As Vulture predicted last week, Herbie Hancock beat out younger, more relevant competition from Kanye West and Amy Winehouse, picking up the Grammy for Album of the Year at last night's ceremony in Los Angeles. Kanye was tipped as the favorite, but this outcome actually made perfect sense; he and Winehouse split the hip vote, and the elders cast ballots for Herbie, who, in all likelihood, would probably not have had another chance to win before he or the recording industry kicks the bucket.
Last night, the Grammys turned 50, which means in 25 more years they'll be old enough to be president of Universal Records. Accordingly, they mostly paid tribute to deceased legends, like Frank Sinatra and George Gershwin, and other ones that looked like they could go any minute, like George Martin and Aretha Franklin (we watched Jerry Lee Lewis's performance twice, and we're still not sure which category to put him in). Winehouse was technically the evening's big winner with five awards, and Kanye came in second with four, but their appearances probably lowered the average age of on-air talent — which also included Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, John Fogerty, Little Richard, Bonnie Raitt, Keely Smith, and Cher — by at least fifteen years. Also, Will.I.Am sang "Mack the Knife."
Most hilarious of all, though, was the show's overt fixation on the CD — a huge one hung from the center of the stage, and while nominees were announced, compact-disc graphics darted across our screen as if to suggest that people actually still buy them. Also, as Idolator pointed out in their live blog, it was never mentioned where one might legally download the album of Grammy nominees, even though the physical double-disc set was advertised at least 50 times.