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Jones sweeps major Grammys

Newcomer wins album, song, record of year

By Todd Leopold
CNN

Norah Jones
Norah Jones swept the Grammys' major awards, including album, song and record of the year.

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Newcomer Norah Jones swept the Grammys, winning album of the year, record of the year and song of the year. CNN's Arthel Neville reports (February 24)
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(CNN) -- All Norah Jones asked was to "Come Away With Me." Now, she's coming away with Grammy.

Despite competition from Bruce Springsteen's September 11-inspired album "The Rising" and Eminem's best-selling "The Eminem Show," the 23-year-old newcomer swept the major Grammy Awards on Sunday night, winning album of the year for her record "Come Away With Me," record of the year and song of the year for "Don't Know Why" (an award that went to songwriter Jesse Harris) and best new artist.

Jones went five-for-five, also winning best pop vocal album and best female pop vocal performance. "Come Away With Me" producer Arif Mardin won producer of the year.

Overall, the album won eight awards. Jones tied Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys for most wins by a female artist in a single night.

"I just want to say in a time when this world is really weird, I feel really blessed and really lucky to have had the year I've had," Jones said as she accepted the album of the year prize, the last one presented on the show.

Springsteen, Eminem, and others receiving multiple nominations didn't come away empty-handed. (List of winners)

Springsteen won three awards: best male rock performance, best rock song and best rock album, all for "The Rising." However, in his 30-year career, the singer and guitarist has never won album of the year. "Born in the U.S.A.," his 1984 LP, lost to Lionel Richie's "Can't Slow Down."

The Dixie Chicks' album "Home," a return to the group's country roots, won best country album. The work was co-produced by member Natalie Maines' father, Lloyd, and Maines thanked her dad in her acceptance speech.

"I want to check the record books and see how many fathers and daughters have won Grammys together," she said, grabbing her father.

John Mayer won for best male pop vocal performance.

"This moment is kicking my ass," the young singer said as he accepted his award, admitting that his poise was deserting him.

A surprise reunion

The show's early buzz was created by Grammy winners from a generation ago -- Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel -- who opened the show with an acoustic performance of their '60s hit "The Sound of Silence."

The duo received a standing ovation.

Simon and Garfunkel
Simon and Garfunkel opened the show with "The Sound of Silence."

Simon and Garfunkel were introduced by Dustin Hoffman, the star of 1967's "The Graduate," which featured music by the pair. The duo were on hand to accept a lifetime achievement award. The Grammy performance is one of the few they've done together since their breakup in 1970.

Don't assume that they'll tour together, Simon said backstage, but "it's possible."

"We don't have any plans," he added.

"The Sound of Silence" is a song with political overtones, but the duo said they weren't looking to use the Grammy forum for that purpose.

"We're aware that it has resonance for the times, yes," Garfunkel said. "But we chose it because it was the first hit we ever had, and it put sort of a bookend on our career."

Other winners

Comments about the possible war with Iraq were almost nonexistent, despite concerns that many artists would turn the Grammys into a political statement. One exception was Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst.

"I think we're all in agreeance [sic]," he told the audience while introducing the award for best hard rock performance. "This war should go away as soon as possible."

Other references, including a Bonnie Raitt comment ("Let's build some peace") and a Gwen Stefani camouflage outfit, were more oblique.

Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks won a Grammy for best country album for "Home."

Because Grammys are awarded in 104 categories, many were given before the show. Coldplay won two, for alternative music album ("A Rush of Blood to the Head") and rock performance by a duo or group with vocal ("In My Place").

India.Arie, who was shut out in seven nominations last year, won two Grammys, for best R&B album and best urban/alternative performance. The boxed set "Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues: The World of Charley Patton" won three Grammys, for boxed or special limited edition package, historical album and album notes.

The Grammys paid tribute to several longtime music industry veterans, including Johnny Cash, who picked up a trophy for best male country performance; legendary reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, for best reggae album; and soul man Solomon Burke, who won contemporary blues album.

It was Burke's first Grammy.

"We got a Grammy, baby!" he said as he hoisted the golden gramophone.

The previously unheralded Funk Brothers, the house band for Motown Records and the focus of the recent documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," won two trophies, and critics' darlings The Flaming Lips also earned a Grammy, for best rock instrumental performance for the song, "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)."

Live performances

Springsteen, Costello
Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello sing "London Calling" during an all-star tribute to The Clash's Joe Strummer.

The highlight of the show's live performances was a scorching all-star workup of The Clash's "London Calling," a tribute to the late Joe Strummer. Guitarists Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Little Steven Van Zandt and the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, assisted by No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal, channeled the energy of "the only band that matters" into a blistering rendition of the apocalyptic classic.

Other live performances alternated between chaotically energetic -- No Doubt's "Underneath it All/Hella Good" medley -- and movingly simple -- James Taylor polishing his 1970 chestnut "Sweet Baby James." Coldplay performed with the backing of members of the New York Philharmonic, with Coldplay lead singer and pianist Chris Martin ecstatically lost in his music.

The Bee Gees were honored with an a capella tribute performed by 'N Sync. After 'N Sync left the stage, the Bee Gees' Robin and Barry Gibb accepted a special award and paid tribute to their late brother Maurice, whose son came up to join them on stage. Maurice Gibb passed away in January.

Besides Simon and Garfunkel and the Bee Gees, several artists received tributes from the recording academy, including soul belter Etta James, crooner Johnny Mathis, Latin percussion legend Tito Puente and the late bandleader Glenn Miller.

The show aired from Madison Square Garden in New York.


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