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Newcomer Norah Jones Dominates Grammy Awards Print E-mail
Monday, 24 February 2003
The sultry jazz sound of newcomer Norah Jones seduced the music industry on its biggest night, beating out crowd favorite Bruce Springsteen as the Grammy Awards returned to his home turf.

Jones earned five Grammys on Sunday, including album and record of the year, and her disc was responsible for eight trophies overall. A disc she thought would appeal only to jazz purists has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and has become the talk of the music business.

"I feel really blessed and really lucky to have had the year I had," said the 23-year-old, who was raised in Texas.

Springsteen's tribute to the Sept. 11 terror victims, "The Rising," and the homespun sound of the Dixie Chicks won three awards each. Double Grammy winners included Eminem, Coldplay, India.Arie, Nelly and blues legend B.B. King. Eminem won the award for best rap album, the third time he's won in the category.

Jones, who emerged last year after signing with the tiny Blue Note label, also won for best female pop vocal, best new artist and best pop album. The song, "Don't Know Why" won song of the year for songwriter Jesse Harris. The producer and engineer of her album also accepted trophies.

"It's unbelievable," country singer Faith Hill said of Jones' album, which she said hasn't left her CD players at home and in her car. "Everything's good about it the songwriting, the mood that it puts me in when I hear the record. She's just an amazing talent."

"She sings the great American songbook, which a lot of artists ignore, but it's starting to happen, the turnaround," said Tony Bennett, who won his own Grammy for traditional pop vocal album.

Even rap artists the Roots have a soft spot for Jones. "I love it," said singer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson. "I'm trying to get rid of her bass player boyfriend."

The major awards had been widely expected to be a duel between Springsteen and Jones, the daughter of New York concert producer Sue Jones and Indian musician Ravi Shankar. Springsteen's three trophies were in rock 'n' roll categories, but otherwise Grammy voters favored a woman who wasn't born when he first sang "Born to Run."

Even "Don't Know Why" songwriter Harris seemed surprised to hear his name called after a rousing live version of "The Rising."

"I was totally shocked," he admitted. "I thought Bruce was going to win, for certain."

Poor Bruce: Even actor Dustin Hoffman flubbed his name, calling him "Bruce Springstreet."

Although Alan Jackson won best country song for his Sept. 11 tribute, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," the Dixie Chicks dominated the country awards for a low-key album they thought might not even be released.

Later, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines joked about a change in direction.

"We think we'll get with Dr. Dre and see what comes out," she said.

Instead of offering an acceptance speech when he won best rap album, Eminem rattled off a list of rappers who had inspired him, including Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Tupac Shakur and his producer, Dr. Dre.

"Thank you, because I learned from all of you," he said.

Soul singer India Arie, who went 0-for-7 with her nominations at last year's ceremony, broke through with her album "Voyage to India" being named best R&B album. But she complained that none of the rhythm 'n' blues trophies were distributed during the televised part of the show.

All but eleven of the awards were given out before cameras were turned on, with the three-and-a-half hour show devoted to some stirring musical collaborations: a reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel on "The Sound of Silence," Eminem backed by the Roots and Coldplay paired with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Springsteen joined Elvis Costello, Little Steven Van Zandt, The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and No Doubt's Tony Kanal for a rousing tribute to Joe Strummer, a version of the Clash's "London Calling."

The night also featured a tribute to the late Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb, who died last month, by brothers Barry and Robin. 'N Sync sang a medley of the band's hits.

Despite concern about anti-war protests, the few mentions of the possible conflict with Iraq were muted. Sheryl Crow had "NO WAR" written on her guitar strap, but her hair usually covered the "NO."

Folk artist John Mayer scored an upset when his song, "Your Body is a Wonderland," beat James Taylor and Elton John for best male pop vocal performance.

"This is very, very fast," he said, "and I promise to catch up."

Veteran artists added to their trophy cases. Bluesman King's two awards gave him a total of thirteen, while Johnny Cash won his eleventh and Bennett his tenth.

The disc "Vaughn Williams: A Sea Symphony" garnered three awards, including best classical album.

Some unheralded musicians also got their due, including two awards for the Funk Brothers, the house band for Motown Records, focus of the recent documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," and veteran soul singer Solomon Burke. He won his first Grammy.

"It took me 40 years to get up these steps," Burke said.

Other Grammy Winners include:

• Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
"Hey Baby"-No Doubt

• Best Male Rap Solo Performance
"Hot In Herre"-Nelly

• Best Female Rap Solo Performance
"Scream a.k.a. Itchin'"-Missy Elliott

• Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring
Howard Shore, composer (Howard Shore)

Associated Press Newswire

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