Winning in all five of the categories they were nominated in,
Plant and Krauss found their charm with their first collaborative effort, Raising Sand, which was named best contemporary folk/Americana album and overall album of the year. Nominees in the latter category included Coldplay, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo and Radiohead. Plant and Krauss' wins stemmed from individual tracks from the album -- best country collaboration with vocals ("Killing the Blues"), best pop collaboration with vocals ("Rich Woman") and overall record of the year (
In accepting the album of the year award, Krauss thanked a series of people involved with the album, including the musicians who joined them in the studio and on tour, before adding, "Especially Robert. There's never a dull moment."
Plant is well-aware of the status and reputation he achieved during the '60s and '70s as Led Zeppelin's frontman.
"I'm bewildered," he said in accepting the album of the year trophy. "In the old days, we would have called it selling out, but I think it's a good way to spend the Sunday. I'd like to thank Alison Krass for her kindness and patience, teaching me to sing in straight lines instead of doing all that twirly stuff. And
Burnett closed the acknowledgments by saying, "Thank you to Robert and Alison, I have to say, for coming to the studio with nothing on their minds except courage and love and freedom."
Both of Nettles' victories were for
In accepting the performance Grammy, Bush told the audience, "Thank you all for voting for us. We work really hard at recording records."
As excited as Nettles was over the win, she was obviously just as excited to be in the same room with Paul McCartney, who performed later in the evening.
"I told myself I was going to be cool because Paul McCartney and Coldplay are here, but I'm not cool," she said. "Freak out!" And after thanking a series of people, including her mother and Sugarland's record promotion rep and booking agent, Nettles added, "Paul McCartney!"
Also during the pre-telecast,
"There's no way this could possibly ever on this planet get old," she said in accepting the trophy. "I'd like to thank God for giving me a voice and for giving me a vehicle like American Idol and for blessing me so much throughout this short period of time that I've been able to do this. I've gotten so much love and support from so many people around me."
Noting that it was in 1947 when Monroe first recorded with the band consisting of
If it's truly an honor just to be nominated,
While country music is often overshadowed by other genres at the Grammy show, Sunday proved to be a strong night for country artists. Among the highlights was Sugarland's performance of "Stay," which segued into Nettles and Bush joining Adele to sing "Chasing Pavements." Underwood performed a powerhouse version of "Last Name" while Chesney opted for a more subtle tone for his hit, "Better as a Memory."
Although not nominated,
In the non-country performances, McCartney appeared to be in fine form as he played bass and hit the high vocal notes on "I Saw Her Standing There" while backed by a band that included Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl on drums.
Other performers included Coldplay, Katy Perry, Radiohead, Estelle with Kanye West and the Jonas Brothers with Stevie Wonder.
New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne called attention to the continuing plight of his hometown in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina during a performance that featured Robin Thicke and Crescent City pianist-composer Allen Toussaint. Joining them were trumpeter Terence Blanchard and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.