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Beyonce, Outkast do double duty performing and accepting awards at 2004 Grammy Awards
Music’s biggest night belonged to hip hop and R&B artists, as they claimed top honors at the 46th annual Grammy awards held Feb. 8 on CBS.
The somewhat toned-down ceremony, running on a 5-minute delay (to prevent anything mirroring the Super Bowl incident the previous Sunday) made Beyonce Knowles the star of the night, taking home five awards, including one for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Rap duo Outkast followed closely behind with an impressive showing, nabbing two of the biggest awards, Best Rap Album and Album of the Year for the double album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.”
Their claim to the final award of the night marked the first time a hip-hop group won the coveted Album of the Year Grammy. Musical performances, however, seemed to be emphasized over the awards themselves. With 19 live numbers, both new and old artists came together in collaborations to give viewers quite an eclectic show.
Prince, outfitted in a purple suit with matching guitar, kicked off the celebration singing the legendary “Purple Rain,” accompanied by Beyonce Knowles. The former Destiny’s Child member later sang her hit “Dangerously in Love,” from the album of the same name.
Generations came together on stage when Outkast merged with 70’s funk idols Earth Wind & Fire to give a new spin on Outkast’s latest “The Way You Move.” Joining in on the collaboration, Parliament Funkadelic member George Clinton came out with multi-colored hair extensions singing “We Want the Funk,” backed by an on-stage ensemble.
A highlight of the night was a tribute to The Beatles, commemorating the 40-year anniversary of their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Artists Sting, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, and Pharrell Williams did their own rendition of the Fab Four’s “I Saw Her Standing There.”
Christina Aguilera, opting for a very conservative suit and tie, gave a simple and vocally impressive performance of “Beautiful” from a dark, smoky Grammy stage. Aguilera later held true to her normally scantily clad wardrobe, changing into a barely-there dress when accepting the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
A heartfelt tribute to Luther Vandross, who recently suffered a stroke, was done through the vocals and piano playing of Alicia Keys who sang his classic “A House Is Not A Home.”
Richard Marx and Celine Dion followed during the tribute set, with Vandross’ recent release “Dance With My Father,” a performance which unfortunately suffered a few technical difficulties. All was redeemed later, as that single won Song of the Year honors for Marx (as songwriter) and Vandross, contributing to his four awards of the evening.
Evanescence may have been the surprise of the night, edging out 50 Cent for best new artist, while British band Coldplay claimed record of the year for “Clocks” in an upset over other big hits such as Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”
Justin Timberlake, opting to appear at the awards in the wake of controversy, gave a formal verbal apology for his conduct at this year’s Super Bowl when accepting his Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Cry Me a River.” He told the audience and viewing public the incident was “unintentional and completely regrettable.” Janet Jackson however, opted not to attend the show.
Other winners included No Doubt’s “Underneath It All” for Best Pop Duo or Group with Vocal; the late June Carter Cash’s “Keep On The Sunny Side” for Best Female Country Vocal, and Warren Zevon’s “Disorder In The House,” featuring Bruce Springsteen, winning for Best Rock Performance Duo or Group.
Some noteworthy winners not televised were Pink for Best Female Rock Vocal with “Trouble,” Dave Matthew’s solo effort “Gravedigger” winning for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance; The White Stripes “Elephant” for Best Alternative Music Album, and Eminem winning Best Rap Song for “Lose Yourself.”