Winners

31st Annual GRAMMY Awards (1988)

Following Whitney Houston’s inspired opening performance of “One Moment In Time” — a song she recorded for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea — host Billy Crystal proclaimed, “This year promises to be a kinder, gentler GRAMMY,” borrowing one of then-President George H.W. Bush’s stated objectives for the nation.

Ultimately, it wasn’t all kinder and gentler — however it was a year in which Bobby McFerrin’s famously upbeat “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was named Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, not to mention another McFerrin win for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male, for a different song (“Brothers”). McFerrin — billed by Crystal as “the GRAMMY Symphony Orchestra” — also performed a wide-ranging and witty history of music, vocalizing as Crystal spoke.

Yet this was also a very big year for Tracy Chapman, whose “Fast Car” spoke powerfully to real life worries and the eternal desire for escape. By the end of the evening at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Chapman was named Best New Artist and took home the GRAMMY Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and Best Contemporary Folk Recording.

Other performing artists brought a welcome edge to the 31st proceedings, including the always-interesting Sinéad O’Connor performing “Mandinka” from her debut album, The Lion And The Cobra, and Lyle Lovett, who brought his brilliantly offbeat brand of down-home music to a country sequence that also featured a memorable duet by Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens on “Streets Of Bakersfield.”

But it was the addition of some new metal at the 31st GRAMMY Awards that would prove more controversial. During the show, Crystal explained, “Not too long ago heavy metal was confined to the underground, but times change and the GRAMMYs change with the times. And we acknowledge the art form that is keeping the rebellious essence of rock and roll alive, and have added a GRAMMY Award in that category for the first time this year.” The new category was called Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental, and Crystal then introduced one of the nominees — Metallica. The group performed a characteristically intense and explosive version of “One” from the album ...And Justice For All (which likely included the first use of machine gun sound effects on the GRAMMYs). However, when Alice Cooper and Lita Ford came out to present the award, the GRAMMY went to veteran rock act Jethro Tull — a fine group of longstanding musicians, but arguably the least hard or metal of the nominees. The category and Metallica performance were proof of GRAMMY’s ambition, though the category proved too broad. The next year it would be dubbed more purely Best Metal Performance, and Metallica’s “One” would take the prize.

In an ever changing musical world, the 31st Annual GRAMMYs also significantly marked the very first year of the Best Rap Performance category with the award going to D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” during the pre-telecast ceremonies. As presenter Kool Moe Dee eloquently commented: “On the behalf of all MCs, my co-workers and fellow nominees — Jazzy Jeff, J.J. Fad, Salt-N-Pepa and the boy who’s bad — we personify power and a drug-free mind, and we express ourselves through rhythm and rhyme. So I think it’s time that the whole world knows rap is here to stay.”

Linda Ronstadt, meanwhile, showcased her Mexican-American heritage with a fine performance of “La Charreada” from her winning Canciones De Mi Padre, complete with a mariachi band and dancers. She followed this performance by taking home the Best Mexican-American Performance GRAMMY.

Other moments on this show were reminders of the GRAMMY Award’s unique ability to blend genres and bring together generations with ease and grace. Three Lifetime Achievement Award recipients — Leontyne Price, Sarah Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie — all gave vital, crowd-pleasing performances, and famed violinist Itzhak Perlman made an excellent point when he noted that he was happy to see classical music doing so well in the “race for space on the GRAMMY show. We may not sell as many records as our associates in the pop, rock and country fields, but you must admit our hits last a long time.”

On the GRAMMY Awards telecast, it’s all good in the end. As Billy Crystal rightly said in his closing thought for the night: “The more you love music, the more music you love.”

Record Of The Year
 
winner
Don't Worry Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin, artist. Linda Goldstein, producer.

Album Of The Year
 
winner
Faith

George Michael, artist. George Michael, producer.

Song Of The Year
 
winner
Don't Worry Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin, songwriter.

