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FEATURE ARTICLE

 
RAPPER LIL WAYNE BIG GRAMMY WINNER

 

Rapper Lil Wayne may have come into the Grammys with the most nominations, but he had to settle for a handful of off-camera gramophones and the prime-time Best Rap Album trophy as the duo of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss dominated the night's major categories.

 

The awards show featured a slew of amazing performances, as well as the noticeable absence of two nominated artists and expected performers, Rihanna and Chris Brown, who were scratched at the last minute following an alleged domestic incident, for which Brown turned himself in during the broadcast.

 

R&B diva Whitney Houston got a standing ovation (and showed some leg) just before presenting the night’s first televised award -Best R&B Album award - which went to a stunned-looking Jennifer Hudson for her self-titled debut album.

 

The singer got a long hug from Houston and a standing ovation as she hoisted the award above her head. Overcome with emotion, her voice cracking, Hudson — whose Super Bowl performance last week was her first major public appearance since the murders of her mother, brother and nephew in October — thanked God "who has brought me through ... and my family, in heaven and those who are here today."

 

Among the performance highlights: Justin Timberlake took the stage with soul great the Reverend Al Green, collaborating on "Let's Stay Together" as Boyz II Men happily sang backup and Keith Urban added a tasty guitar solo.

 

Coldplay's Chris Martin crooned "Lost" at a piano by himself but was soon joined by his frequent collaborator and couples pal, Jay-Z.

 

Lil Wayne, joined by Robin Thicke, paid tribute to his hometown with the somber "Tie My Hands," as images of Hurricane Katrina unspooled on the screens above the stage. The raucous performance ended with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and trumpet player Terence Blanchard playing a horn-blasted musical tribute to the Crescent City's jazz heritage, as Wayne scatted "feet don't fail me now, feet don't fail me now."

 

Waiting in the wings following his performance, Wayne, ran up on the stage to accept the Best Rap Album Grammy and kicked his heels together as he was joined by his daughter, members of his family and crew. "Thank God, thank New Orleans, thank these people you see right here, and thank you!" the clearly excited MC said, collecting his fourth Grammy of the night.

 

Stevie Wonder got in on some of T-Pain's vocal-blurring action, singing through a vocoder as he joined the Jonas Brothers for a run through of their hit "Burning Up," which segued into his classic "Superstition.”

 

The slowly re-emerging Hudson who once again stole the show. Two spotlights aimed at her, Hudson strolled slowly onto the stage in a body-hugging black sequined dress, belting out the inspirational "You Pulled Me Through" as a swaying gospel choir emerged to back her up. The singer broke into tears as she ended the song, which drew her second standing ovation of the night as she lingered alone center stage savoring the love and support from her peers.

 

Maybe Kanye West had the same stylist, as he took the stage in a silver lamé jacket and black pants to sing "American Boy" with Estelle in the middle of the crowd.

 

Wearing black tights, high-tops and a black-and-white polka-dotted maternity bikini under a black body stocking, a nine-months pregnant M.I.A. acted oblivious to the fact that Sunday was her due date as she sang the hook and hung with the boys on "Swagga Like Us." She was surrounded by the tuxedo-wearing Mount Rushmore of rap, as Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and T.I. laid down their verses on Tip's remix of her signature song "Paper Planes" for one of the most memorable and high-power hip-hop performances in Grammy history.

 

T.I. and Justin Timberlake hit the stage again later in the show to re-create their collaboration on the King of the South's somber elegy to friends passed, "Dead and Gone." In his final performance before entering prison for gun charges, Tip, dressed all in black, gave a shout-out to the song's inspiration, his murdered friend Philant Johnson, as Timberlake crooned the hook while playing the piano and a battalion of bucket thumping percussionists laid down a funky beat. T.I. ended the riveting performance by intoning, "Adversity builds character, character will take you places money can't, welcome to my road to redemption," as he humbly hung his head.

 

Source

 

See 2009 Winner Listing

 



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