The 2011 Grammy Awards Are Handed Out


Earlier today we learned that the relatively unknown artists Esperanza Spalding (Best New Artist) and Arcade Fire (Album of the Year) took home two of the biggest awards at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards last night … but right now, we get to check out some photos from some of the other Grammy attendees and winners from last night’s show. The big winner of the night was Country act Lady Antebellum. They walked away with two of the most prestigious Grammy Awards of the year — Record of the Year and Song of the Year — and won 5 of their 6 nominations. BUT, there were other winners as well. It was a big night for music here in LA last night.

Pop provocateurs Lady Gaga and Eminem may have brought more compelling career stories to the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, but on a shocking night the big trophies went home Sunday with Southern trio Lady Antebellum and Montreal indie-rock band Arcade Fire. Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” a harmony hit of closing-time yearning, was named record and song of the year (the former is for best overall track; the latter is specifically for song writing), while the best album honors went to Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” the third studio album from the seven-member band led by the married couple Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. A dizzying string of envelope surprises at Staples Center began with perhaps the biggest shock of all: Esperanza Spalding, the 26-year-old jazz bassist and vocalist from Portland, Ore., was named best new artist, beating out far more famous nominees, among them kid-pop sensation Justin Bieber and rapper-singer Drake. Spalding is the first jazz artist to win the coveted best new artist award, but her win recalled the 2008 show when Herbie Hancock took home the album of the year honors. “I take this honor to heart so sincerely, and I’ll do my damnedest to make great music for all of you. It’s such an honor, and God bless,” said a shocked Spalding, who released her third album, “The Chamber Music Society,” last year. Taken collectively, the honors for Spalding, Arcade Fire and Lady Antebellum were vivid reminders that the 13,000 voters of the Recording Academy aren’t marching to the same beat as music consumers or even music critics. The Antebellum victories — they won in five of the six categories in which they were nominated — show the consolidated power of the industry’s country-rooted constituency that has powered major category upsets in recent years for the Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift and the twang-informed duo of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Formed in Nashville in 2006, the trio of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley saw a bookend quality to their Staples Center success on Sunday. As they pointed out during their acceptance speech, their performance of “Need You Now” on last year’s Grammy Awards was a key turning point in the single’s success. “We just cried our eyes out backstage,” Kelley said … In a couple of other historic benchmarks, a Grammy for the first time went to a composition written for a video game: Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu,” which was named best instrumental recording; and the version of Train’s song “Hey, Soul Sister” that won best pop performance by a duo or group was from the iTunes Session EP, the first time iTunes original content has won a Grammy … As far as performances, the show was a mix of major stars of the past, present and, perhaps, the future. All five nominees in the best new artist category performed, and three icons whose recording careers date to the early 1960s took turns at the microphone: Bob Dylan sang “Maggie’s Farm,” Barbra Streisand performed “Evergreen” and Mick Jagger tore through a version of “Everybody Needs Somebody” as a tribute to the late Solomon Burke. The show opened with a squadron of siren voices — Christina Aguilera, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride and Florence Welch — performing a medley of hits associated with Aretha Franklin, the soul queen who has been ailing in recent months. A video message from Franklin followed the number, and the 68-year-old said she hoped to make it to the show in person “next year.” The final surprise was an unprecedented encore at the end of the show. After their acceptance speech, Arcade Fire members returned to their instruments and launched into “Ready to Start,” their second number of the night. Some in the audience thought that it was a punk-spirited coup of the microphone, but Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich said in recent days that he would let the band do an extra song if the show was running ahead of schedule.

Here are some photos from the show itself. Christina Aguilera, as part of the tribute to Aretha Franklin, sang beautifully … but then fell on stage afterward — whoops!

I, personally, thought the show was fun to watch … primarily because it was all about the musical performances. There were a few hits and deffo a few misses (duh, the cones go on your boobs, NOT your shoulders) but overall … the show was pretty fun to watch. Last night’s Grammy Awards telecast was the highest rated show in 10 years. And I loved that there was no host. If the Grammy Awards keeps this up, they might actually be good again. Keep honoring NEW talent, Grammys … I think you’re on to something there ;) Click HERE for a full list of last night’s Grammy Award winners. Did your faves win? What were YOUR fave parts of the show?

[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]

  • sparklecow

    LOL @ the cones comment. Notice how the “woman” cited Whitney Houstan as their inspiration. What an obvious ploy to deflect the Madonna comparisons.

  • MM

    Could not believe that Lady Antebellum song won so many awards. I find that song so unbelievably boring and way past it’s expiration date so that brought down the night a lot for me. I liked the Cee-Lo and Eminem performances and although I was rooting for my girl Flo, I was pleasantly surprised that Esperanza Spaulding won for Best New Artist. Love her smooth groovy jazzy tunes.

    In other news, Lady Gaga took self-aggrandizement to a whole new level. Looking beyond the ridiculous egg/womb/coffin nonsense, why do people who can’t dance get up on stage and do a whole choreographed routine? It’s embarrassing to watch.

    Overall I thought the show was pretty dull. No big standouts. That they had to bring out Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger to bring the excitement just shows how little quality or real star power there is in music today.

  • Capt. Crunch Jr.

    uhh what’s with the giant rock thing?

    • Amanda

      That’s Lady Gaga “incubating” before her performance -.-

  • Mr. Gyllenhaal

    I thought the show was pretty good! I enjoyed all the performances except usher and Beiber. Sorry that boy can’t sing and he just seems odd on stange. I thought Xtina killed it (they all did). I really liked Mumforg and sons…I am IN LOVE with lead singer now. WOWZA!! Why didn’t anyone tell me he was so damn hot?!?!

