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Monday, February 20, 2006

2005 Grammys: Grammy goodness

February 16, 2005

James Brown was getting down with Usher. Steven Tyler played the maracas. And Lynyrd Skynyrd brought down the house.

In short, this year’s Grammy show was the best I recall in recent years. And there wasn’t a wardrobe malfunction in sight. In past years, the show leaned primarily toward live hip-hop and rap performances. Not this year. From pop princess Joss Stone, to country cowboy Tim McGraw, to jazzy lady Queen Latifah, there was something for everyone.

  • Funniest moment: The legendary, and blind, Stevie Wonder pretending to read the envelope containing the Best Song winner.
  • Strangest categories: Grammys were awarded for best Polka Album and best Hawaiian Music Album. Even stranger, Godfather actor Andy Garcia won for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album. I swear on a horse head, I’m not making this up.
  • If not an Emmy, a Grammy will do: Scrubs actor Zach Braff won a Grammy for Compilation Soundtrack Album for his movie Garden State. Who knew there was a Grammy category for simply compiling a CD of various artists? I think I’ll nominate myself next year. I make a mean mix CD.
  • Most overhyped moment: The much-anticipated debut of couple Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, who sang a Spanish love song. Despite four years of Spanish, the only word I managed to understand was “aqui” or “here. Admittedly, I stopped listening after the initial 30 seconds.
  • Best preshow flub: Joan Rivers calling MC Hammer MJ Hammer, twice.
  • Best preshow awkwardness: Interviewer/comedian Kathie Griffin asking fluff questions to the terribly serious musicians. Some of her funniest inquiries: Does the band Hoobastank really stink? Who will be the next Savage Garden? If you don’t win tonight, who will you fire?
  • Best acceptance speech: Give it up for Kentucky girl Loretta Lynn. She was spunky, genuine and delightful accepting her Grammy for Best Country Album. She managed to gush to Faith Hill about how much she loved Tim McGraw one second, and then endearingly order her producer, White Stripe’s Jack White, to thank the nice people the next. Long live Loretta!
  • Crazy competitors: I’m not sure what’s wackier, Ronnie Milsap in the Traditonal Pop Vocal Album category with Rod Stewart, or Triumph The Insult Comic Dog up against Jon Stewart for best Comedy Album. Stewart bested the canine, so let’s hope he covers his tires the next few days.
  • Blame the bovine: Beach boy crooner Brian Wilson won a Grammy for, well, not singing. He claimed Best Rock Instrumental Performance for Mrs. O'Leary's Cow. That cow was blamed for the great Chicago fire. Now, it’s credited with Wilson’s first Grammy win. Hmm. What’s next, Tupac’s murder?
  • Best solo performance: When Alicia Keys sits down at the piano, magic happens. Her soulful songs are a reminder that great music doesn’t come from a background track.
  • Best group performance: The Southern Rock tribute featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gretchen Wilson and Keith Urban. They deserved that standing ovation. It was Freebird after all.
  • Most confusing moment: Janet Reno on the Grammy green carpet. For a minute I thought I was watching C-SPAN, but no. Reno was attending the show to support her nephew for his nomination, something to do with setting American history lessons to music. Frankly, I was too stunned to listen to the details. But I’d have given anything for a shot of Reno at the show shaking her booty to the Black Eyed Peas.
  • Song I can’t forget, but want to: It took two months to get If I Were A Rich Man out of my head, after seeing the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Then, Gwen Stefani and Eve did their rap version of it at the show, and once again I’m singing “daidle deedle daidle dum” morning, noon and night. Thanks ladies.

    Originally published 2/16/05 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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