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Morissette, Hootie score
big wins at Grammys

February 29, 1996
Web posted at: 12:30 a.m. EST

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- "This is not your father's Grammys," host Ellen Degeneres told the audience at the 38th annual awards, broadcast Wednesday on CBS. Indeed, the ceremony was distinctly hipper than in years past -- and at times censored by the network.

This year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded artists in 88 categories.

Canadian singer Alanis Morissette dominated the night, taking home four Grammys. Her blistering hit single "You Oughta Know" won Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, and her "Jagged Little Pill" was named Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.

Morissette careened onto the U.S. charts last year with the album, which sold more than 5 million copies in the United States.

CBS censored some of the hard-core lyrics of "You Oughta Know" during Morissette's live performance of the song.

"This does not represent that I am better than any of the other women nominated," Morissette said of her award. "It does represent that people connected with what we wrote."

The South Carolina quartet Hootie & the Blowfish, whose album "Cracked Rear View" is one of the biggest selling major-label debut releases in history, took the awards for Best New Artist and Best Pop Group Vocal Performance for the single "Let Her Cry."

British singer Seal won the top songwriting honors, Song of the Year and Record of the Year, for "Kiss From a Rose," featured in the film "Batman Forever." He also won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

The first award of the night went to Pearl Jam's "Spin the Black Circle" for Best Hard-Rock Performance. In his acceptance speech, band leader Eddie Vedder got the show started on a blase note when he said, "I don't know what this means. I don't think it means anything. That's how I feel. My dad would have liked it. But my dad died before I got to know him. Thanks, I guess."

In a surprise win, Annie Lennox won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance with "No More I Love Yous." She edged out such heavyweight contenders asMariah Carey and Bonnie Raitt.

Rapper Coolio, who won Best Rap Solo performance with "Gangta's Paradise," admonished Latin and African-American gangs to stop fighting in his acceptance speech. "Ain't no gangsters living in paradise. So wake up and get something new in your life," he said.

Country artist Vince Gill's "Go Rest High on that Mountain," written about his late brother Bob Coen, won Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Coen, 47, died of a heart attack three years ago.

Alison Krauss appeared surprised when she beat out newcomer Shania Twain and Patty Loveless for Best Female Country Performance with her single "Baby Now that I Have Found You."

The late Kurt Cobain and Nirvana won their first Grammy, for Best Alternative Music Performance, for the album "MTV Unplugged in New York." Producer Glen Ballard, who announced the award, said, "God bless Kurt Cobain. "

The 27-year-old singer-songwriter shot himself to death on April 8 at his Seattle home.

Frank Sinatra received his first Grammy in 29 years for the album "Duets II," which was named Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.

The late singer Marvin Gaye received a lifetime achievement award, as did singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder and blues-jazz artist Dave Brubeck. Wonder's song "For Your Love" won Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making his Grammy total to date 19.

George Martin, who produced just about every Beatles album, received the Trustees Award.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss, who is nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of a music teacher in "Mr. Holland's Opus," made an impassioned appeal for the government to stop funding cuts for the arts.

"To say we can't pay for arts programs in schools is an insane anxiety. We are, after all, the richest country on earth," Dreyfuss said. "Teaching the arts helps creates well-rounded minds that our civilization has been founded on. We need that well-rounded mind, because it's from that creativity that the solutions to our political and social problems will come."

Grammy President Michael Greene spoke out against conservative politicians who have targeted Hollywood and the music industry as failing to promote family values.

In answer to complaints throughout the music industry that Grammy winners in the past did not reflect the most significant elements of contemporary music, the Academy changed its nominating process for the first time ever.

With the new procedure, 20 entries with the most votes from the general membership from the top four categories -- record, album, song of the year, and best new artist -- are submitted to a confidential 25 member panel chosen by the Academy. The panel selected nominees by secret ballot.

Songs released between October 1, 1994, and September 30, 1995, were eligible for nomination.

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