Entertainment | Music

Grammys: Fun., Gotye, and Mumford bag top prizes

Indie pop band fun., folk rockers Mumford & Sons and Gotye rule the Grammys

  • Agencies
  • Published: 07:44 February 11, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: REUTERS
  • Beyonce poses with her award for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Love On Top" backstage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 10, 2013.
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LOS ANGELES: Mumford & Sons wrapped up a completely unpredictable Grammy Awards with perhaps the most surprising win of the night, taking home album of the year for "Babel."

Even the London folk-rockers were shocked when Adele, who won the trophy last year, presented her countrymen with the award.

"We figured we weren't going to win anything because The Black Keys have been sweeping up all day, rightfully so," Marcus Mumford said.

Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys ended up the night's top winner with four trophies, including producer of the year and three rock category victories with bandmate Patrick Carney. But it was hardly a clean sweep as The Recording Academy's thousands of voters spread the love for the year's top singles.

Fun. took home major awards best new artist, in something of an upset over R&B singer Frank Ocean, and song of the year for the transcendent anthem "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae.

"I didn't think we were going to win this one," lead singer Nate Ruess said after the best new artist win. "Frank Ocean. The Lumineers. Everybody, amazing."

Like Mumford & Sons, Gotye busted up the predictions, taking record of the year for 2012's top-selling single, the haunting "Somebody That I Used To Know," featuring New Zealand's Kimbra, and finished with three awards.

Prince, in hood and sunglasses and carrying a sparkly silver cane, presented him with the record of the year trophy and the Australian paid tribute to The Purple One's influence.

"A little bit lost for words, to receive an award from the man standing behind us with the cane," the Belgian-Australian Gotye said. "Many years listening to this man's music growing up and a big reason I was inspired to make music. Thank you."

Jay-Z and Kanye West had three wins - sharing one award with Ocean - along with electronica star Skrillex, and a slew of nominees had two wins apiece, including former best new artist winner Esperanza Spalding.

Ocean was shut out in the major categories, but took home two trophies, including best urban contemporary album. Only Chris Brown, with whom Ocean scuffled last month, remained seated as the 25-year-old R&B winner walked to the stage during a standing ovation. Ocean beat Brown, who attended with girlfriend Rihanna, in the category.

Ocean won also won best rap/sung collaboration for "No Church in the Wild" with fellow top nominees Jay-Z and West, and The-Dream. The win came after victories for Jay-Z and West for best rap song and best rap performance for "... in Paris," another "Watch the Throne" track. Ocean also performed his song "Forrest Gump," the love song written about a man that first started the buzz that led to his announcement that his first love was a man.

"We Are Young" helped fun. earn a starring role at these Grammys with nominations in all four major categories after the release of their first album, matched only by Christopher Cross in 1981, and six overall. The band turned in a powerful early performance of "Carry On" as a downpour on stage began mid-song and guitarist Jack Antonoff got a kiss from girlfriend "Girls" creator Lena Dunham after winning.

The Black Keys took best rock performance for "Lonely Boy" during the main telecast and earlier in the day won best rock song for "Lonely Boy" and best rock album for "El Camino." He also got an assist - but no trophy - on New Orleans legend Dr. John's best blues album "Locked Down," which he produced.

Other winners included Rihanna, Beyonce, Mumford & Sons and Taylor Swift, who opened the show as the Mad Hatter. Swift dressed in white top hat, tails, shorts and tall boots during the surreal version of her hummable hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" that included a troop of mime clowns and a guy on a tricycle with a flame-thrower attached.

The singer pretended to talk to the offending boyfriend on the phone: "I'm busy opening the Grammys and we're never getting back together."

Justin Timberlake debuted new tracks "Suit & Tie" with Jay-Z and "Pusher Love" in a performance that was broadcast in retro black and white. Rihanna and the extended Marley family paid tribute to Bob Marley. Sting and Bruno Mars helped each other out on their hits "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Walking on the Moon." Elton John and Ed Sheeran teamed on "The A Team" and Miguel and Wiz Khalifa joined forces on "Adorn." Alicia Keys played drums during Maroon 5's "Daylight," before Adam Levine's band backed her on "Girl on Fire."

Jack White brought both his male and female bands on stage, tearing through "Love Interruption" and "Freedom at 21" before a standing ovation from the crowd. And Elton John, Mavis Staples, Brown, Mumford & Sons and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes paid tribute to the late Levon Helm with a spirited rendition of "The Weight."

Adele won the first award of the night on the main telecast, taking home best pop solo performance for "Set Fire to the Rain (Live)," in one of the night's least-surprising moments - though the singer was somewhat taken aback.
"I just wanted to be part of the night, because I loved it last year, obviously," she said of winning a record-tying six awards in 2012.

Carrie Underwood won best country solo performance for "Blown Away," Zac Brown Band won best country album for "Uncaged" and Kelly Clarkson turned in the night's most exuberant acceptance speech after winning best pop vocal album for "Stronger." After hugging much of the front row and momentarily getting stuck to Miranda Lambert's dress, Clarkson charged the stage with a giant smile.

"Miguel, I don't know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together," she said. "I mean, good God. That was the sexiest dancing I've ever seen."

