Ray Charles album dominates Grammys

The late music legend Ray Charles was the star of the show today at the Grammy award ceremony in Los Angeles while U2 scooped three awards.

The late music legend Ray Charles was the star of the show today at the Grammy award ceremony in Los Angeles.

His duets album, Genius Loves Company, scooped eight prestigious gongs, including both record and album of the year.

U2 netted three awards, including best rock song, for Vertigo and took to the stage for a stirring rendition of Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own.

Bono was later joined by an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones and country artist Tim McGraw to perform the Beatles’ Across The Universe in aid of tsunami victims.

The star-studded event, considered the music industry’s version of the Oscars, featured an impressive slate of performers including James Brown, Green Day and newlyweds Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony who performed in Spanish.

The show kicked off with an explosion of controlled chaos featuring, across three stages, nominees The Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Los Lonely Boys, Maroon 5 and Franz Ferdinand.

From there, the 47th annual soiree, hosted by musician and actress Queen Latifah, launched into a wealth of exclusive live performances from LA’s Staples Centre.

Charles shared the spotlight with R&B stars Alicia Keys who won four awards and Usher who took three. Rapper Kanye West, who was the leading nominee with 10 nods, also took home three awards.

British soul siren Joss Stone was joined by rocker Melissa Etheridge, making her first appearance since being diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago, for a powerful tribute to Janis Joplin.

Stone, aged 17, who won best British female solo artist at last week’s Brit Awards, lost out to Maroon 5 in the best new artist category.

Green Day won best rock album for American Idiot. Their exhilarating performance of the politically-themed title track, one of the most critically acclaimed releases of last year, was later bleeped by censors.

Award-winner Usher performed with the Godfather of Soul James Brown.

But it was Ray Charles, who died last year aged 73, who dominated the show. The music legend’s final album won eight of the most coveted awards including best pop album, best pop collaboration with vocals and best record for Here We Go Again with Norah Jones.

Genius Loves Company, released after his death, has become the best-selling of his career, with more than two million copies sold so far.

Charles’ manager Joe Adams joined Norah Jones to accept the best album award on his behalf, saying: “Humbly we accept this wonderful, wonderful award and we offer a humongous thanks to you individually and collectively from the bottom of our hearts.”

Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx paid a musical tribute to Charles, whose life is also the subject of the Oscar-nominated movie, Ray, starring Foxx.

Other winners included Prince, Basement Jaxx and Britney Spears, who finally won her first Grammy – best dance recording for Toxic.

Former US president Bill Clinton won best spoken word album for the adaptation of his best-selling autobiography, My Life.

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