The late Ray Charles dominated the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, Sunday evening. The rhythm and blues legend earned eight posthumous awards for his collaborative album Genius Loves Company.
Ray Charles died in June, at age 73. His album Genius Loves Company, released after his death, was the best-selling album of his career, with sales of more than two million. Genius Loves Company received Grammys for best pop album and album of the year, and this duet with Norah Jones, Here We Go Again, was named record of the year and best pop collaboration with vocals.
Backstage, singer Stevie Wonder recalled the talent of Ray Charles as a musician and arranger, and his own pain at losing his friend.
"We will never forget that pain, but I'm so thankful to God that we have something called joy and he gave so much joy in his life, so much love that the joy far exceeds any pain," he said.
U2 was honored with the Grammy for best rock performance by a duo or group for Vertigo, and the San Francisco group Green Day earned the Grammy for best rock album for their punk rock album American Idiot.
Producer/singer Kanye West received the Grammy for best rap album for The College Dropout.
The group Maroon 5 was named best new artist
Backstage, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine said band members were surprised.
"Absolutely. When you're in the category of best new artist with Kanye, you kind of have to expect to lose to him because he's unbelievable, so it was definitely a shock," he said.
Alicia Keys received four Grammys, including one for best rhythm and blues album, for The
Diary of Alicia Keys. The track If I Ain't Got You was named best female rhythm and blues performance.
Veteran country singer Loretta Lynn received the award for best country album for Van Lear Rose, named after her home town, Van Lear, Kentucky. Backstage, she said she and producer Jack White did not expect a winner when they started making the album.
Loretta Lynn: "We never dreamed we'd get a Grammy tonight, did we?"
Jack White: "No, ma'am."
Loretta Lynn: "We just figured we'd go out and do a little album and sing a little bit. We did it, and it's been a hit. And we're happy."
Jack White: "Yes, we are."
Another music veteran, Prince, received the Grammy for best male rhythm and blues performance for Call My Name.
Brian Wilson earned the Grammy for best rock instrumental for Mrs. O'Leary's Cow, from his long-awaited album Smile. The creative force behind such Beach Boys classics as Good Vibrations had never before won a Grammy, as he noted backstage.
"It was worth waiting 42 years for it, let's put it that way. 'Good Vibrations' lost, but 'Mrs. O'Leary's Cow' won," said Brian Wilson.
The Latin group Los Lonely Boys, three brothers from West Texas, received the Grammy for best pop performance by a duo or group for Heaven.
Grammys were presented in 107 categories, not all of them for music. Former President Bill Clinton earned a Grammy for best spoken word album for the audio adaptation of his best-selling autobiography called My Life.