Steely Dan beats rap at Grammys


February 22, 2001



Controversial rapper Eminem claimed three of four possible trophies Wednesday night at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards, but Grammy voters reverted to form and handed its most prestigious prize to a venerable rock favorite, Steely Dan.


List of winners
Album of the Year: "Two Against Nature," Steely Dan.
Latin Pop Album: "Shakira--MTV Unplugged," Shakira.
Native American Music Album: "Gathering of Nations Pow Wow," Tom Bee and Douglas Spotted Eagle Producers.
Country Album: "Breathe," Faith Hill.
Jazz Vocal Album: "In the Moment - Live in Concert," Dianne Reeves.
Record of the Year: "Beautiful Day," U2.
Song of the Year: "Beautiful Day," U2 (U2).
New Artist: Shelby Lynne.
R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Say My Name," Destiny's Child.
Rap Album: "The Marshall Mathers LP," Eminem.
Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Beautiful Day," U2.
Female Pop Vocal Performance: "I Try," Macy Gray.
Pop Vocal Album: "Two Against Nature," Steely Dan.
Engineered Album, Non-Classical: "Two Against Nature," (Steely Dan).
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Dr. Dre, "B. ... Please II" (Eminem featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit & Nate Dogg).
Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical: Hex Hector, "Feelin' So Good" (Jennifer Lopez).
Engineered Album, Classical: "Dvorak: Requiem, Op. 89.
Producer of the Year, Classical Albums Only: Steven Epstein, "Appalachian Journey (1B; Mist Moonlight Waltz; Indecision, etc.)" (Yo-Yo Ma, cello; E. Meyer, d/bass; M. O'Connor, violin).
Classical Album: "Shostakovich: The String Quartets" Da-Hong Seetoo & Max Wilcox, producers.
Orchestral Performance Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra: "Mahler: Sym. No. 10," Sir Simon Rattle (Berliner Phil.).
Opera Recording Award to the Conductor, Album Producer(s) and Principal Soloists: "Busoni: Doktor Faust," Kent Nagano; Kim Begley.
Choral Performance: "Penderecki: Credo," Helmuth Rilling (Oregon Bach Festival Cho.; Oregon Bach Festival Orch.).
Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance: "Maw: Violin Concerto," Joshua Bell, violin; Sir Roger Norrington, conductor (London Phil. Orch.).
Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra): "Dreams Of A World (Works Of Lauro, Ruiz-Pipo, Duarte, Etc.)," Sharon Isbin, guitar.
Chamber Music Performance Award to the Artists: "Shostakovich: The String Quartets," Emerson String Quartet.
Small Ensemble Performance (with or without conductor): "Shadow Dances (Stravinsky Miniatures - Tango; Suite No. 1; Octet, etc.)," Orpheus Chamber Orch.
Classical Vocal Performance: "The Vivaldi Album (Dell'aura al sussurrar; Alma oppressa, ec.)," Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo soprano.
Classical Contemporary Composition: "Crumb: Star-Child," George Crumb, composer.
Classical Crossover Album: "Appalachian Journey," Yo-Yo Ma, cello. Edgar Meyer, double bass; Mark O'Connor, violin.
Musical Show Album: "Elton John And Tim Rice's Aida," original Broadway cast, lyricist Tim Rice, composer Elton John.
Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media: "Almost Famous," various artists.
Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media: "American Beauty," composer Thomas Newman.
Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: "When She Loved Me," (Sarah McLachlan from "Toy Story 2"), songwriter Randy Newman.
Short-Form Music Video: "Learn To Fly," Foo Fighters.
Album Notes: "The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961," (Miles Davis and John Coltrane).
Historical Album: "The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings," (Louis Armstrong).
Instrumental Composition: "Theme from Angela's Ashes," John Williams (John Williams).
Instrumental Arrangement: "Spain for Sextet & Orchestra," Chick Corea.
Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): "Both Sides Now," Vince Mendoza (Joni Mitchell).
Recording Package: "Music," (Madonna).
Boxed Recording Package: "The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961," (Miles Davis & John Coltrane).
Female R&B Vocal Performance: "He Wasn't Man Enough," Toni Braxton.
Male R&B Vocal Performance: "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," D'Angelo. R&B Song: "Say My Name," LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III, Rodney Jerkins, Beyonce Knowles, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson and Kelendria Rowland (Destiny's Child).
R&B Album: "Voodoo," D'Angelo.
Traditional R&B Vocal Album: "Ear-Resistible," The Temptations.
Male Pop Vocal Performance: "She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa)," Sting.
Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Cousin Dupree," Steely Dan.
Pop Collaboration with Vocals: "Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)," B.B. King and Dr. John.
Pop Instrumental Performance: "Caravan," The Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Dance Recording: "Who Let the Dogs Out," Baha Men.
Pop Instrumental Album: "Symphony No. 1," Joe Jackson.
Traditional Pop Vocal Album: "Both Sides Now," Joni Mitchell.
Female Rock Vocal Performance: "There Goes the Neighborhood," Sheryl Crow.
Male Rock Vocal Performance: "Again," Lenny Kravitz.
Hard Rock Performance: "Guerrilla Radio," Rage Against the Machine.
Female Country Vocal Performance: "Breathe," Faith Hill.
Male Country Vocal Performance: "Solitary Man," Johnny Cash.
Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Cherokee Maiden," Asleep At The Wheel.
Country Collaboration with Vocals: "Let's Make Love," Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
Country Instrumental Performance: "Leaving Cottondale," Alison Brown with Bela Fleck.
Country Song: "I Hope You Dance," Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers (Lee Ann Womack).
Bluegrass Album: "The Grass Is Blue," Dolly Parton.
New Age Album: "Thinking of You," Kitaro.
Contemporary Jazz Album: "Outbound," Bela Fleck and The Flecktones.
Jazz Instrumental Solo: "(Go) Get It," Pat Metheny.
Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group: "Contemporary Jazz," Branford Marsalis.
Large Jazz Ensemble Album: "52nd Street Themes," Joe Lovano.
Latin Jazz Album: "Live at the Village Vanguard," Chucho Valdes.
Latin Rock/Alternative Album: "Uno," La Ley.
Traditional Tropical Latin Album: "Alma Caribena," Gloria Estefan.
Salsa Album: "Masterpiece/Obra Maestra," Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri.
Merengue Album: "Olga Viva, Viva Olga," Olga Tanon.
Mexican/Mexican-American Album: "Por una Mujer Bonita," Pepe Aguilar.
Tejano Album: "Que Es Musica Tejana?" The Legends.
Musical Album for Children: "Woody's Roundup Featuring Riders in the Sky," Riders in the Sky.
Spoken Word Album for Children: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," (J. K. Rowling) Jim Dale.
Spoken Word Album: "The Measure of a Man," (Sidney Poitier) Sidney Poitier.
Spoken Comedy Album: "Braindroppings," George Carlin.
Long-Form Music Video: "Gimme Some Truth--The Making of John Lennon's Imagine Album," John Lennon.
Metal Performance: "Elite," Deftones.
Rock Instrumental Performance: "The Call of Ktulu," Metallica with Michael Kamen conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Rock Song: "With Arms Wide Open," Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti (Creed).
Rock Album: "There Is Nothing Left to Lose," Foo Fighters.
Alternative Music Album: "Kid A," Radiohead.
Rap Solo Performance: "The Real Slim Shady," Eminem.
Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: "Forgot About Dre," Dr. Dre featuring Eminem.
Rock Gospel Album: "Double Take," Petra.
Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: "If I Left the Zoo," Jars of Clay.
Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album: "Soldier of the Cross," Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
Traditional Soul Gospel Album: "You Can Make It," Shirley Caesar.
Contemporary Soul Gospel Album: "Thankful," Mary Mary.
Gospel Choir or Chorus Album: "Live--God Is Working," Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Carol Cymbala, choir director.
Traditional Blues Album: "Riding with the King," B.B. King and Eric Clapton.
Contemporary Blues Album: "Shoutin' in Key," Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band.
Traditional Folk Album: "Public Domain--Songs From the Wild Land," Dave Alvin.
Contemporary Folk Album: "Red Dirt Girl," Emmylou Harris.
Reggae Album: "Art and Life," Beenie Man.
World Music Album: "Joao Voz e Violao," Joao Gilberto.
Polka Album: "Touched by a Polka," Jimmy Sturr.

