On a night filled with nods to the show’s 50-year history, the most trophies went to a 24-year-old singer Amy Winehouse known for her old-soul voice, and the most sought-after prize went to a veteran jazzman Herbie Hancock’s Joni Mitchell tribute album.
I can’t believe I’ve won five awards," Winehouse said. She coyly sang "Rehab" and "You Know I’m No Good" via satellite link from London, then dedicated her record of the year trophy to her hometown, parents and jailed husband, "my Blake, my Blake incarcerated."
Kanye won four trophies, but after losing out once again in the album of the year category he’d made no secret of coveting, he skipped post-show interview rooms to instead pose for photos with his fiance and members of his entourage. West’s performance of "Hey Mama," a once-exuberant song from his 2005 album "Late Registration" that he has transformed into a somber tribute since his mother Donda’s sudden death last year.
"Last night I saw you in my dreams. Now I can’t wait to go to sleep," he sang in the night’s most emotional performance.
Accepting the award for rap album, West spoke to his mother: "I appreciate everything and I know you are really proud of me right now and I know you wouldn’t want me to stop and you’d want me to be the No. 1 artist in the world."
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won an award for spoken word album, for the audio version of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."