Music's Biggest Night, the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, will air live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Leading up to the telecast, we will take a stroll down music memory lane with GRAMMY Rewind, highlighting the "big four" categories — Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist — from past awards shows. In the process, we'll examine the winners and the nominees who just missed taking home the GRAMMY, while also shining a light on the artists' careers and the eras in which the recordings were born.
Join us as we take an abbreviated journey through the trajectory of pop music from the 1st Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1959 to last year's 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Today, the GRAMMY Awards remember a year in which Robert Plant and Alison Krauss raised sand and gold.
51st Annual GRAMMY Awards
Feb. 8, 2009
Album Of The Year
Winner: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Coldplay, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year Of The Gentleman
Radiohead, In Rainbows
The unlikely pairing of Plant and Krauss on Raising Sand spawned an impressive six GRAMMYs, including Album and Record Of The Year. Plant had won his lone GRAMMY as a solo artist 10 years prior, and his legendary band, Led Zeppelin, was bestowed a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. GRAMMY gold was nothing new to Krauss, who has racked up an impressive 26 wins to date. While Coldplay's No. 1 album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends would not make the grade here, it picked up Best Rock Album honors. The band won their first GRAMMY in 2001 for Best Alternative Music Album for their debut, Parachutes. New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne solidified himself as one of the genre's premier artists. Tha Carter III sold more than 1 million copies in its first week in June 2008. In scoring a nod, Ne-Yo proved he was not only a gentleman, but also a triple threat as a singer, songwriter and producer. His Top 10 hit "Miss Independent" won two GRAMMY Awards, including Best R&B Song. Radiohead's In Rainbows didn't have enough color to win here, but it garnered Best Alternative Music Album honors, an award the British group is up for again this year for King Of Limbs.
Record Of The Year
Winner: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, "Please Read The Letter"
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Coldplay, "Viva La Vida"
Leona Lewis, "Bleeding Love"
M.I.A., "Paper Planes"
Originally recorded by Plant with Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page 10 years prior, "Please Read The Letter" was rebooted, featuring subdued vocals from the rock veteran and the unique country/bluegrass stylings of the angelic-voiced Krauss. The duo was aided in the studio by 10-time GRAMMY-winning producer T Bone Burnett. Adele's "Chasing Pavements" was inspired by a meeting with a boyfriend turned ugly, and her subsequent solitary walk down the street. Her style recalled classic singer/songwriters such as Carole King and recent neo-soul artists such as Jill Scott. "Viva La Vida" ("Long Live Life") soared with a grand orchestral arrangement and interpretive lyrics ripe with Biblical allusions, and resonated with listeners in selling more than 3 million copies. With a voice compared to Whitney Houston, Lewis parlayed winning the British talent show "The X Factor" to international stardom. "Bleeding Love" was the best-selling song in the United States in 2008. Born Mathangi Arulpragasam, M.I.A. burst onto the scene with her viral "Paper Planes," which features a sample of the Clash's "Straight To Hell." A very-pregnant M.I.A. performed on the GRAMMY telecast with an all-star team featuring Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I., and Kanye West.
Song Of The Year
Winner: Coldplay, "Viva La Vida"
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Sara Bareilles, "Love Song"
Estelle Featuring Kanye West, "American Boy"
Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours"
Penned by bandmates Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, and Chris Martin, "Viva La Vida" became Coldplay's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The UK alt-rockers first won a General Field GRAMMY in 2003 for Record Of The Year for "Clocks." Adele partnered with producer/arranger Eg White for the introspective "Chasing Pavements." Her debut album 19 featured a cover of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love," which was featured on Dylan's Album Of The Year-winning Time Out Of Minda decade earlier. Northern California-born songwriter/pianist Bareilles wrote "Love Song" in less than 1 hour following a request from her producer Eric Rosse for a single. The song became a hit, ultimately selling more than 3 million copies. West partnered with fellow GRAMMY winners John Legend and will.i.am, among others, to write "American Boy." The song became Estelle's big breakthrough and a Top 10 hit. Mraz's reggae-inspired "I'm Yours" peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Virginia-native would win his first two GRAMMYs a year later, including Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for "Lucky" with Colbie Caillat.
Best New Artist
With her soulful voice, Adele beat out a stable of talented newcomers to take home Best New Artist. In garnering three General Field category nominations, it capped off an impressive GRAMMY debut for the teenage British songstress, who is up for six awards this year." Hailing from a tiny Welsh village, Duffy combined touches of retro and modern soul for her debut album, Rockferry, which won for Best Pop Vocal Album. R&B/neo-soul artist Sullivan garnered an impressive five nominations on the strength of her debut Fearless, while drawing comparisons to GRAMMY winners such as Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill. Similar to Hanson a decade prior, Jonas Brothers made the cut, riding a roller coaster from the Disney Channel to platinum-selling albums. The trio performed with a former teen idol, Stevie Wonder, on the telecast. Rounding out the nominees was country sensation Lady Antebellum, marking the fifth consecutive year a country artist was nominated for Best New Artist. Though losing out here, the Nashville-based trio would win their first GRAMMY the following year.
Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow as we revisit last year's 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards.
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