With most of this year’s Grammy Awards handed out before the show even started, the early winners list included Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and more.
(Check out the list of 2008 Grammy Award winners right here.)
Winehouse and Keys were big winners early, taking Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “No One,” respectively. Kanye landed a pair of victories before the televised ceremony started, grabbing Best Rap Solo Performance for the hit single “Stronger” and Best Rap Song for “Good Life.” Maroon 5, meanwhile, won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “Makes Me Wonder.” The win meant that even though Plain White T’s singer Tom Higgenson brought the inspiration for the band’s hit “Hey There Delilah” to the show with him, he wasn’t going to be able to wave a Grammy in her face at the end of the night. Amy Winehouse also struck early pay dirt with a Best Pop Vocal Album win for Back to Black and a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance victory for “Rehab.”
Former and once-again Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant won Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for his song “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)” with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss. Justin Timberlake scored a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “What Goes Around … Comes Around” and Best Dance Recording for “LoveStoned/ I Think She Knows” and the Beastie Boys beat out a galaxy of jazz stars for the Best Pop Instrumental Album for The Mix-Up, while former “American Idol” Carrie Underwood won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Before He Cheats,” though former “Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry’s eponymous band was 0-3 in the early running.
Other early wins included Best Electronic/Dance Album for the Chemical Brothers’ We Are the Night, and Best Rock Song and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for Bruce Springsteen’s “Radio Nowhere,” with the latter denying Beck the chance to be the first artist to win a Grammy for an online-only single. The White Stripes struck gold with “Icky Thump,” which won for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals and Best Alternative Music Album, the Foo Fighters won Best Hard Rock Performance for “The Pretender,” and Slayer took Best Metal Performance for “Final Six.”
A pair of R&B legends won awards as well, with Prince nabbing the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Future Baby Mama” and Chaka Khan taking Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “Disrespectful” (featuring Mary J. Blige); Khan also won Best R&B Album for Funk This, which denied buzzed-about singer Ledisi one of her two potential Grammys. Gerald Levert, who passed away in late 2006, won Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for his tune “In My Songs.” Lupe Fiasco made his pal Kanye proud with a Best Urban/Alternative Performance for “Daydreamin’ ” from his 2006 debut, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor.
Other early winners included Keys for Best R&B Song (“No One”), Ne-Yo for Best Contemporary R&B Album (Because of You) and Common for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (“Southside”). Mark Ronson was awarded the Producer of the Year prize for his work on albums by Winehouse, Lily Allen and his own solo album, while controversial director Tony Kaye won Best Short Form Music Video for his stark, star-filled video for the song “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by the late Johnny Cash.
In other categories, the “Dreamgirls” track “Love You I Do” was named Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, while composer Michael Giacchino’s musical accompaniment to “Ratatouille” picked up Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
And in a grudge match worthy of the presidential primary season, Senator Barack Obama bested former President Bill Clinton — as well as Maya Angelou and another former president, Jimmy Carter — in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio-book version of his book “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming The American Dream.”
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[This story was originally published at 8:10 pm E.T. on 2.10.2008]