By Lucas Shaw
Sure, Adele, Tony Bennett and the Foo Fighters all won at the Grammys, but that absurd (and interminable) list of awards also featured some stars known better for their non-musical exploits.
We’re not talking about rapper turned music video director Kanye West beating himself for “Best Rap Song,” but more along the lines of Steve Martin winning for Best Bluegrass Album in 2009.
As much has in the past year, this year’s list begins with Steve Jobs. The late Apple co-founder took home a Special Merit Award, a prize given to “individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.”
Jobs and Apple had a profound impact on the music industry by introducing iTunes and the iPod, expediting the death of the album and the growth of digital music.
Eddy Cue, the brain behind iTunes and the App Store at Apple, accepted on Jobs’ behalf.
On the less morbid side, a series of Hollywood comedians took home awards. Betty White won Best Spoken Word Album for “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Can’t).” The “Hot in Cleveland” star bested Tina Fey, as well as William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” It’s not at the Emmys, but she beat Shakespeare!
Louis C.K. received further confirmation that he is now the comedy world’s biggest star, winning Best Comedy Album for “Hilarious.” The likes of Weird Al Yankovic, Patton Oswalt and Kathy Griffin all missed out.
The South Park guys, known by their mothers as Trey Parker and Matt Stone, were two of the many recipients of Best Musical Theater Album for “The Book of Mormon.”
The raucous Broadway musical already swept the Tony Awards, but why not add a Grammy for good measure?
Alexandre Desplat, who composed the score for “The King’s Speech,” beat fellow Frenchmen Daft Punk, who scored “Tron Legacy.”
Now if only Daft Punk would release a new album…