It proved to be a long Grammy night for artists who went into the evening with a lot of nominations as Puff Daddy, Paula Cole and Babyface saw their combined 22 nominations result in only four awards.
Nominated for seven honors, Puffy wound up with two awards, one for Best Rap Album for "No Way Out" and another for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "I'll Be Missing You." Meanwhile, Babyface's eight nominations lead to one award for producer of the year. Cole was only able to convert one of her seven nominations into a statuette as she wound up walking away with the awards for Best New Artist.
Instead the night belonged to Bob Dylan and R. Kelly, who turned out to be the evening's top winners with three awards apiece.
Dylan's "Time Out Of Mind" earned the legendary performer nods for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Folk Album, while he also won Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for "Cold Irons Bound."
R. Kelly managed to turn his "Space Jam"
hit "I Believe I Can Fly" into a multiple Grammy score as he walked off with Best R&B Song, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television (for a list of the night's winners, see "Bob Dylan, Fiona Apple, Chemical Brothers, Radiohead, Tool On List Of Grammy Winners").
In the night's top category, Record of the Year, honors went to Shawn Colvin's "Sunny Came Home," which also earned the title of Song of the Year.
Of course, the true measure of any awards ceremony seems to be how many surprises pop up, and Wednesday night boasted its share. Early in the evening, Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard rushed the podium, pre-empting a Shawn Colvin acceptance speech so that he could rant about his group, and his new clothes (see Wu-Tang's O.D.B. Bumrushes Grammy Podium"). The move seemed to immediately overshadow the impromptu
performance of Wyclef Jean's "Gone 'Til November" that he and Erykah Badu had performed before handing out the award.
O.D.B. wasn't the only uninvited guest in stage Wednesday night. While Bob Dylan performed his song "Love Sick", a man took the stage and offered some sort of interpretive dance behind the performer while shirtless with the words "Soy Bomb" painted on his chest.
Those moves made an earlier moment, when a moving piece of the stage set dinged songstress and presenter Vanessa Williams, seem rather tame.
The awards announcements also brought a few mild surprises if not flat out shockers. Jamiroquai knocked off heavy duty competition like the Rolling Stones, Hanson, Fleetwood Mac and No Doubt to pick up Best Pop Performance by a Group. Later, a duet featuring John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison toppled tracks by Barbara Streisand with Celine Dion and Babyface with Stevie Wonder for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. And James Taylor's Best Pop Album victory over Cole, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, Jamiroquai and Fleetwood Mac turned a number of heads as well.
Many of those gracing Grammys' stage this year took the time to thank some rather unlikely muses to their art. Solo rap winner Will Smith, who took the stage with sidekick DJ Jazzy Jeff, called Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. "prophets" when picking up his statuette. Meanwhile, R&B album winner Erykah Badu told onlookers "I represent artists often unheard" and went on to thank cite "my mama, my son, George Clinton, Stevie Wonder" as the people who made her work possible. And when picking up her award for Best New Artist, Paula Cole chose to thank inspiration Al Green, but not Peter Gabriel, the artist who Cole started with as a back-up singer.
Perhaps most surprisingly of all is the fact that most of the evening's performers seemed to actually be singing instead of lip-synching, but despite all the performers who were invited to the stage, the evening may be best remembered for those who weren't... but came anyway.
For more Grammy news, check out the MTV News Grammy Archive.