    • SuzieB

      LOL @MrG – A friend of mine has been tryin to get me into Mumford & Sons for awhile now, and then last night when I saw him I was like “I woulda listened if I knew he was THIS hot”! Hmm shallow much?!?!
      I really enjoyed the Grammy’s this year & enjoy when they give awards to people I haven’t heard of before. Bieber & Drake don’t need more notoriety (hmm if you ask me Bieber’s overexposed) but the win for Esperanza will totally change her career now that more people know of her. Arcade Fire too!

  • nicole

    Christina did amazing last night, and i cant even comment on her fall..hell it was more of a slip..cause i fall atleast 3 times a week lol.
    when i say gaga’s hair in the long ponytail..i died laughing…hell shes not even trying to hide it now.
    and can i just say Jlo looks fantastic in that picture, geez. but what was rihanna thinking? atleast her hair is….somewhat better?

    • Jessica

      @nicole, bahaha you sound like me! If I haven’t twisted my ankle atleast once a week…then clearly the weeks not over lol.
      Everyone keeps saying she slipped cause she was drunk…puhleeeease! It looked more like she twisted her ankle on her giant heels.

    • nicole

      @Jessica – haha!
      see thats what i thought, that either it was her shoes, or maybe she stepped on part of her dress? that was hardly a “drunk” fall.

  • Eddy

    Who knew Bruno Mars was so great, thought his performance with B.o.B. and Janelle was a highlight! Very happy to see Muse on stage but stage show was too distracting. Glad Arcade Fire won and played TWO songs! I downloaded Mumford/Sons and Avett Brothers off of their performances, glad I did. Good to see Eminem show up but damn, his angry white man persona is getting tired, you won, be happy!

    • Lacey

      Isn’t it nice to see that performances like Bruno Mars and Arcade Fire received huge applause and they don’t rely on antics like coming out of an egg?

    • Kyleigh

      LOVED Bruno Mars, and I did know he was great! Look for his SNL performances on youtube! Genius!

  • Trish

    Did anyone else catch Nicole Kidman singing along to Teenage Dream? You could tell she was embarassed to get caught in the act, but it was a funny “real” moment. She should have just kept singing along..

    • emily

      hahaha yes i totally saw her singing along, it was cute to see her being a real person, and she did get really awkward when she got caught out too!!!
      Also I loved Cee Lo’s performance but did not understand the giant chicken costume LOL

  • laurennc

    I enjoyed the show last night. Bruno Mars and Katy Perry were my favorite. I thought it was cute that she showed video clips from her wedding. I also liked Cee Lo and Gwyneth as well. I couldn’t help but laugh when Lady GaGa came out of that egg with that long ponytail and then when she thanked Whitney Houston I just wanted to slap her. I’m sure her “Gaboons” thought she was so original last night though. She came off really fake to me when she gave that speech.

  • kerirulz

    i was fortunate enough to be in attendance and let me tell you, eminem/rihanna/drew were ELECTRIC. their performance gave me goosebumps. and, surprisingly, i also really enjoyed muse! it was such a fun show!

    • kerirulz

      “drew”? DRE. good lord.

  • cutitout

    Eminem needs some mood-elavators. Sheesh. He won and not a single smile.

  • Mitchell

    My favourite part was when Gaga pretended to be Madonna!!

    Errr, I mean Whitney?

  • Chase

    – GaGa proved last night that she is NOTHING without theatrics. She sang good, yes, but her performance was dull because she wasn’t hanging herself, being an attention whore, etc., which made her like any other popstar out there. Without the theatrics she’s pretty much on the same level as Katy Perry/Rihanna.
    – I loved the B.O.B./Bruno Mars/Janelle performance!
    – I love Arcade Fire.
    – Eminem’s vein-y forehead scared me!

  • cutitout

    Trent, you must post this to free the delusionals…

    • nicole

      i love how he got into it haha

  • J

    Christina was the biggest highlight along with Janelle Monae for me.
    The opening was the best cause it wasn’t a disasterous pop act with explosions and smoke and too many dancers on stage.

    I say leave THAT for the MTV Awards and the Grammy’s for showing your talent like your voice. I know being a musician can mean an entertainer but the Grammy doesn’t reward entertainers, well they shouldn’t, they should reward the person with best Pop Vocal Performance or the Best Record etc…

    I thought Katy did the best in blending a nice ballad with an upbeat song. Gaga was too over the place, running to an organ that didnt even sound like it was being played correctly.

    I love how vocalists give it their all at the Grammy’s, it always brings out most artists best performances. The 4 SISTERS were just amazing, each held their own but Xtina just made everyone STFU. Everyone knows shes the best vocalist of our gen, they just took the Superbowl WAY too far. Pity she slipped cause everyone talks about THAT and not how great of a performance she did.


  • c’mon… mumford and sons and the avett brothers were just amazing. they made the grammy’s!

  • Xadax

    I was expecting Madonna’s long lost ugly sister was going to bring it but it left unimpressed. It was the same old thing she does in her Fame Monster era – the attention seeking tumor was the only thing that got me a bit excited – not her music (AT ALL).

    Even if you think that you have one of the greatest voices in your delusional world Lady Gaga (& her delusional monsters? but in reality, you’re just a mediocre – if Xtina was in that category – you wouldn’t even stand a chance.

  • jane

    cant stand what Gaga did. too attention-seeking. stop that already!