LOS ANGELES — As the Grammy Awards progressed on Sunday night, one man was making headlines of his own backstage: the Time's Morris Day.
The frontman/lothario, who duetted with Rihanna early in the show, said of the singer: "I think she's a sexy young lady. I have kids as old as her. ... But I enjoyed it. That did not stop me from noticing."
He had a less flattering — although sympathetic — comment about her onstage pouting: "When the groove hits you, you get ugly for a minute. It's like you broke wind."
Since the Time are noted for their cool ("Cool" is also the name of one of their best songs), he talked about how some of today's artists measure up.
"I don't see Kanye as being cool — very talented, but not cool."
Chris Brown? "He's very hyper, but talented. Give him about 10 years and we'll see. There are some cool people out there. I think Snoop is cool. Puffy's cool. It's embodiment — it's gotta be in you. I'm so cool that even when I'm sweating, it's a cold sweat."
After noting how impressed he was with his own group's performance, Day continued: "I don't know if you were able to watch [our set] because you were too busy eating sandwiches and potato chips, but we had a good time," he told reporters with a laugh. "I still do the dance moves every day, I just happened to do it on the Grammy stage tonight."
When asked if he spoke with longtime friend and foil Prince backstage, Day answered, "I asked him, 'How's the family?' ... He didn't say nothing." (Day and Prince are old friends and rivals — Day split from Prince's camp not long after the blockbuster success of 1984's "Purple Rain," but reunited for 1990's "Graffiti Bridge" and the Time have opened for Prince at several shows in recent years.)
Asked if he was going to kick it with Prince backstage, he replied: "Am I interested in kicking him backstage?"
Day also said the Time have a new album done and plan to tour. "That was fun. Where's the sandwich boxes?" he said before leaving the media room.
T-Pain, who wore an outrageous top hat and denim suit, had kinder words for West, with whom he shared the Best Rap Song award for "Good Life."
"I love his arrogance," he said. "Couple more of these, I'll be like that too."
T-Pain said he's been working with "Jamie Foxx, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, more Britney Spears, more Chris Brown. The person I have the most fun with is Chris Brown. I stole some dance moves from him. Him and Omarion — I've been stealing moves since I met them."
Vince Gill made sure his lighthearted comment onstage when accepting his Grammy from Ringo Starr (noting that he'd just gotten handed an award from a Beatle, and could Kanye say that?) wasn't misunderstood.
"He has said something about how he was gonna win Album of the Year later, and if not him, then Amy Winehouse was most deserving and not me or the Foo Fighters," Gill said. "So I decided to have a little fun. ... He's passionate, he sticks his neck out, and I have no ill will at all. I just saw him out of the corner of my eye when I was up there, and I decided I had to do it. My heart goes out to him, because he lost his mother, and I know what that's like, because I lost my father a few years back. He took a shot at Gretchen Wilson when he lost Best New Artist to her a few years ago, and so us rednecks stick together. He was laughing [when I said] it was some harmless fun."
Country singer Brad Paisley said he was told backstage that he was nominated 14 times without winning a Grammy.
"It's great," he said. "Fourteen more and I get my second [win]."
Paisley was informed that Jill Scott had just left the media center and told the reporters that she loved Brad's performance and hadn't heard of him before.
"I'm sure [she didn't know who I am]," he said, adding, "Who's Jill Scott?" He laughed and said he was joking, then said it was a big compliment: "Wow — coming from her ..."
Later in the one-on-one room, a classic moment occurred as Leslie Feist shimmied to Amy Winehouse's performance while scarfing down a slice of pizza.
"This is my award tonight," she said, holding up the slice. "I'm taking this home and putting it on my mantle: It's the award for 'Best loss of four Grammys by a Canadian girl ...' "
Earlier in the evening, on the red carpet, Ne-Yo was talking with Sway when his publicist announced that the singer's Because of You had won Best Contemporary R&B Album. Ne-Yo's mom was standing with him and they yelled with excitement.
"MTV, thank you!" he hollered. "Damn!"
Elsewhere on the carpet, Musiq gave Akon five, Young Dro told Ledisi he loves her music, and Ringo Starr was giving out hugs as Evanescence, Alicia Keys, Tank and Natasha Bedingfield made the rounds. In fact, it was hugs everywhere as Latin nominee Juanes hugged Tony Bennett, Bun B hugged Akon and Akon hugged and greeted Young Dro. Akon even let Sway try on his coat.
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