2008 Grammy Winners

51st Annual GRAMMY Awards (2008)

If there was an underlying theme to the 51st GRAMMY Awards, it might have been a night of triumphs: Robert Plant's enthusiastic reception of GRAMMY gold some 40 years after helping lay a hard rock cornerstone with Led Zeppelin; Jennifer Hudson's tearful but steadfast performance only months after suffering a personal family tragedy; the triumph of both youth (Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift) and experience (B.B. King, Paul McCartney, Allen Toussaint); and even the audacious victory of performing pregnant, on your due date (M.I.A.).

And, of course, the triumph of music itself with the GRAMMYs' ability to shine a light on the power of music and the magnificence of a musician's creativity. As John Mayer said in accepting his Best Male Pop Vocal Performance GRAMMY for his song "Say": "It's always an honor to be a musician…I love being a songwriter…I love making music. It's the best thing in the world."

The formidable duo of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were the evening's top winners, sweeping all their nominations and picking up five total GRAMMYs for Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album for Raising Sand, Record Of The Year for "Please Read The Letter," Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for "Rich Woman," and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "Killing The Blues."

Rapper Lil Wayne took home an impressive four awards of his own: Best Rap Album for Tha Carter III, Best Rap Solo Performance for "A Milli," Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group for "Swagga Like Us" (featuring Jay-Z, T.I. and Kanye West), and Best Rap Song for "Lollipop." Coldplay won the Song Of The Year and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals honors for "Viva La Vida," in addition to Best Rock Album.

A host of other diverse artists picked up two GRAMMY wins each including Adele (including Best New Artist), R&B artists Al Green and Ne-Yo, John Mayer, Brad Paisley, and Sugarland, among others.

Music's Biggest Night also featured the most performances in GRAMMY Awards history, kicking off with a thundering performance by U2. Bono and company stormed the stage with their latest single "Get On Your Boots" amid a swirling psychedelic backdrop that electrified Staples Center.

Justin Timberlake ran down his childhood love of Al Green before joining the reverend himself alongside Boyz II Men and Keith Urban for an impassioned take on Green's soul classic "Let's Stay Together." Green's uplifting vocals — paired with Timberlake's silky voice, Boyz II Men's able harmonies and a superbly improvised guitar solo from Urban — resulted in the type of knockout performance only seen on the GRAMMY Awards.

Coldplay's performance got off to an introspective start with singer Chris Martin poised at a piano to deliver a brilliantly poignant version of "Lost." Midway through, Jay-Z joined for a surprise cameo, name-checking everyone from the Notorious B.I.G. to Jesus, Caesar and Brutus and rapping with his patented cool ferocity. Then, leaping from the piano, Martin joined his bandmates for their GRAMMY-winning song "Viva La Vida."

Carrie Underwood kept the fire burning, blowing through her girl-gone-bad song "Last Name" with the power-packed vocals she's brought to previous GRAMMY shows.

Kid Rock mixed a potent cocktail of Southern rock and soul for a fist-pumping rendition of his "Amen" before segueing into his hit "All Summer Long," an anthem that samples classics such as Warren Zevon's "Werewolves Of London" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." Rock then marched into "Rock N Roll Jesus" triumphantly loud and proud.

The precocious talent of youth was on full display when 19-year-old Taylor Swift welcomed 16-year-old Miley Cyrus for an intimate performance of Swift's "Fifteen." With Swift providing quiet accompaniment on acoustic guitar, the two starlets poignantly took the audience through the milestones of youth while singing with a sweetness and maturity beyond their combined years.

Fresh off her GRAMMY win for Best R&B Album, Jennifer Hudson performed an especially meaningful "You Pulled Me Through" with her trademark bravura. The song showed off her magnetic vocals and her ability to surmount personal tragedies. As she finished singing, she waved off a few authentic tears.

In an inspired if unexpected collaboration, GRAMMY-winning legend Stevie Wonder joined Best New Artist nominees the Jonas Brothers for a medley that included the Jonases' pop barnstormer "Burnin' Up" and Wonder's classic "Superstition." Wonder, who also got his start in his early teens, matched the JoBros' enthusiasm throughout the performance.