Best New Artist
 
winner
Tracy Chapman
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Fast Car

Tracy Chapman, artist.

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Don't Worry Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin, artist.

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
Brasil

Manhattan Transfer (Cheryl Bentyne, Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel), artist.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
winner
Close-up

David Sanborn, artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Tina Live In Europe

Tina Turner, artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Simply Irresistible

Robert Palmer, artist.

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
U2
Desire

U2 (Bono, Adam Clayton, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr.), artist.

Best Rock Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
winner
Carlos Santana, GRAMMY winner
Blues For Salvador

Carlos Santana, artist.

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal Or Instrumental
 
winner
Crest Of A Knave

Jethro Tull (Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, David Pegg), artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Giving You The Best That I Got

Anita Baker, artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'arby

Terence Trent D'Arby, artist.

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
Love Overboard

Gladys Knight And The Pips (William Guest, Bubba Knight, Gladys Knight, Harold Knight, Edward Patten), artist.

Best R&B Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
winner
Chick Corea
Light Years

Chick Corea, artist.

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
 
winner
Giving You The Best That I Got

Anita Baker, Randy Holland & Skip Scarborough, songwriters.

Best Rap Performance
 
winner
Parents Just Don't Understand

D.J. Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince (Will Smith, Jeff Townes), artist.

Best New Age Performance
 
winner
Folksongs For A Nuclear Village

Shadowfax (Charles Bisharat, Chuck Greenberg, David Lewis, Phil Maggini, Stuart Nevitt, G.E. Stinson), artist.

Best Jazz Fusion Performance
 
winner
Politics

Yellowjackets (Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, William Kennedy, Marc Russo), artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Look What I Got!

Betty Carter, artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Brothers

Bobby McFerrin, artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group
 
winner
Spread Love

Take 6 (Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, Mark Kibble, Claude V. McKnight III, David Thomas, Mervyn E. Warren), artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance Soloist (On A Jazz Recording)
 
winner
Don't Try This At Home

Michael Brecker, soloist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
 
winner
Blues For Coltrane - A Tribute To John Coltrane

Cecil McBee, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders & Roy Haynes, artists.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band
 
winner
Bud & Bird

Gil Evans, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
 
winner
Hold Me

K.T. Oslin, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Male
 
winner
Old 8x10

Randy Travis, artist.

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
Give A Little Love

Judds (Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd), artist.

Best Country Vocal Collaboration
 
winner
Crying

Roy Orbison & k.d. lang, artists.

Best Country Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist)
 
winner
Sugarfoot Rag

Asleep At The Wheel (Tim Alexander, Ray Benson, John Ely, Michael Francis, Larry Franklin, John Mitchell, David Sanger), artist.

Best Bluegrass Recording (Vocal Or Instrumental)
 
winner
Southern Flavor

Bill Monroe, artist.

Best Country Song
 
winner
Hold Me

K.T. Oslin, songwriter.

Best Gospel Performance, Female
 
winner
Lead Me On

Amy Grant, artist.

Best Gospel Performance, Male
 
winner
Christmas

Larnelle Harris, artist.

Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group, Choir Or Chorus
 
winner
The Winans Live At Carnegie Hall

Winans (Carvin Winans, Marvin Winans, Michael Winans, Ronald Winans), artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female
 
winner
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Aretha Franklin, artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male
 
winner
BeBe Winans
Abundant Life

BeBe Winans, artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus
 
winner
Take 6

Take 6 (Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, Mark Kibble, Claude V. McKnight III, David Thomas, Mervyn E. Warren), artist.

Best Latin Pop Performance
 
winner
Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos, artist.

Best Tropical Latin Performance
 
winner
Antecedente

Rubén Blades, artist.

Best Mexican-American Performance
 
winner
Canciones De Mi Padre

Linda Ronstadt, artist.

Best Traditional Blues Recording
 
winner
Hidden Charms

Willie Dixon, artist.

