GRAMMY Rewind: 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards

Taylor's swift rise to the top
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
    Lady Gaga
  • Photo: Dan MacMedan/WireImage.com
    Kings Of Leon
  • Photo: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com
    Beyoncé
  • Photo: Dan MacMedan/WireImage.com
    Taylor Swift
  • Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
    Black Eyed Peas
  • Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Zac Brown Band
February 10, 2012 -- 4:40 pm PST
GRAMMY.com

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.

In the weeks 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 discuss 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 Taylor Swift's rise to the top.

52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards
Jan. 31, 2010

Album Of The Year
Winner: Taylor Swift, Fearless
Beyoncé, I Am…Sasha Fierce
Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.
Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King
Lady Gaga, The Fame

Swift became the youngest Album Of The Year winner in GRAMMY history at age 20. How? By being truly fearless. The young country singer/songwriter established a reputation for writing authentically personal songs at an age when most writers are still rhyming June and moon. The results have been both instantaneously likeable and acclaimed. Her competition was not lightweight. Lady Gaga was arguably the most talked about artist of the year, and she would win two GRAMMYs this year on the strength of this album and her hit "Poker Face." The Black Eyed Peas had the anthem of the year with "I Gotta Feeling," and took three GRAMMYs, including two in the Pop Field and one for Best Short Form Music Video for "Boom Boom Pow." Beyoncé made a strong concept album that would ultimately result in five GRAMMYs. She also won one for her version of Etta James' "At Last" from the film Cadillac Records, giving her a total of six for the year, a record for a female artist. Finally, the Dave Matthews Band made a heartfelt song cycle on the passing of band member LeRoi Moore.

Record Of The Year
Winner: Kings Of Leon, "Use Somebody"
Beyoncé, "Halo"
Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling"
Lady Gaga, "Poker Face"
Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me"

The Kings Of Leon broke out in a big way in 2009, using massive hooks, good looks and a great preacher's-kids-gone-rock-and-roll backstory to become the talk of the rock world and capture the Record Of The Year GRAMMY for this Top 10 single. It managed to beat out impressive tracks from four other artists who were all Album Of the Year nominees. The Kings would pick up a second award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, the same award they won the previous year for "Sex On Fire."

Song Of The Year
Winner: Beyoncé, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Kings Of Leon, "Use Somebody"
Lady Gaga, "Poker Face"
Maxwell, "Pretty Wings"
Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me"

Several Record Of The Year repeats turned up in the Song Of The Year category, but it was Beyoncé's non-Record Of The Year-nominated "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" that took the prize. Along with Beyoncé, the song was written by Thaddis Harrell, Terius "The Dream" Nash and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart. Record Of The Year winner "Use Somebody" was written by the entire band of Followills: Caleb, Jared, Matthew, and Nathan. Gaga's "Poker Face," for which she teamed with RedOne, made the cut with a strong sonic combination and allusions to poker-faced sexuality. "Pretty Wings," Maxwell would turn in a Marvin Gaye-inspired slow jam that he wrote under the pen name Musze, along with Hod David. Swift and Liz Rose wrote "You Belong With Me," one of eight nominations for Swift this year.

Best New Artist
Winner: Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
MGMT
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Closing the circle on a country-rich slate of winners, the Zac Brown Band may have been a surprise winner given that Brown was working as a chef not all that long ago. But the earthy cowboys won out over the urban soul of Hilson, who also earned a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration nomination for "Knock You Down," which featured Ne-Yo and Kanye West. The electro-psychedlia duo MGMT was also nominated for a Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals GRAMMY for "Kids." Los Angeles-based indie rockers Silversun Pickups earned their first and only nomination to date, as did the UK power poppers the Ting Tings. 

Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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