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Lauryn Hill
   
When Grammy Awards were handed out in 1999, there were no stage-storming rappers, no unscripted outbursts, no soy bombs to be found anywhere. Instead, viewers got a lot of Madonna and Lauryn Hill.

Hill's mainstream coming-out party was a big one, as she was named the year's Best New Artist and her "Doo Wop (That Thing)" nabbed honors for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, meanwhile, won for Album of the Year and Best R&B Album.

Even though she only won half of the awards she was nominated for, Hill's five wins set a new watermark for female recording artists, breaking Carole King's previous record of four wins for Tapestry back in 1971.

"I feel crazy," Hill said. "I'm kind of in a zone right now. I feel very blessed. An album that I poured my heart and soul into, [and then] to see people receive it like this is a huge reward. I'm very thankful."

If Madonna was indeed the "Susan Lucci of the Grammys," she shed the title at the 41st annual Grammy Awards as her Ray of Light album grabbed Best Pop Album honors, while the title track earned her awards for Best Short Form Music Video and Best Dance Recording.

"I've been in the music business 16 years," Madonna, sporting a geisha-esque look that year, said. "This is my first Grammy ... but it was worth the wait and all that."

The award announcements themselves brought few shockers, with the biggest surprise coming when Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner upset favorite Jerry Seinfeld in the Best Spoken Comedy Album category. So predictable were the proceedings that Will Smith returned to the Grammy stage again for his annual triumph in the Best Solo Rap Performance category, and once again, it was the only televised rap award.

Perhaps with this trend in mind, Jay-Z, who was nominated in three Grammy categories, boycotted the ceremony, citing what he saw as the Grammys' continuing disrespect of hip-hop.

"I am boycotting the Grammys because too many major rap artists continue to be overlooked," the rapper wrote in a statement announcing the move.

Missy Elliott weighed in on the issue as well.

"I think we get a lot more respect then we got years ago from the Grammys, period," she said. "So I think it's most definitely gonna change as the years go on."

As for live performances, Latin pop star Ricky Martin scored big with "La Copa De La Vida," the official song of the 1998 World Cup competition. His performance set the house on fire, so much so that many say that that was the moment Martin became a superstar in the U.S.

After later earning a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance for "Vuelve," Martin was bum-rushed in the backstage press area by Madonna, who ran up and kissed the singer twice, then ran off saying, "I just wanted to congratulate you on your win."

Madonna later returned to apologize for barging in on Martin, and explained that she "just had to do it because he was so cute."

The Beastie Boys furthered their move from b-boys to mature musical heavyweights with multiple awards as their "Intergalactic" picked up the award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, and their album Hello Nasty was named Best Alternative Music Performance.

For more Grammy news, check out the MTV News Grammy Archive.


For more on Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, Ricky Martin, and Beastie Boys, check out the MTV News Archive >>






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