The Grammy’s have gone country once again, with Lady Antebellum snaring top awards while rapper Eminem, with 10 nominations, only won in his category and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber was shut out of the awards.
Last year, Taylor Swift was the Grammy queen, but this year, the industry’s 12,000 voters handed Lady Antebellum five awards, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
Meanwhile, indie rock band Arcade Fire came out of left field to win Album of the Year, the show’s top prize. Barbra Streisand presented the award.
The honor was such a surprise, the band played an unscheduled performance to close the show.
Lady Gaga and rapper Jay-Z won three awards each, both of them beating Eminem.
Gaga won for The Fame Monster, and her song “Bad Romance” won two awards.
Jay-Z wins were limited to the rap category for “Empire State of Mind,” a duet with R&B star Alicia Keys.
Other winners included classical producer David Frost with four awards; British guitarist Jeff Beck and singer/songwriter John Legend with three each, while R&B singer Usher, and rock band the Black Keys with two each, according to Reuters.
Traditionally the Grammys are fairly predictable, but this year major R&B, Rap and pop acts were overlooked for top awards, reflecting, perhaps, the influence of older industry insiders who dominate the voting.
Arcade Fire’s win was the first time a rock band won top honors since U2 in 2005. And in a big diss to the major record labels, their album The Suburbs won without major label support.
Beyond that, the night belonged to Lady Antebellum
“We’ll probably never have one of these moments ever again in our career,” said the ban’s singer Charles Kelley.
“You’re not going to win five Grammys ever again. We know that, we’re realistic. So we’re gonna try to soak it up.”
Bieber suffered a surprise loss when the best new artist award went to jazz artist Esperanza Spalding, 26. She was the first jazz artist to win in 35 years.
Rapper Drake had also been nominated for the award.
Spalding seemed to acknowledge the momentousness of her win when she gave a shoutout to Bieber’s fans.
“When this is all over we’re all colleagues again, just like we were before,” she said.
“He’s unquestionably a talented young man. He’s going to do lots more things in the future, and his fans will be getting lots more CDs to sink their teeth into.”