The Grammy Awards once again provide ammunition for those who consider them irrelevant. Maroon 5 as Best New Artist and Ray Charles as the face of 2004 music! Sentiment and the popularity of the film “Ray” gave eight posthumous awards to Ray Charles including Best Album and Record of the year. Upsetting universal favorite Kanye West, Maroon 5 were crowned 2004’s Best New Artist. Giving that award to a band who are essentially this year’s Spin Doctors was a real slap to West, who publicly complained (and later apologized) for losing the same award at the American Music Awards to country newcomer Gretchen Wilson. Kanye had to be satisfied with his Best Rap Album and Rap Song statues.
Awards were also given to Ben Harper (Pop Instrumental), Britney Spears (Dance Recording), Bruce Springsteen (Solo Rock), Velvet Revolver (Hard Rock), Motorhead (Metal), Brian Wilson (Rock Instrumental), Jay-Z (Rap Solo), Toots & The Maytalls (Reggae Album), The Daily Show (Comedy Album), Zach Braff (Soundtrack Compilation for Garden State) and President Bill Clinton (Spoken Word). But you didn’t see any of them on TV. They were all part of an non-televised ceremony held earlier in the day.
Over the 3 and a half hour broadcast, there were only 11 awards presented out of the total 107 categories, but with 30 separate acts spread across 13 performances. In that way the Grammys most resemble an all-star concert event. The awards themselves are just a backdrop.
Fashion-wise, it was a battle between skin (Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Lopez) and suits (Maroon 5, Velvet Revolver, Franz Ferdinand). There were so many skinny ties that at times it resembled the early 60’s Ed Sullivan Show.
Given all the respect paid to Ray Charles, when is the James Brown biopic coming out? Get Andre 3000 to star in a “Ray” type tell-all, with lurid scenes of PCP, wife beating and jazz splits.
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