Santana's Supernatural continued to rake in the Grammys when its single "Smooth" won Song of the Year and Record of the Year, bringing the album's growing number of awards to eight.
Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, who co-wrote the song with Itaal Shur, embraced guitarist Carlos Santana as he approached the stage to pick up the Song of the Year trophy. Santana, who played guitar on the song, did not write the hit and did not come to the podium.
"I want to thank my band for loaning me out for a little while," said Thomas, wearing a black suit and blue shirt.
The award was presented by Phil Collins and longtime Grammy host Andy Williams. Williams hosted the show for 23 years, including the first seven.
"Back then, Madonna actually was a virgin," Williams remarked.
Minutes later, "Smooth" (RealAudio excerpt) won Record of the Year, following a performance by ex-Police frontman Sting. Santana did take the stage that time, thanking his band and Thomas, as well as Shur and Clive Davis, the embattled chairman of Arista Records, his label.
"God bless you and your family. You're very gracious," said the guitarist, wearing a derby and large sunglasses, with his black suit and blue shirt.
Earlier, a Backstreet Boys performance merged the pop-vocal past with their pop-vocal present. The enormously popular quintet, whose Millennium has sold more than 10 million copies, performed a medley of hits that included Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" and the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." They then crooned a version of their current hit, "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" (RealAudio excerpt). Three of the group members, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough, wore suits. Nick Carter donned a wrinkled red button-down shirt. And A.J. McLean went the loud route, with a black cowboy hat and a wide, open white collar.
Not to be upstaged, soul veteran Whitney Houston wore a sequined black cowboy hat and leather coat as she sang her hit "It's Not Right but It's Okay" (RealAudio excerpt). She won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the song moments later. Houston acknowledged husband and former New Edition member Bobby Brown, leaning out to him with gleaming eyes.
"And honey, this is for you, the original king of R&B. I love you," she said.
Clint Black was less flattering toward Shania Twain. Twain, who won the award for Best Female Country Performance, was a no-show.
"She's having her belly waxed," Black, himself a country music veteran, said. Twain is known for her skin-tight stage outfits that reveal her midriff. Her album Come on Over has been in the top half of the Billboard 200 albums chart for more than two years.
Faith Hill performed the song "Let Me Let Go," unaccompanied. The statuesque blonde singer sang under a spotlight, wearing a simple silver dress.
TLC changed from matching black outfits to matching red ones to perform a medley of their hits "Unpretty" and "No Scrubs." Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes wore her hair in ponytails that resembled curtain tassels.