We're doing overnight shoots on Trexx and Flipside this week so I'm trying to stay awake until 5am so I can set a decent sleep pattern which also means I can not only listen again to the brilliant Africa Cup of Nations Final 1Xtra Special (make Robbo work yes!) but I can also be the first on the 1Xtra site to bring you the (relevant) winners from the Grammy Awards 2008.
Now, this has all been garnered from the internet. For some reason, TV companies in the UK seem to think that we aren't interested in what is arguably the most important music awards in the world so I can't tell you about any performance highlights, red carpet gossip or who wore what. I'm sure if you want to know that, then you'll already know to be tuned in to the E! channel for the next 2 weeks or will be rushing down to the shops for your copy of next week's Heat/Hot/Grazia/Hello/Goodbye/OK/Cheers/Celebguttertrash or whichever one you tend to read (they're all the same to me - unless one wants to offer me a deal for my wedding next year...!)
So, onto the winners and I'm pretty happy that 2008 seems to be Kanye, Chaka Khan and Mark Ronson's year (of course Amy Winehouse too, but let's focus on Mark instead!). Kanye has managed to win 4 grammies: Best Rap Album for Graduation; Best Solo Rap Performance for the record that just won't go away - Stronger; Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for Southside with Common from Finding Forever and Best Rap Song for Good Life). I can't wait to see his acceptance speeches!
**UPDATE - Probably before you even get to read this post, I've found Kanye's acceptance speech for Best Rap Album. You HAVE to love the internet...**
Onto Mark Ronson - now, not only has he been named Producer of the Year (Non Classical) but also his work on Amy Winehouse's Back To Black album has earned 4 Grammy awards - one for Best Pop Vocal album, 3 for the big tune Rehab which was named Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record Of The Year AND Song Of The Year. While my feelings are mixed about Amy winning so much on account of reports that it's because she's not coping very well with fame which has led to her well publicised troubles (PLEASE don't destroy yourself girl), Mark really deserves the accolades. While he may not have had to struggle, he's been on the grind for years with various projects and when I met him in New York, he seems a really sound dude. Well done mate!
And finally, the legendary 'Woman of Fire' got her dues in '08
Chaka & Zena from the 1Xtra Breakfast Show
The criminally under-rated album 'Funk This' by Chaka was named Best R&B Album and her duet with Mary J Blige 'Disrespectful' won Best R&B Performance by a Duo of Group with Vocals (aka Best R&B duet!). Notice anything the 3 big winners had in common? Yup, they've all done something with 1Xtra over the last 12 months. I'm not saying that it was that alone that won them their grammies (and I'm sure Kanye would have something to say to me if I did say that!) but other artists, TAKE NOTE!!
Other notable winners include:
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: "What Goes Around...Comes Around," Justin Timberlake.
Best R&B Song: "No One," Dirty Harry, Kerry Brothers & Alicia Keys, songwriters (Alicia Keys).
Best Contemporary R&B Album: "Because of You," Ne-Yo.
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: "Future Baby Mama," Prince.
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: "In My Songs," Gerald Levert.
Best Urban/Alternative Performance: "Daydreamin'," Lupe Fiasco, featuring Jill Scott.
Best Dance Recording: "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows," Justin Timberlake, Nate (Danja) Hills, Timbaland & Justin Timberlake, producers; Jimmy Douglass & Timbaland, mixers.
Best Reggae: "Mind Control," Stephen Marley
What do you reckon though? Did the right people win or would you have gone for different winners if you were in charge?
While you think, click below and check out Kanye's performance from the Grammy's of Stronger (with Daft Punk) and Hey Mama 2008.
Kanye displays why he's potentially the best live HipHop showman on the scene right now: