1996 Winners

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
 
winner
Eric Clapton,
Change The World

Babyface, producer

Album Of The Year
 
Song Of The Year
 
winner
Change The World

Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick & Tommy Sims, songwriters (Eric Clapton AND ALSO Wynonna)

Best New Artist
 
winner
LeAnn Rimes
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
 
winner
Toni Braxton
Un-Break My Heart
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
 
winner
Eric Clapton
Change The World
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
The Beatles
Free As A Bird
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
 
winner
Natalie Cole
When I Fall In Love

Natalie Cole (& Nat "King" Cole)

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
 
winner
Béla Fleck
The Sinister Minister

Béla Fleck & The Flecktones

Best Pop Album
 
winner
Celine Dion
Falling Into You
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance
 
winner
Tony Bennett
Here's To The Ladies
Best Female Rock Vocal Performance
 
winner
Sheryl Crow
If It Makes You Happy
Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
 
winner
Beck
Where It's At
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
Best Hard Rock Performance
 
winner
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Best Rock Song
 
winner
Give Me One Reason

Tracy Chapman, songwriter (Tracy Chapman)

Best Alternative Music Performance
 
winner
Beck
Odelay
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
 
winner
Toni Braxton
You're Makin' Me High
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
 
winner
Your Secret Love
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
 
winner
Killing Me Softly With His Song
Best Rhythm & Blues Song
 
winner
Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

Babyface, songwriter (Whitney Houston)

Best R&B Album
 
winner
Words

The Tony Rich Project

Best Rap Solo Performance
 
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
 
Best Female Country Vocal Performance
 
Best Male Country Vocal Performance
 
winner
Vince Gill
Worlds Apart
Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group
 
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
 
winner
Vince Gill, Alison Krauss & Union Station
High Lonesome Sound
Best Country Instrumental Performance
 
Best Country Song
 
winner
Blue

Bill Mack, songwriter (LeAnn Rimes)

Best Country Album
 
winner
The Road To Ensenada
Best Bluegrass Album
 
winner
True Life Blues - The Songs Of Bill Monroe

(Various Artists)

Best New Age Album
 
winner
The Memory Of Trees
Best Contemporary Jazz Performance
 
Best Jazz Vocal Performance
 
winner
New Moon Daughter
Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
 
winner
Cabin Fever

Michael Brecker, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group
 
winner
Tales From The Hudson
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance
 
winner
Live At Manchester Craftsmen's Guild
Best Latin Jazz Performance
 
winner
Portraits Of Cuba
Best Rock Gospel Album
 
winner
Jesus Freak
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
 
winner
Tribute - The Songs Of Andrae Crouch

(Various Artists)

Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
 
winner
I Love To Tell The Story - 25 Timeless Hymns
Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
 
winner
Face To Face
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
 
winner
Kirk Franklin
Whatcha Lookin' 4

Kirk Franklin & The Family

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

Shirley Caesar, choir director (Shirley Caesar's Outreach Convention Choir)

Best Latin Pop Performance
 
winner
Enrique Iglesias
Enrique Iglesias
Best Tropical Latin Performance
 
winner
Rubén Blades
La Rosa De Los Vientos
Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance
 
winner
Un Millon De Rosas
Best Traditional Blues Album
 
winner
Deep In The Blues
Best Contemporary Blues Album
 
winner
Keb'Mo'
Just Like You
Best Traditional Folk Album
 
Best Contemporary Folk Album
 
winner
Bruce Springsteen
The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Best Reggae Album
 
winner
Hall Of Fame - A Tribute To Bob Marley's 50th Anniversary
Best World Music Album
 
Best Polka Album
 
winner
Jimmy Sturr
Polka! All Night Long
Best Musical Album For Children
 
winner
Linda Ronstadt
Dedicated To The One I Love

Linda Ronstadt

Best Spoken Word Album For Children
 
winner
Stellaluna
Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album
 
winner
It Takes A Village
Best Spoken Comedy Album
 
winner
Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot

Al Franken

Al Franken, artist.

Best Musical Show Album
 
winner
Riverdance

Bill Whelan, composer; Bill Whelan, lyricist; Bill Whelan, producer (Various Artists)

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

Herbie Hancock & Jean Hancock, composers (Herbie Hancock)

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

David Arnold, composer (David Arnold)

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

Diane Warren, songwriter (Celine Dion)

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

Michael Kamen, arranger (Michael Kamen)

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

Alan Broadbent & David Foster, arrangers (Natalie Cole [& Nat "King" Cole])

Best Recording Package
 
winner
Ultra-Lounge (Leopard Skin Sampler)

Andy Engel & Tommy Steele, art directors (Various Artists)

Best Recording Package - Boxed
 
winner
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Chika Azuma & Arnold Levine, art directors (Miles Davis & Gil Evans)

Best Album Notes
 
winner
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner & Phil Schaap, album notes writers (Miles Davis & Gil Evans)

Best Historical Album
 
winner
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Bob Belden & Phil Schaap, compilation producers; Phil Schaap & Mark Wilder, mastering engineers (Miles Davis & Gil Evans)

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

Francis Buckley, Al Schmitt, Bruce Swedien & Tommy Vicari, engineers (Quincy Jones)

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

William Hoekstra & Lawrence Rock, engineers (Leonard Slatkin, conductor)

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

Leonard Slatkin, artist; Joanna Nickrenz, producer

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

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording
 
winner
Britten: Peter Grimes

Philip Langridge, Alan Opie & Janice Watson; Richard Hickox, conductor; Brian Couzens, producer (London Symphony Chorus; City Of London Sinfonia)

Best Choral Performance
 
winner
Walton: Belshazzar's Feast

Neville Creed & David Hill, chorus masters; Andrew Litton, conductor (Bournemouth Symphony Chorus; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)

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

Yefim Bronfman, artist (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

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

Earl Wild, artist

Best Chamber Music Performance
 
winner
Corigliano: String Quartet

Cleveland Quartet (James Dunham, Paul Katz, William Preucil & Peter Salaff), artists

Best Small Ensemble Performance (With Or Without Conductor)
 
winner
Boulez: ...Explosante-Fixe...
Best Classical Vocal Performance
 
winner
Opera Arias - Works Of Mozart, Wagner, Borodin

(Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)

Best Classical Contemporary Composition
 
winner
Corigliano: String Quartet

John Corigliano, composer

Best Music Video, Short Form
 
winner
The Beatles
Free As A Bird

Joe Pytka, video director; Vincent Joliet, video producer

Best Music Video, Long Form
 
winner
The Beatles
The Beatles Anthology

Bob Smeaton & Geoff Wonfor, video directors; Neil Aspinall & Chips Chipperfield, video producers