British pop star Amy Winehouse led the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles Sunday, winning five of the music industry's top honors. As Mike O'Sullivan reports, the singer was absent from the ceremony, but took part by satellite from London.
Winehouse won Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance for "Rehab," a track from Back to Black, which was named best pop vocal album.
She was also named Best New Artist.
The 24-year-old singer recently entered a drug rehabilitation program and did not come to Los Angeles. American officials initially refused her a work visa. They reversed the decision, but by then it was too late for her to make the long trek from England, so she appeared on the Grammy broadcast by satellite from a London studio. She seemed shocked as her Grammy wins were announced and dedicated one to her mother, father, and her incarcerated husband, who is in prison following a pub brawl.
Carrie Underwood, a Grammy winner for Best Female Vocal Country Performance for "Before He Cheats," said backstage in Los Angeles the British singer deserves the honors.
"Tonight's about music, you know, and I think she's very talented, very creative and definitely deserves accolades," Underwood said.
Winehouse lost the nomination for album of the year to Herbie Hancock, which surprised the audience and the veteran jazz pianist. He was honored for the album River: The Joni Letters, his all-star tribute to the singer Joni Mitchell.
Hancock noted it has been 43 years since a jazz musician won the Grammy for Best Album.
"This is a new day that proves the impossible can be made possible," Hancock said.
Backstage, country musician Vince Gill said the win did not surprise him.
"Herbie Hancock is by far the best musician out of all of us, put together," Gill said.
Gill won the Grammy for Best Country Album for These Days, but lost to Hancock for Best Album. The country star said the nominees in that key category included a mix of genres, with recordings by Kanye West, Amy Winehouse and the Foo Fighters.
"There was a jazz guy, there was a hillbilly guy, there was a rapper, there was a pop singer and a rock and roll band," said Gill. "It doesn't get any more diverse than that. I'm just thrilled to death to be a part of it."
Kanye West earned Grammys for Best Rap Album for Graduation and Best Rap Vocal Performance for the track "Stronger." He also won Best Rap Song for ''Good Life'' and Best Rap Performance by a duo or group for his collaboration with Common on ''Southside.''
The rapper offered an emotional tribute to his mother, who died unexpectedly last year at the age of 58.
The Foo Fighters won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for "The Pretender," and Best Rock Album for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama earned a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio version of his book The Audacity of Hope.
Fifteen young musicians got the chance to perform in the broadcast with the rock band Foo Fighters, and 28-year-old Anne Marie Calhoun, a violinist, was the featured performer.
"They're just the perfect rock bank," she said. "They're fun, they're goofy, they're kind. They're everything that you would want them to be."
This 50th Grammy presentation featured performances by rising stars and veterans, often paired in duets. They included Tina Turner, who performed a medley of her hits with Beyonce.