Probably the most notable classical award of the night went to the French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, who picked up his 26th Grammy for best small ensemble performance. Only two people have won more Grammys than Boulez: Georg Solti and Quincy Jones.

Another artist who habitually wins a Grammy every year did not disappoint: Jimmy Sturr took the best polka Grammy for the album Shake Rattle and Polka! His group has won 15 of the 20 polka Grammys ever awarded.

In the week that Barry Manilow went to the top of the US album charts, the Grammys recognised the late career rejuvenation of other veteran artists. Les Paul, 90, and ill in hospital, received awards for rock instrumental and pop instrumental.

The composer and band leader Burt Bacharach won the best pop instrumental album Grammy. Speaking after he had received his award, Bacharach injected a rare political note into the proceedings. "I've never seen times like we've got right now," he said. "I never like to be lied to by a girlfriend or agent, and certainly not the president of the United States. I'm very concerned, as we all should be. That's why the album is called At This Time."

Oddball winners included the film director Martin Scorsese. Yet to win a best director Oscar, Scorsese took the Grammy for best long-form music video for his Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home.

The best new artist of American politics, Democratic Senator Barack Obama, won the best spoken word album Grammy for his reading of Dreams From My Father. He joins Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev as a political Grammy winner.

The ceremony, fittingly, was kicked off by a group of two-dimensional musicians, Gorillaz, the virtual cartoon band fronted by Damon Albarn. They were soon joined by the three-dimensional Madonna, who performed her latest single while sporting an Olivia Newton John hairdo and purple spangly leotard with matching corset.

But the evening's live performances, which formed the bulk of the show, relegating the distribution of awards to an aside, were dominated by two pop legends. One hadn't performed in public since 1993, while the other is seldom off a television screen.

Paul McCartney, who was nominated for album of the year, stormed the cavernous Staples Center in Los Angeles with a stirring rendition of the Beatles' Helter Skelter.

The reclusive Sly Stone provided the highlight of the night, however. Resplendent in silver coat and peroxide Mohican, the singer took the stage toward the end of a multiple-artist tribute to Sly and the Family Stone to perform I want to Take You Higher.

Major Grammy awards in short

Album of the Year
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, U2

Record of the Year
Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Green Day

Song of the Year
Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own, U2

New Artist
John Legend

Rap Album
Late Registration, Kanye West

Rock Album
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, U2

Country Album
Lonely Runs Both Ways, Alison Krauss and Union Station

Pop Vocal Album
Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson

R&B Album
Get Lifted, John Legend


Dan Glaister in Los Angeles

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
U2 eclipse Mariah Carey at Grammys
The Grammys were supposed to be dominated by Mariah Carey, but the pop diva lost out to Irish rock veterans U2, who won five awards including best rock album for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb at the US music industry's biggest awards bash of the year.

Dan Glaister in Los Angeles

10, Feb, 2006 @9:33 AM

Other pop, world and jazz CD releases

Mariah Carey | Blood Red Shoes | New Orleans Funk Vol 2 | Dawn Kinnard | In the Name of Love, Africa Celebrates U2 | Deirdre Cartwright Group

12, Apr, 2008 @11:10 PM

Article image
Mariah Carey's 30 greatest singles – ranked!
With All I Want for Christmas Is You on the cusp of claiming the UK No 1 for the first time in 26 years, what better time to celebrate one of the great R&B repertoires?

Alexis Petridis

03, Dec, 2020 @12:30 PM

Article image
Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You sells its millionth copy

The perennial Christmas classic by Mariah Carey has sold its millionth copy since first going on sale in 1994

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

20, Dec, 2013 @9:03 AM

Article image
U2 win five Grammys
Irish rock band U2 swept the board at this year's Grammy awards, scooping five gongs including album of the year for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Press Association

09, Feb, 2006 @11:26 AM

Article image
Heart Shaped Music Box? Mariah Carey reveals secret 90s grunge project
R&B legend tells of channelling 90s singers – ‘angry, angsty, and messy, with old shoes’ for alt-rock album with the band Chick

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

28, Sep, 2020 @9:18 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey sued by sister Alison for 'emotional distress' arising from memoir
Alison Carey describes Mariah as ‘heartless, vicious’ in lawsuit following pop star’s publication of The Meaning of Mariah Carey in 2020

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

03, Feb, 2021 @10:27 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey's twin toddlers to appear on new album
Beyonce may have started the trend by sampling baby Blue, but now Carey’s two children will sing on a track featured on The Art of Letting Go, her first original album in five years

Sean Michaels

18, Feb, 2014 @9:14 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey joins American Idol judging panel
Singer is first confirmed judge on US TV series since the departure of Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler

Sean Michaels

24, Jul, 2012 @8:51 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey 'embarrassed' over Gaddafi concert
Singer 'feels horrible' about performing for Libyan leader's family and pledges to raise money for human rights with future single

Sean Michaels

04, Mar, 2011 @10:18 AM