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Alicia Keys
Who would have ever believed that bluegrass would be the genre of choice at the Grammy Awards? But alas, this was the case at the 45th annual ceremony at Los Angeles' Staples Center. The musical VIP (and oddity) of the night, the hay and harmonica-littered soundtrack for the otherwise forgettable film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," pulled off nothing short of a miracle, staging the biggest upset of the night when it won six awards, including the most coveted, Album of the Year.

"We are very, very surprised," said one of the album's featured artists, Emmylou Harris. Save for perhaps the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which runs the Grammys, pretty much everybody else was too.

   
Snatching the honors out of the white-knuckled fists of highly favored nominees such as Outkast and U2, the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' interpretation of Homer's "The Odyssey" became only the third movie disc in Grammy history to win Album of the Year, joining the soundtracks to the '70s disco hit "Saturday Night Fever" and 1992's "The Bodyguard."

Then there was Alicia Keys. And Alicia Keys. And then, you guessed it, Alicia Keys again. The proverbial belle of the Grammy ball, this famously cornrowed R&B rookie went five for six on the golden gramophones, besting fellow newbie India.Arie, who didn't win in any of the seven categories for which she was nominated. Keys' omnipresent tune "Fallin' " earned her Song of the Year and Best R&B Song honors, among others.

Not too surprisingly, Outkast represented for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group category with their organ-assisted ode to "Ms. Jackson," and won the Best Rap Album award for Stankonia. English chaps Coldplay walked away with a Best Alternative Music Album statute for their debut, Parachutes.

Performance-wise, aside from big "Brother" 's foot-stomping turnout and U2's show-opening performance of Record of the Year "Walk On" (the Irish ambassadors took home four shiny statuettes out of a possible eight), it was definitely ladies' night at the big show.

Although Mary J. Blige kicked things off on a rather somber note with her anguished yet spirited performance of "No More Drama," the energy soon picked up. For one of the evening's most memorable performances, Pink, Mya, Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera took the stage in colorful come-hither lingerie to belt out their "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack hit, the remake of the 1974 classic, "Lady Marmalade." Toward the end of the act however, 'Ms. Marmalade' herself, Patti LaBelle, joined in and stole the show. It was OK though — the foursome still walked away with a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals, beating (ironically) Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin, Brian McKnight and Justin Timberlake, and Shaggy and RikRok, to name a few.

Destiny's Child and famed Latin singer Alejandro Sanz brought the mercury up a few more notches with a performance of the spicy, mostly Spanish-sung "Quisiera Ser," and newcomer Nelly Furtado had her way with the mic some time later, warbling her tune "I'm Like a Bird," which snagged Best Female Pop Vocal Performance honors.

And just to prove to the audience that she harbored no ill will about leaving the show Grammy-less, India.Arie helped wind the evening down, standing radiantly among flowers and tapestries, delivering an extra Zen-like rendition of her inspirational young woman's anthem, "Video." Loser schmooser.

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


For more on Alicia Keys, Outkast, Mary J. Blige, and Destiny's Child, check out the MTV News Archive >>






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