39th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1996)

Just shy of its 40th anniversary, the 39th Annual GRAMMY Awards proved to be a show for young and old — onstage and off. Fourteen-year-old country music sensation LeAnn Rimes became the youngest GRAMMY winner ever when Sheryl Crow, Steve Winwood and Jakob Dylan presented her with the Best New Artist award. Later in the evening, Clint Black appeared to present an award with Rimes and confessed his own feelings of inadequacy. “When I was 14, I had a paper route,” Black explained with a grin. On the other hand, this was the same night that living folk legend Pete Seeger took home the Best Traditional Folk Album at the age of 77 for Pete.

Marking considerable growth for the GRAMMYs, the 39th awards also achieved another big first — playing New York’s famed Madison Square Garden for the first time, also the first time the show moved from an auditorium to a major arena. In addition to a wide range of professional performances, this big Garden party featured a few notable appearances from non-professional musicians. Ellen DeGeneres — returning as GRAMMY host for the second year in a row — kicked things off with a song that could only be called “This Is Ellen’s GRAMMY Song,” and was backed by an all-star, all-female band that featured Bonnie Raitt, Me’Shell NdegéOcello, Shawn Colvin, Chaka Khan and Shelia E. Even earlier in the evening — during the pre-telecast awards — First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton won a GRAMMY for Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album for the audio version of her book It Takes A Village. “I’m amazed,” the future New York senator told the crowd. “I didn’t even know that GRAMMYs were given to tone-deaf singers like me, but I’m very grateful for this.”

Fellow guitar heroes and recent collaborators Eric Clapton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds teamed up for a stunning version of “Change The World” from the Phenomenon film soundtrack just before Bonnie Raitt and Seal presented Clapton with the GRAMMY Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. In his acceptance speech, Clapton took time out to praise his own favorite record of the year, Curtis Mayfield’s New World Order. The man they call Slowhand would get more chances to speak his mind, as “Change The World” won Record Of The Year as well as Song Of The Year for writers Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Tommy Sims. Edmonds — who produced “Change The World” — was honored as Producer Of The Year.

Pete Seeger — who won his award during the pre-telecast — reappeared during the telecast to introduce Bruce Springsteen who then performed “The Ghost Of Tom Joad,” the timely and powerful title track of the album that earned the Boss the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Folk Album. For country music too, this was also a big night in the Big Apple. Vince Gill (a two-time winner for the evening with Best Male Country Vocal Performance for “Worlds Apart” and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for “High Lonesome Sound”) led a lovely, down-home yet high-tech multiple-stage tribute to bluegrass great Bill Monroe that featured Alison Krauss And Union Station (who shared the Best Country Collaboration GRAMMY with Gill) and Patty Loveless.

The Fugees, meanwhile, won two awards and offered a winning take on Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” with the help of Ziggy Marley, the Wailers and the I-Threes. A tribute to jazz vocal giant Ella Fitzgerald — who died on June 15, 1996 — found jazz giants Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jack DeJohnette and Bunny Brunel backing up Natalie Cole for a rendition of “You’ll Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini).” Before she sang, Cole — the daughter of the late great Nat “King” Cole — recalled meeting Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong as a child. Of Lady Ella, Cole said, “She wasn’t just the greatest jazz singer ever, she was the best singer I ever knew.”

Beck, Toni Braxton and Sheryl Crow were among those picking up multiple awards for the year. And this was also a fabulous GRAMMY night for the Beatles, who won Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for their special “reunion” track “Free As A Bird” from Anthology 1. Director Joe Pytka’s video for “Free As A Bird” also won for Best Music Video, Short Form, while the Anthology itself won the honors for Best Music Video, Long Form. Not bad for a band that won their last GRAMMY not yesterday, but nearly 30 years prior.

Record Of The Year
Eric Clapton,
Change The World

Eric Clapton, artist. Babyface, producer.

Album Of The Year
Falling Into You

Celine Dion, artist. Aldo Nova, Billy Steinberg, Dan Hill, David Foster, Humberto Gatica, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Jeff Bova, Jim Steinman, John Jones, Ric Wake, Rick Hahn, Rick Nowels, Roy Bittan & Steven Rinkoff, producers.

Song Of The Year
Change The World

Gordon Kennedy, Tommy Sims & Wayne Kirkpatrick, songwriters.

Best New Artist
LeAnn Rimes
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Un-Break My Heart

Toni Braxton, artist.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Eric Clapton
Change The World

Eric Clapton, artist.

