Carlos Santana looked like the coolest guy in the building as he and Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 played their Grammy-winning hit "Smooth" in the closing moments of the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards.
The performance was followed by Santana's namesake band winning the Album of the Year award for Supernatural, the most successful LP of the group's 30-year history. It was the disc's eighth win of the evening. With a songwriting award for the track "Smooth," the album generated nine wins in all - beating pop star Michael Jackson's eight trophies in 1983 for the album Thriller.
Santana, wearing shades and a black fedora, smiled frequently and looked unaffected by anything around him as he blazed through the song's incendiary solos. At one point, he knelt down and bounced slightly as he sped through the rapid-fire notes of the final solo.
Thomas looked intense, almost angry, as he recited the
song's romantic lyrics. He wore a black T-shirt and
leather pants, a recurrent fashion statement
throughout the night. Santana and Thomas then ended
what appeared to be a labor of love by kissing at
Clive Davis, the Arista chairman who co-produced
Supernatural, spread the love in his remarks.
"This has so much more significance than just the
album of the year," said a smiling Davis, dressed
conservatively in a black and gray tuxedo. "You're an
inspiration to every young musician on the planet."
Santana thanked his family and acknowledged one of his
inspirations, jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, as he
left the podium.
Supernatural is the #1 album on the
Billboard 200 albums chart this week. The disc
has sold more than 6 million copies.
Bob Dylan and Lauryn Hill presented the award, the
evening's final trophy. Hill, dressed in green,
fidgeted as she stood next to folk hero Dylan, who
wore navy blue.
Nearly a half-hour earlier, piano-rock veteran Elton
John got his due, receiving the Grammy Legend Award.
Fellow piano man Billy Joel introduced him, saying
that John served as an inspiration as the two became
successful in the 1970s.
John then performed a version of his song
"Philadelphia Freedom" (
excerpt). He was joined by the
Backstreet Boys, who sang passionate harmony vocals.
John, wearing purple-tinted sunglasses, looked
laid-back as he rendered the lyrics of songwriting
partner Bernie Taupin. He wore a black-sequined
jacket, another fashion favorite for the event, and
received a standing ovation when finished.