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And The Grammy Goes To...
It’s that time of the year again. The Grammy’s still remain the final word in the music industry. It’s the biggest variety show of the year, where the world’s biggest rock stars, movie stars and famous beautiful people get together on one stage. As usual only one publication in India gets an all access pass to let you in on what it’s all about. Welcome to The Record’s exclusive coverage of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards…

The Lust for the Grammy:
The Grammy’s didn't always cause this much fuss, only 13 awards were given out when it started in 1958. Over the past 40 years, the Awards ceremony has grown in length as well as prestige with currently awards for well over a hundred categories within 31 genres of music being given out. Watched annually by over 1.5 billion in 170 countries, it’s the night all musicians look forward to, as does the rest of the world. Some of its moments have now become a part of our music lore – from Jennifer Lopez’s infamous low cut green revealing Versace dress to Eminem singing with Elton John. And then there’s the time when lead guitarist of U2, the Edge, stepped up to the microphone and thanked the female orgasmatron for their Grammy. This year promises to be no less.

The Big Buzz This Year:
The Grammy’s have a long history of struggling to appear relevant. This year's nominations mark the consolidation of hip-hop and contemporary rhythm-and-blues as a dominating force, close on the heels of Outkast capturing album of the year at the last Grammy’s. Rapper Kanye West leads the pack this year with 10 nominations, so never again will people ask: who is Kanye West? College didn't work out for the 27 year-old, but his album The College Dropout sure did. The Chicago rapper and producer has the lead in this years nominations, topping R&B singers Alicia Keys and Usher who each received eight nominations. West is not only up against the legendary Ray Charles but also a number of artists and bands ranging from Alicia Keys to pop-rockers Maroon 5 to British teenage soul singer Joss Stone. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

The Big Relevant Categories and Nominees Of This Year Are:
On Tuesday morning, December 7th 2004, the 47th Annual Grammy Award Nominees were announced at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California. We narrowed the list down from over a hundred to the ten most relevant categories and their nominees just for you. The Record also takes an educated guess at the nominees likely to win this year:

Album Of The Year: These are the albums that do more than sell well; they influence producers and musicians throughout the industry, and they help move listeners' tastes in a given direction. Awarded for a body of work behind the release rather than to only the artist or band - the artist, producer and recording engineer each get themselves a Grammy award if their album wins. Previous winners in this category include The Beatles/Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Bee Gees/Saturday Night Fever, Michael Jackson/Thriller, U2/The Joshua Tree & Norah Jones for Come Away With Me. The 2005 nominees are:

Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company
Usher - Confessions
Green Day - American Idiot
Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys
Kanye West -The College Dropout

And the Grammy Goes To…: There’s no need to even look any further than the first name at the top of the list. In his own and less-celebrated way, Ray Charles affected the course of American popular music in the second half of the 20th century as surely and profoundly as Elvis Presley. He injected raw gospel fervor into the staid world of 50’s pop, blowing minds and setting the course for modern rhythm and blues and soul music in the process. The Genius. That was the nickname his awe-struck fellow musicians bestowed on the singer/songwriter, who passed away in mid 2004. The fact that he’s got musicians from Van Morrison to Norah Jones jamming with him on Genius Loves Company and that the CD will be known as the final new material from the father of R&B music makes this a surefire win.

Record Of The Year: Every year the music awards prompt the same age-old question; What's the difference between Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year? Record Of The Year is awarded for a single or for one track from an album. The award goes to the performing artist and the producer, recording engineer, and/or mixer for that song. Song of the Year is also awarded for a single or individual track, but the recipient of that award is only the songwriter who dreamed up the song in the first place - which could be different from the artist/band who performed it.

Previous winners in this category include Getz/Gilberto’s The Girl from Ipanema, Simon and Garfunkel/Bridge Over Troubled Waters, The Eagles/Hotel California, Michael Jackson/Beat It and U2 with Beautiful Day. The 2005 nominees are:

Ray Charles & Norah Jones - Here We Go Again
Los Lonely Boys - Heaven
The Black Eyed Peas - Let's Get It Started
Green Day - American Idiot
Usher - Yeah!

And the Grammy Goes To…: Once again, the first name at the top of the list. Not to take away from his talent, but Ray Charles being a recently dead icon will probably prove irresistible to Grammy voters. Still Los Lonely Boys guitarist/vocalist Henry Garza and his younger, bass-and-drum-playing siblings Jojo and Ringo – could walk away in a surprise win on this one. One reason - the song Heaven did stay in the Top Ten for perpetually most of 2004.

You can read the rest of our cover story on the Grammy Awards in the January 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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