Plant, Krauss Dominate Grammys

LOS ANGELES ~ Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant and bluegrass singer Alison Krauss dominated the Grammy awards, grabbing five prizes for their groundbreaking rock-country collaboration Raising Sand.

On a night of drama in which pop singer Rihanna withdrew from a scheduled performance, other big winners included rapper Lil Wayne, who took four awards and British supergroup Coldplay with three.

“I’d like to say I’m bewildered,” Plant told the audience at the Staples Center on Sunday after winning the coveted album of the year and record of the year with bluegrass icon Krauss.

“In the old days we would have called this selling out, but it’s a good way to spend a Sunday.”

“It’s been a wonderful time,” added Krauss, who has now won a staggering 26 Grammys in her career, a record for a female performer. The pair also won prizes for best country collaboration with vocals, best pop collaboration, and best contemporary folk/Americana album.

Plant said his partnership with Krauss had opened his eyes to a new world of music.

“We come from such different places on the musical map,” he said later. “Alison showed me so much I’d never been exposed to.”

However, the 60-year-old brushed off questions about a Led Zeppelin tour. “How old are you man?” he told a journalist. “Because you look older than me. You try doing Communication Breakdown in these pants.”

Coldplay won song of the year, best pop performance by a group and best rock album for Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends.

“Thank you and sorry for blatantly recycling the Sergeant Pepper album,” Coldplay drummer Will Champion said after collecting the song of the year award, in comments directed at Beatles legend Paul McCartney.

Lil Wayne’s hopes of winning in the album of the year award were thwarted by Krauss and Plant.

However the diminutive New Orleans rapper did win rap album of the year for Tha Carter III, best rap performance and best rap song.

British singer-songwriter Adele won the Grammy award for best new artist. The 20-year-old Londoner pipped fellow Briton Duffy for the award, as well as the Jonas Brothers, country group Lady Antebellum and Philadelphia soul singer Jazmine Sullivan.

“Thank you so much. I’m going to cry,” Adele said. “Duffy, I love you. I think you’re amazing. Jonas Brothers, I love you as well,” she added.

As the awards unfolded, a behind-the-scenes drama involving Rihanna forced organizers to make an 11th-hour change to their star-studded lineup of award performers.

Los Angeles police confirmed they were questioning Rihanna’s boyfriend, singer-songwriter Chris Brown, over an allegation of domestic violence and the 20-year-old Barbados-born singer withdrew from singing at the Grammys just before the event started.

After a tragic year, singer Jennifer Hudson won the first Grammy of her career in the best R&B album category.

Hudson, 27, who is reemerging into the spotlight after the murders of her mother, brother and nephew last year, won for her album Jennifer Hudson.

The former contestant on reality television show American Idol won a best supporting actress Oscar two years ago for her performance in Dreamgirls.

“I don’t really know what to say,” said Hudson, her voice cracking with emotion after she received the award from Whitney Houston. “I would like to thank my family in heaven and those that are here today. I just don’t know where to start. Everybody, thank you all.”

Hudson later received a standing ovation for a barnstorming rendition of You Pulled Me Through.

There were wins too for Alicia Keys, whose single Superwoman earned the best female R&B vocal performance, and Ne Yo, who won the male award for Miss Independent.

There was also a win for 83-year-old “King of the Blues” BB King, whose One Kind Favor won the best traditional blues album. King has now won 15 Grammys in his epic career.

After gathering his award, the legendary Mississippi bluesman told reporters he had been delighted by the election of President Barack Obama.

“It makes me think that America is really growing up,” King said. “America is becoming America.”

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