Katy Perry commandeered the stage from her perch in a giant golden banana to deliver her infectious "I Kissed A Girl." In a sparkling fruit-themed outfit and accompanied by a cadre of white-suited ladies eager to be the recipients of her curious affection, Perry shimmied with the kind of lustful emotion the song demands.

Kanye West then paced his way around the stage before slamming into his GRAMMY-winning "American Boy" with English songstress Estelle. Dipping into the chemistry that suffuses the song, they bounced their lyrics off each other like a gentle breeze blowing off the stage. (The pair won the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the song.)

Bathed in a smoky blue light, the usually fun-loving country star Kenny Chesney delivered his heartfelt, introspective breakup song "Better As A Memory." It was one of the night's quieter stunners, plainly delivered on acoustic guitar and every note sung with a touch of aching melancholy.

A very pregnant M.I.A. joined a hip-hop all-star team of T.I., Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West onstage for the aptly titled "Swagga Like Us." Stomping, head-bobbing and yes, swaggering to M.I.A.'s infectious opening beat, West called himself "Christopher Columbus" before handing over the mic for authoritative raps from Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. T.I. tackled spotlight duties last, leaning into his verses with a worked-up fervor.

Seconds later, Sir Paul McCartney rocked it old school with a rendition of the Beatles classic "I Saw Her Standing There" with Foo Fighter Dave Grohl — hair loose and sticks flying — joining on drums. The electric performance highlighted why deference to McCartney became an almost running commentary throughout the night's acceptance speeches.

Led by singer Jennifer Nettles, two-time GRAMMY winners Sugarland crept up on the emotionally vulnerable with "Stay," a lilting number made all the more memorable by Nettles' remarkably perfect delivery. Almost immediately after, Best New Artist winner Adele segued into her contemplative "Chasing Pavements." Her understated but intense vocal — combined with surprise harmonies from Nettles — ended the classic soul-flavored song on an emotional note.

A GRAMMY nominee in her own right, actress Gwyneth Paltrow then introduced Radiohead — a band that hadn't performed on live U.S. television since 2000. Thom Yorke and friends launched into "15 Step" from their Best Alternative Music Album-winning In Rainbows. Backed by the USC Trojan Marching Band, the group revealed themselves to be an almost unclassifiable act, underscoring their mysterious genius.

Timberlake came back to the stage with T.I. for "Dead And Gone," a song on which they collaborated. Timberlake opened with a vulnerable vocal as he played piano before T.I. tore off a rapid-flow rhyme.

A fitting tribute was paid to Lifetime Achievement Award recipients the Four Tops (one of 12 Special Merit Award recipients acknowledged during the evening), represented by Abdul "Duke" Fakir, with a medley of "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)." Fellow Motown favorite Smokey Robinson assumed vocal duties alongside Fakir and relative R&B newcomers Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo. Fakir, tall and dashing, was as sure of voice as he was in his heyday.

MusiCares Person of the Year Neil Diamond, looking like a man who knows sincerity when he sings it, sailed into his chestnut "Sweet Caroline." In crowd-pleasing Diamond fashion, he swayed, smiled and gestured to the audience. Following Diamond's performance and a montage acknowledging music giants who passed away this past year, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, John Mayer, and Urban — each with six-strings in tow — plucked out a flawless, organic tribute to the late Bo Diddley, who died in June.

Melding the distinct genres of hip-hop, R&B and jazz in a tribute to the recuperating post-Hurricane Katrina city of New Orleans, native sons Lil Wayne, Allen Toussaint and Terence Blanchard, along with singer Robin Thicke, took the stage for a medley of "Tie My Hands," "Big Chief" and "Feet Don't Fail Me Now," backed by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. While Hurricane Katrina footage flashed behind Lil Wayne and Thicke on "Tie My Hands," the two exchanged raps and R&B verses amid Blanchard's trumpet stylings and a brilliant piano solo from Toussaint.

