Grammy choices show innovation and thought

MUMBAI: The grim Grammys? Not quite so drastic but hot bods of pop Beyonce Knowles and Christina Aguilera, both big winners at this year's Grammy, "demurely" attired during their acts certainly says something about the Jackson effect on pop music's biggest night.

That of course does not take anything away from the 46th Grammy Awards which still managed to highlight an eclectic year of brazen recordings that took music to some great highs. In India the awards aired live this morning on Star World. Those who missed the action can catch a repeat at 8 pm this evening.

The awards were nicely divided showing that there was a great deal of deliberation that took place among the jury. Coldplay took the award for record of the year for Clocks, beating out Beyonce and Outkast. Frontman Chris Martin dedicated the trophy to the late Johnny Cash and presidential hopeful John Kerry. Album of the year went to OutKast for the genre-busting double CD Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. OutKast's Andre 3000 didn't have much to say except a "Thank you" which is probably the shortest acceptance speech in the events history. The song of the year trophy went to singer cum writer Luther Vandross for Dance With My Father.

Beyonce was a multiple winner picking up five awards including one for her contemporary R&B album Dangerously in Love. There was some positive news for Justin Timberlake. The singer who got mired in the Janet Jackson expose won two awards one of which was for male pop vocal for Cry Me a River. He shows a lot of class in the light of the controversy saying, " "I know it's been a rough week on everybody, What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I apologise if you guys are offended."

The Jackson controversy was an undercurrent theme and affected the mood of the show which was fairly conservative and toned down. During the pre-show awards ceremony, Grammy-winning producer Pharrell Williams blamed the media for overhyping the incident. The sentiment was shared by alternative rocker Dave Matthews who said that the incident did not warrant so much attention. He was cited in the male rock vocal performance category for Gravedigger.

As far as tame acts go how was this from pop vixen Aguilera. Known for her album "Stripped" and its song "Dirrty," Aguilera performed her tamer single "Beautiful" clad in a suit and tie. In a surprise, she didn't rip it off to expose more skin.

Aguilera received a Grammy for female pop vocalist after she had changed into an extremely low-cut white dress, but she walked to the stage with her arms pressed demurely against her chest.

"I don't want to have the same thing happen that Janet had done ... if I can keep it together," she said, holding the straps of her gown in place during her acceptance speech.

The camera stayed tight on her face and neck -- zooming in close enough to avoid dwelling on her cleavage.

Beyonce was no less "demure" decked up in a blue shimmering ball gown in her final song rendition belting out a love ballad in a manner that would have done "her li'll ole grandmammy proud".

Hey, if music took centrestage for once, it can't be all bad.

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