"Two Against Nature," Steely Dan's first disc of new material in 19 years, edged out Eminem's multiplatinum "The Marshall Mathers LP" to claim album of the year honors as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences made amends for overlooking the sardonic rock band for most of its career.

"We've been around a long time, it's nice to get one of these," said Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen as he accepted the pop vocal album Grammy during the live telecast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But neither he nor his partner Walter Becker commented on the Eminem upset when Steely Dan won album of the year.

Steely Dan won a total of four Grammys, including awards for best engineered album and pop performance by a duo or group with vocal ("Cousin Dupree").

Picking up his first Grammy of the night, Detroit-based rapper Eminem said, "First of all, I want to thank everybody who could look past the controversy and see this album for what it was--and also for what it wasn't."

He took home Grammys for rap album ("The Marshall Mathers LP"), solo rap performance ("The Real Slim Shady") and rap performance by a duo or group ("Forgot About Dre" with his producer, Dr. Dre). Dre claimed producer of the year honors for his work with Eminem and for his own solo album, "Dr. Dre--2001."

Running late as usual, the telecast ended with Eminem's much-anticipated performance with Elton John. It turned out to be an anti-climax; after so much fuss, the least we could have hoped for was a big wet kiss, but Elton and Em merely embraced from a distance of what seemed about two feet apart.

Along with Eminem, U2 also won three Grammys, including the prestigious song and record of the year for "Beautiful Day."

"It's a very unusual emotion I'm feeling right now; I think it's called humility," said U2's Bono.

In a surprising turn, Grammy voters favored the veteran Irish rockers over the teen-pop heroes and heroines who have been dominating the charts.

"Everything's been going great," said guitarist the Edge. "There's been some really great breakthroughs in science: the disposable mobile phone, the three-blade razor and the female Orgasmatron. And now this."