In the night's final performance, angel-voiced Alison Krauss and classic rock hero Robert Plant took the stage with producer T Bone Burnett and eased into "Rich Woman." Standing just inches apart at their microphones, Krauss and Plant sang quietly together. Then, when the band kicked up for "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)," the duo broke out the hip-shaking moves reminiscent of Plant's Led Zeppelin glory days.

In accepting the Album Of The Year award, Plant spoke of a music world vastly changed since his youth. "I'm bewildered," he said. "In the old days they would have called this selling out, but I think it's a good way to spend a Sunday." Plant then noted that his and Krauss' success had come via an independent record label and paid quick tribute to the adventurous independent faction of the industry, perhaps a final triumph worth mentioning.

Record Of The Year
Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, T Bone Burnett
Please Read The Letter

T Bone Burnett, producer; Mike Piersante, engineer/mixer

Album Of The Year
Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, T Bone Burnett
Raising Sand

T Bone Burnett, producer; Mike Piersante, engineer/mixer; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer

Song Of The Year
Viva La Vida

Coldplay (Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin), songwriters (Coldplay)

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Chasing Pavements
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Viva La Vida
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
I Dreamed There Was No War
Best Pop Instrumental Album
Best Pop Vocal Album
Best Dance Recording
Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter
Harder Better Faster Stronger

Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, mixers

Best Electronic/Dance Album
Daft Punk
Alive 2007
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Natalie Cole
Still Unforgettable

Natalie Cole & Gail Deadrick, producers

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Best Hard Rock Performance
Wax Simulacra
Best Metal Performance
My Apocalypse
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Steve Vai
Peaches En Regalia

Zappa Plays Zappa Featuring Steve Vai & Napoleon Murphy Brock

Best Rock Song
Bruce Springsteen
Girls In Their Summer Clothes

Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

Best Rock Album
Coldplay, Brian Eno, Rik Simpson
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
Best Alternative Music Album
Radiohead, Nigel Godrich
In Rainbows

Nigel Godrich, producer

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Miss Independent
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Al Green, John Legend
Stay With Me (By The Sea)
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
Al Green, Anthony Hamilton
You've Got The Love I Need
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Best R&B Song
Miss Independent

Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Hermansen & Ne-Yo, songwriters (Ne-Yo)

Best R&B Album
Jennifer Hudson, Clive Davis
Jennifer Hudson
Best Contemporary R&B Album
Mary J. Blige
Growing Pains

Chris "Tek" O'Ryan, engineer/mixer

Best Rap Solo Performance
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
Jay Z, T.I., Kanye West, Lil Wayne
Swagga Like Us
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Estelle, Kanye West
American Boy

Estelle Featuring Kanye West

Best Rap Song
Lil Wayne

Darius "Deezle" Harrison, Lil Wayne, James Scheffer, Static Major & Rex Zamor, songwriters (Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major)

Best Rap Album
Lil Wayne
Tha Carter III
Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Brad Paisley
Letter To Me
Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
Robert Plant, Alison Krauss
Killing The Blues
Best Country Song
Jennifer Nettles

Jennifer Nettles, songwriter (Sugarland)

Best Country Album
George Strait, Tony Brown

Tony Brown & George Strait, producers

Best Bluegrass Album
Ricky Skaggs
Honoring The Fathers Of Bluegrass: Tribute To 1946 And 1947

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Best New Age Album
Jack DeJohnette
Peace Time

Pablo Ben Surman & Jack DeJohnette, producers

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
Randy Brecker
Randy In Brasil

Ruriá Duprat, producer

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson, producer

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
Terence Blanchard
Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
Chick Corea, Gary Burton
The New Crystal Silence

Gary Burton & Chick Corea, producers

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Monday Night Live At The Village Vanguard
Best Gospel Performance
Best Gospel Song
Kirk Franklin
Help Me Believe

Kirk Franklin, songwriter (Kirk Franklin)

Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album
Alive And Transported

Tobymac & Dave Wyatt, producers

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
CeCe Winans
Thy Kingdom Come

Danny Duncan, engineer/mixer

Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
Gaither Vocal Band
Lovin' Life