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
The Beatles, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, GRAMMY winner, Ringo Starr
Free As A Bird
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
When I Fall In Love

Natalie Cole, artist.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Béla Fleck
The Sinister Minister

Béla Fleck And The Flecktones (Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Howard Levy, Paul McCandless, Roy Wooten, Victor Lemonte Wooten), artist.

Best Pop Album
Falling Into You

Celine Dion, artist.

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance
Tony Bennett
Here's To The Ladies

Tony Bennett, artist.

Best Female Rock Vocal Performance
If It Makes You Happy

Sheryl Crow, artist.

Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
Where It's At

Beck, artist.

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
So Much To Say

Dave Matthews Band (Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Dave Matthews, Leroi Moore, Boyd Tinsley), artist.

Best Hard Rock Performance
Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Smashing Pumpkins (Jimmy Chamberlin, Billy Corgan, D'Arcy, James Iha), artist.

Best Metal Performance
Tire Me

Rage Against The Machine (Tim Bob, Zack De La Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk), artist.

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
B.B. King, Dr. John, Eric Clapton
SRV Shuffle

Art Neville, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan & Robert Cray, artists.

Best Rock Song
Give Me One Reason

Tracy Chapman, songwriter.

Best Rock Album
Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow, artist. Sheryl Crow, producer.

Best Alternative Music Performance

Beck, artist.

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
You're Makin' Me High

Toni Braxton, artist.

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Your Secret Love

Luther Vandross, artist.

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Killing Me Softly With His Song

Fugees (Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Prakazrel "Pras" Michel), artist.

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

Babyface, songwriter.

Best R&B Album

Tony Rich, artist.

Best Rap Solo Performance
LL Cool J
Hey Lover

LL Cool J, artist.

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
Tha Crossroads

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (Anthony "Krazie Bone" Henderson, Steven "Layzie Bone" Howse, Byron "Bizzy Bone" McCane, Charles "Wish Bone" Scruggs), artist.

Best Rap Album
The Score

Fugees (Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Prakazrel "Pras" Michel), artist. Fugees (Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Prakazrel "Pras" Michel) & Prakazrel "Pras" Michel, producers.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance

LeAnn Rimes, artist.

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Vince Gill
Worlds Apart

Vince Gill, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group
My Maria

Brooks & Dunn (Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn), artist.

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
Alison Krauss, GRAMMY winner, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Vince Gill
High Lonesome Sound

Alison Krauss & Union Station (Barry Bales, Ron Block, Alison Krauss, Adam Steffey, Dan Tyminski) & Vince Gill, artists.

Best Country Instrumental Performance
Jam Man

Chet Atkins, artist.

Best Country Song

Bill Mack, songwriter.

Best Country Album
The Road To Ensenada

Lyle Lovett, artist. Billy Williams & Lyle Lovett, producers.

Best Bluegrass Album
True Life Blues - The Songs Of Bill Monroe

Todd Phillips, producer.

Best New Age Album
The Memory Of Trees

Enya, artist.

Best Contemporary Jazz Performance
High Life

Wayne Shorter, artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance
New Moon Daughter

Cassandra Wilson, artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
Cabin Fever

Michael Brecker, soloist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group
Tales From The Hudson

Michael Brecker, artist.

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance
Live At Manchester Craftsmen's Guild

Grover Mitchell, artist.

Best Latin Jazz Performance
Portraits Of Cuba

Paquito D'Rivera, artist.

Best Rock Gospel Album
Jesus Freak

dc Talk (Toby McKeehan, Kevin Max Smith, Michael Tait), artist.

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
Tribute - The Songs Of Andrae Crouch

Neal Joseph & Norman Miller, producers.

Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
I Love To Tell The Story - 25 Timeless Hymns

Andy Griffith, artist.

Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
Face To Face

Cissy Houston, artist.

Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
Whatcha Lookin' 4

Kirk Franklin, artist.

Best Gospel Album By A Choir Or Chorus
Shirley Caesar
Just A Word

Shirley Caesar, choir director.

Best Latin Pop Performance
Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias, artist.

Best Tropical Latin Performance
La Rosa De Los Vientos

Rubén Blades, artist.

Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance
Un Millon De Rosas

La Mafia (Michael Aguilar, David De La Garza, Oscar De La Rosa, Leonard Gonzales, Armando Lichtenberger Jr.), artist.

Best Traditional Blues Album
Deep In The Blues

James Cotton, artist.