Skrillex won best dance recording for "Bangarang," featuring Sirah, best dance/electronica album for "Bangarang" and best remixed recording a year after winning those same awards in his first appearance at the Grammys.

"You know what, I thought I'd get used to it, but I tripped over every word when I was up there," Skrillex said of his acceptance speeches. "I felt like I just wanted a pool of ice water and just couldn't even breathe or think. It was crazy. I think it was even crazier than last year."

Celebrities rolled down the red carpet in the early afternoon under heavy police guard during a continued manhunt for an alleged cop killer. Many stars showed a fair amount of skin - check out the Twitter pic of Ellen DeGeneres ogling Katy Perry's revealing dress - despite CBS's mandate that stars dress appropriately with butts, breasts and other sensitive areas covered adequately.

Nevertheless, Jennifer Lopez showed up on stage in a dress slit all the way to her hip.

"As you can see, I read the memo," Lopez joked.

Colombian pop superstar Juanes performed with just a guitar during the main telecast. Earlier, he took home the award for best Latin pop album for his "MTV Unplugged" album.

Canadian rapper Drake won his first Grammy, the best rap album award for "Take Care."

Paul McCartney won best traditional pop vocal album for "Kisses On The Bottom," while The Beach Boys earned best historical album, the group's first Grammy, for "The Smile Sessions."

Other early winners included Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso, ambassador of Indian music and friend of The Beatles, who died in December at 92, won best world music album for "The Living Room Sessions Part 1."

Anoushka Shankar, his daughter, accepted the award on his behalf. The sitarist was also a nominee for her album "Traveller."

Quetzal, a bilingual Los Angeles rock band, for best Latin rock, urban or alternative album for "Imaginaries."

Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval won for best large jazz ensemble, his fourth Grammy.

The Latin jazz award, which was restored this year after its elimination was met with widespread protests, went to The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band for "!Ritmo!" Bandleader and keyboardist Clare Fischer passed away in 2012.
Jamaica's Jimmy Cliff won the reggae award for "Rebirth." 

Taylor Swift opens Grammys show

 The 55th Grammy Awards opened Sunday with Beyonce, Paul McCartney and Ravi Shankar among the early winners but all eyes on the major awards, with indie band fun. hoping for big time glory.

Taylor Swift opened the music industry’s biggest annual show in white hot pants and a spangly top hat, with a circus-themed performance of her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Elton John, Sting and Justin Timberlake were among veterans at the show, held amid tight security as Los Angeles police hunt an alleged killer who some suggest could target cops at the Grammys show.

British songstress Adele, who swept last year’s show winning six Grammys, took home the first award given out on the live telecast, for best pop solo performance.

Organizers hope to avoid drama which the Grammys seem to attract - last year with the death of Whitney Houston on the eve of the show; and a few years before with the infamous Chris Brown-Rihanna domestic assault.

In a two-hour pre-telecast show, the Black Keys won best rock album, Keys singer Dan Auerbach won best rock song, Drake took best rap album, while Paul McCartney won for best traditional vocal pop album for “Kisses on the Bottom.”

Beyonce won best traditional R&B performance for “Love on Top,” Beach Boy Brian Wilson was honored for best historical album and late Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar won best world music album for “The Living Room Sessions Part 1.”

Rihanna was among the stars set to take the stage Sunday night, along with the likes of Frank Ocean, The Black Keys, Jack White, Kelly Clarkson and Gotye.

But New York band fun. topped nominations announced in December, shortlisted in six categories including the key prizes of best album (“Some Nights”), song (“We Are Young”), record (for producers of “We Are Young”) and best new artist.

R&B artist Ocean also scored six nominations, including for best album (the critically acclaimed “Channel Orange”), record of the year (“Thinkin Bout You”), best new artist and best urban contemporary album.

Last year’s Grammys were dominated by Adele, who collected six awards, including album of the year for “21” - only the second woman in Grammy history to collect so many awards in a single go.

Nominated for best song this year were British balladeer Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” Miguel’s “Adorn,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Clarkson’s “Stronger,” alongside “We Are Young.”

In the Grammy show’s traditional In Memoriam segment, John was to join fellow British stars Mumford & Sons and others in paying tribute to Levon Helm, the late drummer and singer with The Band.

There was minor drama on the eve of the Grammys, but nothing like Houston’s shock death last year: Brown wrecked his Porsche in Beverly Hills on Saturday, and blamed paparazzi for the crash.

LA police already were due to be out in force to protect the stars and crowds - but they are also on the lookout for former cop Christopher Dorner, accused of killing three people and threatening to kill more officers.

Hours before the Grammys, authorities offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Dorner, who named a list of targets in a chilling online manifesto.

On the eve of the show, a leaked letter from US television network CBS - which broadcasts the Grammys live - warned stars not to reveal too much skin on stage Sunday night.

“Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered... Thong-type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack,” it said.

But A-listers tested the limits on the red carpet in body-conscious, revealing gowns.

Katy Perry definitely did not get the CBS memo, strutting her stuff in a skin-tight cleavage-baring mint green dress, saying she was inspired by the retro glam of Priscilla Presley’s look in the 1970s.

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