Gaither Vocal Band

The Gaither Vocal Band, producers; Chad Evans & Pete Greene, engineers/mixers

Best Traditional Gospel Album
Blind Boys of Alabama
Down In New Orleans

Chris Goldsmith, producer; Jimmy Hoyson, engineer/mixer

Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
Kirk Franklin, Harold Martin
The Fight Of My Life

Kirk Franklin & Harold Martin, producers; Chris Godbey, John Jaszcz, Ryan Moys & Tre Nagella, engineers/mixers

Best Latin Pop Album
La Vida...Es Un Ratico

Juanes & Gustavo Santaolalla, producers

Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album
Jaguares, Eduardo del Aguila

Howard Willing, producer; Eduardo del Aguila, David Thoener & Howard Willing, engineers

Best Latin Urban Album
Wisin y Yandel
Los Extraterrestres

Victor Martinez & Ernesto Padilla, producers; Mario So, engineer/mixer

Best Tropical Latin Album
Carlos Alvarez, Marc Lee, Javier Valverde
Señor Bachata

José Feliciano

Best Regional Mexican Album
Amor, Dolor Y Lágrimas: Música Ranchera

Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

Daniel Sheehy, producer; Salvador Sandoval, engineer

Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea
Canciones De Amor

Alberto Jimenez Maeda, producer; Alberto Jimenez Maeda & Gilberto Morales, engineers

Best Norteño Album
Los Tigres Del Norte

Los Tigres Del Norte, producer

Best Banda Album
Joan Sebastian
No Es De Madera

Joan Sebástian

Joan Sebastian, producer

Best Traditional Blues Album
B.B. King, T Bone Burnett
One Kind Favor

T Bone Burnett, producer; Mike Piersante, engineer

Best Contemporary Blues Album
Dr. John
City That Care Forgot

Dr. John And The Lower 911

Best Traditional Folk Album
Pete Seeger
At 89

David Bernz, Jim Musselman & Pete Seeger, producers; Jonathon Dickau, engineer

Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album
Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, T Bone Burnett
Raising Sand

T Bone Burnett, producer; Mike Piersante, engineer/mixer

Best Native American Music Album
Come To Me Great Mystery - Native American Healing Songs

(Various Artists)

Thomas A. Wasinger, producer; Thomas A. Wasinger, engineer

Best Hawaiian Music Album
Tia Carrere

Daniel Ho & Amy Ku'uleialoha Stillman, producers; Daniel Ho, engineer

Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album
Michael Doucet
Live At The 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Best Traditional World Music Album
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu
Best Contemporary World Music Album
Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo

Mickey Hart & Zakir Hussain, producers

Best Polka Album
Dave Kowalski
Let The Whole World Sing

Joseph Donofrio, Kenneth R. Irwin & Tom Pick, producers; Joseph Donofrio, Kenneth R. Irwin, Dave Kowalski & Tom Pick, engineers; Mark Capps, engineer/mixer

Best Musical Album For Children
They Might Be Giants
Here Come The 123s

Pat Dillett & They Might Be Giants, producers; They Might Be Giants (Marty Beller, John Flansburgh, John Linnell, Dan Miller & Daniel Weinkauf)

Best Spoken Word Album For Children
Yes To Running! Bill Harley Live

Daniel P. Dauterive & Bill Harley, producers

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)
Blair Underwood
An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore)

Elisa Shokoff, producer

Best Comedy Album
George Carlin
It's Bad For Ya

George Carlin, producer

Best Musical Show Album
In The Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer & lyricist; Kurt Deutsch, Alex Lacamoire, Andres Levin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel W. Moss & Bill Sherman, producers; Tim Latham & Joel W. Moss, engineers (Original Broadway Cast With Lin-Manuel Miranda And Others)

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
Jason Reitman

(Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
The Dark Knight

James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer, composers; Lorne Balfe, Alex Gibson, James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer, producers (Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard)

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
Peter Gabriel
Down To Earth (From Wall-E)

Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman, songwriters (Peter Gabriel)

Best Instrumental Composition
John Williams
The Adventures Of Mutt

John Williams, composer (John Williams)