Best Contemporary Blues Recording
 
winner
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Robert Cray Band (Peter Boe, Richard Cousins, Robert Cray, David Olson), artist.

Best Traditional Folk Recording
 
winner
Folkways -- A Vision Shared: A Tribute To Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly

Don DeVito, Harold Leventhal, Joe McEwen & Ralph Rinzler, producers.

Best Contemporary Folk Recording
 
winner
Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman, artist.

Best Polka Recording
 
winner
Born To Polka

Jimmy Sturr, artist.

Best Reggae Recording
 
winner
Ziggy Marley
Conscious Party

Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers (Cedella Marley, Sharon Marley, Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley), artist.

Best Recording For Children
 
winner
Pecos Bill

Robin Williams, artist. Ry Cooder, composer. Mark Sottnick & Ry Cooder, producers.

Best Comedy Recording
 
winner
Good Morning, Vietnam

Robin Williams, artist.

Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Recording
 
winner
Speech By Rev. Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson, narrator.

Best Musical Cast Show Album
 
winner
Into The Woods

Stephen Sondheim, composer. Stephen Sondheim, lyricist. Jay David Saks, producer.

Best Instrumental Composition
 
winner
The Theme From LA Law

Mike Post, composer.

Best Album Of Original Instrumental Background Score Written For A Motion Picture Or Television
 
winner
The Last Emperor

Cong Su, David Byrne & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers.

Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television
 
winner
Two Hearts (From Buster)

Lamont Dozier & Phil Collins, songwriters.

Best Performance Music Video
 
winner
U2
Where The Streets Have No Name

U2 (Bono, Adam Clayton, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr.), artist. Meiert Avis, video director. Ben Dossett & Michael Hamlyn, video producers.

Best Concept Music Video
 
winner
I'm Fat

"Weird Al" Yankovic, artist. Jay Levey, video director. Susan Zwerman, video producer.

Best Arrangement On An Instrumental
 
winner
Memos From Paradise

Roger Kellaway, arranger.

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)
 
winner
No One Is Alone

Jonathan Tunick, arranger.

Best Album Package
 
winner
Tired Of Runnin'

Bill Johnson, art director.

Best Album Notes
 
winner
Crossroads

Anthony DeCurtis, album notes writer.

Best Historical Album
 
winner
Crossroads

Bill Levenson, producer.

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical
 
winner
Roll With It

Tom Lord-Alge, engineer.

Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical)
 
winner
Neil Dorfsman
Best Classical Album
 
winner
Robert Woods
Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

Robert Shaw, artist. Robert Woods, producer.

Best Orchestral Recording
 
winner
Robert Woods
Rorem: String Symphony; Sunday Morning; Eagles

Louis Lane & Robert Shaw, conductors. Robert Woods, producer.

Best Opera Recording
 
winner
Georg Solti
Wagner: Lohengrin

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Eva Randova, Hans Sotin, Jessye Norman, Placido Domingo & Siegmund Nimsgern, artists. Georg Solti, conductor. Christopher Raeburn, producer.

Best Choral Performance (Other Than Opera)
 
winner
Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

Robert Shaw, conductor.

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist(s) (With Orchestra)
 
winner
Vladimir Horowitz
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23
Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist(s) (Without Orchestra)
 
winner
Albeniz: Iberia, Navarra, Suite Espagnola

Alicia De Larrocha, artist.

Best Chamber Music Performance
 
winner
Georg Solti
Bartók: Sonata For Two Pianos & Percussion

David Corkhill, Evelyn Glennie, Georg Solti & Murray Perahia, artists.

Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance
 
winner
Luciano Pavarotti In Concert

Luciano Pavarotti, artist.

Best Contemporary Composition
 
winner
Adams: Nixon In China

John Adams, composer.

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
 
winner
Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

Jack Renner, engineer.

Classical Producer Of The Year
 
winner
Robert Woods
Robert Woods