Country's Faith Hill also won three Grammys, including country album and female country vocal performance for "Breathe," and country collaboration for "Let's Make Love," a duet with husband Tim McGraw.

Shelby Lynne, a more rough and tumble country crooner, won the best new artist Grammy, though she herself noted that she was anything but a newcomer. "It took 13 years and six albums to get here," she said.

In a veiled reference to the Eminem controversy, Lynne added that she appeared at the telecast to represent nothing but quality music. Outside the Staples Center, more than 100 demonstrators protested Eminem's lyrics, which they consider offensive toward women and gays.

Although there were almost 100 categories this year, only a handful were handed out during the typically drawn out show.

Other awards presented on air included female pop vocal (Macy Gray, "I Try"), R&B performance by a duo or group (Destiny's Child, "Say My Name"), jazz vocal album (Dianne Reeves, "In the Moment--Live in Concert"), and Latin pop album (Colombian singer Shakira, "Shakira--MTV Unplugged").

Before the telecst, R&B star D'Angelo won R&B album honors for "Voodoo" and male R&B vocal for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." "Say My Name" also brought Destiny's Child a second Grammy for R&B song.

Performances on the show were divided between celebrations of old-fashioned musicianship and high-gloss pop production numbers of the sort that propel MTV's "Video Music Awards."

The Grammys have been trying to emulate the flashier MTV show in recent years, with minimal success. But no one got naked or climbed the scenery on the Grammys, and host Jon Stewart was no Chris Rock.

Madonna kicked things off by bumping and grinding on a top of a glittery limousine, singing "Music" while doing an aerobic workout in a tight-fitting "Material Girl" tank top.

The multiplatinum boy band 'N Sync warbled its syrupy ballad "This I Promise You" in a high-tech number that found the teen heartthrobs appearing in color while the dancers onstage seemed to be in black and white.

Though Madonna and 'N Sync each were nominated for three Grammys, both acts were shut out in every category.

In front of a giant video backdrop that flashed colorful faux-Matisse paintings, Hill sang her countrified pop hit "Breathe."

If it wasn't lip-synching, Destiny's Child was at the very least electronically augmented. And Christina Aguilera failed to claim the Ricky Martin prize for her Spanish language performance, delivering a third-rate imitation of Mariah Carey or Celine Dion.

In contrast, a soulful and musically challenging performance of "I Try" by Macy Gray was one of the show's highlights.

U2 was inspired if understated while tearing through "Beautiful Day." But veteran rocker Paul Simon seemed to have just woken up from a nap.

Besides the Em 'n' Elton pairing, the Grammys had several duos that did click, including Shelby Lynne and Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, and R&B singer Jill Scott, techno artist Moby and performance art troupe the Blue Man Group.





Duet makes lasting impression


February 22, 2001



Forget about all of the pre-Grammy hype. When Eminem and Elton John performed the hit "Stan" at the Grammy Awards telecast Wednesday night, they only succeeded in alienating fans.

The unlikely duet brought excitement to the usually starchy Grammy Awards ceremony; not surprisingly, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences took full advantage of the spot by saving it for the telecast's last 10 minutes.

But the stilted Em 'n' Elton duet was overshadowed by politics. Once again, the Grammys Awards got to have their cake (by generating controversy) and then eat it, too (by pairing the gay-bashing rapper with the flamboyantly gay pop star so that the academy couldn't be accused of being politically incorrect).

Nominated for four Grammys, including album of the year, Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" had been the subject of intense debate ever since this year's Grammy nominations were announced.

Detractors such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and vice presidential spouse Lynne Cheney accuse the rapper of glamorizing violence against women and homosexuals. But defenders claim that Eminem just reflects a segment of American youth, and that his critics miss his irony.

Meanwhile, the recording academy's president Mike Greene talked out both sides of his mouth during the telecast. Though he has branded "The Marshall Mathers LP" "repulsive," he worked hard to persuade the rapper to appear on the show.

Introducing the Eminem and Elton duet, he said, "It's important to remember that the academy is not here to defend or vilify, commercialize or censor art.

"People are mad and people are talking, and that's a good thing," Greene said. "It's through dialogue and debate that social discovery and progress can occur."

Outside the Staples Center, 100 people protested, but the Grammy producers didn't bother to show them on air or reflect their opinions. So much for dialogue.

Onstage, Em 'n' Elton performed a tune about a mentally disturbed fan named Stan who imitates Eminem by killing his wife. On the album, female folk singer Dido delivers the song's choruses. On the Grammy telecast, John sang her part, in his usually tuneless but typically hammy fashion.

What was in it for Elton? A ton of press, but surely no street or artistic credibility. The veteran British popster has been a sad opportunist ever since he rewrote "Candle in the Wind" after the death of Princess Diana.

"Elton John should be disgusted and ashamed of himself," said Scott Seomin, a spokesman for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

As for Eminem, who has rapped scornfully about awards like the Grammys, winning a bunch of prizes and then deigning to appear on air only gives fans ammunition to conclude that he's finally been played out.

For people who actually like Eminem's artless outrage, the Grammy telecast merely served as a signal that it's time to move on to something even cruder and more offensively knee-jerk.