Best Instrumental Arrangement
Peter Gabriel
Define Dancing

Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman, arrangers (Thomas Newman)

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
Here's That Rainy Day

Nan Schwartz, arranger (Natalie Cole)

Best Recording Package
Death Magnetic

Bruce Duckworth, Sarah Moffat & David Turner, art directors (Metallica)

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
In Rainbows

Stanley Donwood, Mel Maxwell & Christiaan Munro, art directors (Radiohead)

Best Album Notes
Kind Of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition

Francis Davis, album notes writer (Miles Davis)

Best Historical Album
Art Of Field Recording Volume I: Fifty Years Of Traditional American Music Documented By Art Rosenbaum

Steven Ledbetter & Art Rosenbaum, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Various Artists)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Vance Powell, Jack White
Consolers Of The Lonely

Joseph Chiccarelli, Vance Powell & Jack White, engineers (The Raconteurs)

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Rick Rubin
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Electric Feel (Justice Remix)

Justice, remixers (MGMT)

Best Surround Sound Album
Robert Woods
Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Night On Bald Mountain; Prelude To Khovanshchina

Michael J. Bishop, surround mix engineer; Michael J. Bishop, surround mastering engineer; Robert Woods, surround producer (Paavo Järvi & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)

Best Engineered Album, Classical
Traditions And Transformations: Sounds Of Silk Road Chicago

David Frost, Tom Lazarus & Christopher Willis, engineers (Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Alan Gilbert, Silk Road Ensemble, Wu Man, Yo-Yo Ma & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Producer Of The Year, Classical
David Frost
Best Classical Album
James Conlon, Audra McDonald
Weill: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny
Best Orchestral Performance
Bernard Haitink
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4

Bernard Haitink, conductor; James Mallinson, producer; Christopher Willis, engineer (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording
James Conlon, Audra McDonald
Weill: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny

James Conlon, conductor; Fred Vogler, producer; Anthony Dean Griffey, Patti LuPone & Audra McDonald, soloists (Los Angeles Opera Chorus; Los Angeles Opera Orchestra)

Best Choral Performance
Symphony Of Psalms

Simon Halsey, chorus master; Simon Rattle, conductor; Stephen Johns, producer; Mike Clements, engineer (Rundfunkchor Berlin; Berliner Philharmoniker)

Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
Hilary Hahn
Schoenberg/Sibelius: Violin Concertos

Hilary Hahn; Sid McLauchlan & Arend Prohmann, producers; Stephan Flock, engineer/mixer (Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)
Piano Music Of Salonen, Stucky, And Lutoslawski

Gloria Cheng, soloist; Judith Sherman, producer; Judith Sherman, engineer

Best Chamber Music Performance
Pacifica Quartet
Carter, Elliott: String Quartets Nos. 1 And 5

Pacifica Quartet (Sibbi Bernhardsson, Simin Ganatra, Masumi Per Rostad & Brandon Vamos), ensembles; Judith Sherman, producer; William Mayhone, engineer/mixer

Best Small Ensemble Performance
Blanton Alspaugh, Charles Bruffy, John Newton
Spotless Rose: Hymns To The Virgin Mary

Blanton Alspaugh, producer; Charles Bruffy, conductor; Phoenix Chorale, ensembles; John Newton, engineer/mixer

Best Classical Vocal Performance
Hila Plitmann, John Corigliano
Corigliano: Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems Of Bob Dylan

Hila Plitmann, soloist; John Corigliano & Tim Handley, producers; John Corigliano, Tim Handley & Tom Lazarus, engineers (JoAnn Falletta; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)

Best Classical Contemporary Composition
John Corigliano
Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems Of Bob Dylan

John Corigliano, composer

Best Classical Crossover Album
The King's Singers
Simple Gifts

The King's Singers, producer; Gregg Jackman, engineer

Best Short Form Music Video
Pork And Beans

Mathew Cullen, video director; Bernard Rahill, video producer

Best Long Form Music Video
Tom Petty
Runnin' Down A Dream

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Peter Bogdanovich, video director; Skot Bright, Tony Dimitriades & George Drakoulias, video producers