Best Contemporary Blues Album
Just Like You

Keb' Mo', artist.

Best Traditional Folk Album

Pete Seeger, artist.

Best Contemporary Folk Album
Bruce Springsteen
The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Best Reggae Album
Hall Of Fame - A Tribute To Bob Marley's 50th Anniversary

Bunny Wailer, artist.

Best World Music Album

Chieftains (Derek Bell, Kevin Conneff, Martin Fay, Sean Keane, Matt Molloy, Paddy Moloney), artist.

Best Polka Album
Polka! All Night Long

Jimmy Sturr, artist.

Best Musical Album For Children
Dedicated To The One I Love

Linda Ronstadt, artist. George Massenburg & Linda Ronstadt, producers.

Best Spoken Word Album For Children

David Holt, narrator. David Holt, Steven Heller & Virginia Callaway, producers.

Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album
It Takes A Village

Hillary Rodham Clinton, narrator.

Best Spoken Comedy Album
Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot

Al Franken, artist.

Best Musical Show Album

Bill Whelan, composer. Bill Whelan, lyricist. Bill Whelan, producer.

Best Instrumental Composition
Herbie Hancock
Manhattan (Island Of Lights And Love)

Herbie Hancock & Jean Hancock, composers.

Best Instrumental Composition Written For A Motion Picture Or For Television
Independence Day

David Arnold, composer.

Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or For Television
Because You Loved Me (Theme From Up Close & Personal)

Diane Warren, songwriter.

Best Instrumental Arrangement
An American Symphony (Mr. Holland's Opus)

Michael Kamen, arranger.

Best Instrumental Arrangement With Accompanying Vocal(s)
When I Fall In Love

Alan Broadbent & David Foster, arrangers.

Best Recording Package
Ultra-Lounge (Leopard Skin Sampler)

Andy Engel & Tommy Steele, art directors.

Best Recording Package - Boxed
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Arnold Levine & Chika Azuma, art directors.

Best Album Notes
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Bill Kirchner, Bob Belden, George Avakian & Phil Schaap, album notes writers.

Best Historical Album
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Bob Belden & Phil Schaap, compilation producers. Mark Wilder & Phil Schaap, mastering engineers.

Best Engineered Album - Non-Classical
Al Schmitt
Q's Jook Joint

Al Schmitt, Bruce Swedien, Francis Buckley & Tommy Vicari, engineers.

Producer Of The Year
Best Classical Engineered Recording
Copland: Dance Symphony; Short Symphony; Organ Symphony

Lawrence Rock & William Hoekstra, engineers.

Classical Producer Of The Year
Joanna Nickrenz
Best Classical Album
Corigliano: Of Rage And Remembrance

Leonard Slatkin, artist. Joanna Nickrenz, producer.

Best Orchestral Performance
Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet (Scenes From The Ballet)

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor.

Best Opera Recording
Britten: Peter Grimes

Alan Opie, Janice Watson & Philip Langridge, artists. Richard Hickox, conductor. Brian Couzens, producer.

Best Choral Performance
Walton: Belshazzar's Feast

David Hill & Neville Creed, chorus masters. Andrew Litton, conductor.

Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (With Orchestra)
Bartók: The Three Piano Concertos

Yefim Bronfman, artist.

Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra)
The Romantic Master - Works Of Saint-Saens, Handel

Earl Wild, artist.

Best Chamber Music Performance
Corigliano: String Quartet

Cleveland Quartet (James Dunham, Paul Katz, William Preucil, Peter Salaff), artist.

Best Small Ensemble Performance (With Or Without Conductor)
Pierre Boulez, GRAMMY winner
Boulez: ...Explosante-Fixe...

Ensemble InterContemporain & Pierre Boulez, artists.

Best Classical Vocal Performance
Opera Arias - Works Of Mozart, Wagner, Borodin

Bryn Terfel, artist.

Best Classical Contemporary Composition
Corigliano: String Quartet

John Corigliano, composer.

Best Music Video, Short Form
The Beatles, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, GRAMMY winner, Ringo Starr
Free As A Bird

Beatles (George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr), artist. Joe Pytka, video director. Vincent Joliet, video producer.

Best Music Video, Long Form
The Beatles, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, GRAMMY winner, Ringo Starr
The Beatles Anthology

Beatles (George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr), artist. Bob Smeaton & Geoff Wonfor, video directors. Chips Chipperfield & Neil Aspinall, video producers.