The 49th Annual Grammy Awards had its share of ear-piercing highs (Christina Aguilera) and unfortunate lows. Who went home happy and who had an off night? Read on.
COUNTRY MUSIC It was a very good evening for acts both traditional (Carrie Underwood) and unorthodox (Dixie Chicks). ''I thought maybe we'd get Country Album,'' says Chicks' fiddler Martie Maguire, who snared five awards with her band. ''But the others? No way.'' Even Bon Jovi snagged their first Grammy for...a duet with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles! (Bon Jovi's upcoming country-tinged album is due this summer.)
RICK RUBIN AND CLIVE DAVIS MIA producer Rubin worked with winners like the Chicks and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and was named Producer of the Year for those, as well as for collaborations with Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash. And J/Arista head Davis not only saw two of his artists Aguilera and Underwood take home trophies, he also hosted his annual pre-Grammy dinner, featuring a divalicious performance by Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson.
He got to play two of his own songs, plus he nabbed awards for Dance Recording and Rap/Sung Collaboration. ''He's at the top of his game,'' says T.I. (a co-winner with JT for ''My Love''). ''He should be acknowledged for it.''
GNARLS BARKLEY The full-orchestra version of Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo's ''Crazy'' featuring an unrecognizable Dermot Mulroney on cello was one of the show's highlights, but the critically lauded duo's two Alternative Grammy wins felt more like a consolation than a coronation.
LASSIES WITH CRED Glowing reviews didn't help Corinne Bailey Rae, KT Tunstall, and Imogen Heap: The trio of British female singer-songwriters grabbed a combined six nods and went home empty-handed. ''It's honorable to lose to Christina,'' shrugs Tunstall. ''But Pink and I are trying to come up with a plan to beat everyone next year.'' That's the spirit!
WHOEVER THOUGHT UP THAT 'MY GRAMMY MOMENT' CONTEST ''Hey, let's rip off American Idol! Nobody's tried that yet.'' Though, to be fair, we think winner Robyn Troup did a lovely job. (Additional reporting by Chris Willman)