In order to make time for all those performances, the Grammys relegated the vast majority of the 109 awards they give out — including relatively big categories like Best R&B Album and Best Alternative Music Album — to a pre-telecast ceremony. But that doesn’t mean they escape scrutiny: Vulture, ever diligent, dug through the entire list of winners and found a few things worth talking about. Presented, now, in faux-category style.
Best Grammy Won by a Person You Weren’t 100 Percent Sure Was Still Making Music: India.Arie
The neo-soul one-hit wonder nabbed the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals statuette, alongside Herbie Hancock, Pink, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck, and Oumou Sangare for an “Imgine” cover. Congratulations also to Jeff Beck and Fantasia (Best Female R&B Vocal Performance); if we had to bet, we would have said you were still making music, so you weren’t eligible here, but we’re nonetheless pleasantly surprised you won!
Best Grammys Won by Artists You Probably Like: The Black Keys, Jay-Z, and John Legend and the Roots
All three acts cleaned up. The Black Keys got Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, and, best of all, Best Recording Package. Legend and the Roots won Best R&B Album, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song. Jay-Z wasn’t even there last night, and the conspiratorial mind might claim it was because he got tipped off that he wasn’t winning any of the televised awards he was up for. But he did win a bunch that no one saw: Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (for “On to the Next One” with Swizz Beatz), plus Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Empire State of Mind.” And honorable mention here to Mavis Staples: Her Jeff Tweedy–produced full-length, You Are Not Alone, only got one prize, but it was the not too shabby Best Americana Album.
There was no award given out for Best Regional Mexican Album because, says the Academy, “There were fewer than ten artists entered into this category.” You know what that means? If someone had alerted us to the paucity of entrants, Vulture could have hastily recorded a terrible Regional Mexican Album, convinced a few other people to do the same, and then would have enjoyed an outside shot of landing a nomination. Next year!
Best Grammy That’ll Piss People Off: Tia Carrere
The actress won Best Hawaiian Music Album for Huana Ke Aloha, which was produced by Daniel Ho — the same Daniel Ho that a lot of people involved in Hawaiian music hate because, they claim, he does not truly represent the scene (to be fair, some of that hate might have something to do with the fact that he wins this Grammy ever year?). Anyway, awkward.
Best EGOT-Supporting Grammys: Julie Andrews, Sigourney Weaver, and Jon Stewart
All three won Grammys — in spoken-word categories, of course. Andrews already has a Grammy and needs a Tony, surprisingly, to complete the EGOT. But this could certainly begin the quest for Weaver and Stewart.
Best Grammy That Doubles As Tacit Support for Drug Decriminalization: Buju Banton
Banton — who is in court in Florida, like, right now on charges of cocaine distribution — won Best Reggae Album, for Before the Dawn. Which is basically the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences saying roll that shit, light that shit, smoke it.
Nominees And Winners [Official site]