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Taking home the lioness' share; Awards: It wasn't a thrill a minute but it was girls' night out as Lauryn Hill, Madonna, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, even the surprise winners Dixie Chicks took home the Grammys.

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Some years, the Grammy broadcast feels like a roller-coaster ride, hurtling us from shock to thrill with no sense of what's next.

But not this year.

It was a quiet night, with little in the way of surprises and suspense. Celine Dion won Record of the Year for the "Titanic" hit, "My Heart Will Go On," and the song itself was named Song of the Year.

Needless to say, her victory was no surprise to anyone who saw last year's Academy Awards show.

Lauryn Hill, who was nominated for 10 awards, took home five, including Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B; Vocal Performance, Best R&B; Song and Best R&B; album.

Madonna, who up until this year had been roundly ignored by the Grammy voters, was a winner in three categories: Best Dance Recording, Best Pop Album and Best Short Form Music Video. Her album "Ray of Light" also won an art award for Best Recording Package.

There were no incoherent remarks from crazy rap stars, and no appearance by "Soy Bomb," the quirky conceptual artist who disrupted Bob Dylan's performance at last year's show.

We did, however, get to see "Soy" and "Sauce," two Japanese sushi chefs host Rosie O'Donnell brought on for her stand-up routine. It was that kind of evening.

In short, last night's Grammy broadcast was more TV than pop music -- smooth, professional, well-paced and, frankly, kind of boring. Granted, that's a fair reflection of the year it was meant to celebrate, but it didn't make the three-hour award-athon any easier to endure.

Fortunately, the musical performances were unusually good. Things got off to strong start as Madonna performed "Nothing Really Matters." Offering a near-perfect re-creation of her current video, her act was very Japanese, with the stage set like a Zen garden while the singer herself wore a sort of red silk kimono -- though she did balance the look with matching red leather pants and platform shoes.

"How about Madonna, the little geisha that could?" O'Donnell quipped afterward.

Madonna may have had the show's most elaborate set and costumes, but the competition was tough. Shania Twain turned up dressed like a dominatrix to sing "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" (her band, complementing her look, wore bondage-style black patent leather pants), while Latin heartthrob Ricky Martin offered "Vuelve" in a production so elaborate it made the average Broadway musical look minimalist.

But it wasn't all flash and dazzle. Wynton Marsalis led an all-star big band -- featuring flugelhorn soloist Clark Terry -- in a heartfelt tribute to Duke Ellington, while Alanis Morissette brought in a full orchestra for a lush, Indian-inflected version of "Uninvited."

Luciano Pavarotti, who fell ill last year and was unable to perform, finally honored his commitment and performed Puccini's "Nessun Dorma." Unfortunately, it was not really worth the wait.

Perhaps the evening's most stunning performance was also the simplest. Sheryl Crow, relying on nothing more than the strength of her band, ripped through "There Goes the Neighborhood." Looking surprisingly like glam rocker Suzi Quatro with her short hair and bell-bottoms, Crow did little more than sing and play bass.

But that was more than enough, as she and her band rocked the house in the truest sense of the term.

If it was a good night for music, it was also a good night for doubles, as a number of stars took their Grammys home in matching sets.

Twain landed Best Female Country Vocal Performance and shared Best Country Song with her husband, Robert John "Mutt" Lange; Morissette won the Best Female Rock Vocal and Best Rock Song Grammys; the Dixie Chicks took both Best Country Album and Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group; Brian Setzer got two Pop Grammys, for Best Instrumental and Best Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal; and Pierre Boulez won the Best Orchestral and Best Opera Grammys.

Perhaps the most impressive double-winners were those whose Grammys spanned multiple fields. The Beastie Boys, for example, won Grammys in both the Rap (for Performance by a Duo and Group) and Alternative Music categories, while Pat Metheny got trophies both as a jazzbo (for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance) and a rocker (for Best Rock Instrumental Performance).

The late Robert Shaw also won two awards, both for an album of choral works by Samuel Barber, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Bela Bartok.

O'Donnell wasn't the funniest host the Grammys have ever had -- most of her jokes were cornier than Iowa -- but she was unquestionably the most enthusiastic. In fact, she was forever bursting into song, doing parodies of nominated numbers.

"Celine, here's a commercial for you," she said at one point, and then -- to the tune of Dion's hit "My Heart Will Go On," sang, "Near, far, the cross-your-heart bra "

Celine Dion, bra saleswoman? I don't think so.

Actually, some of the evening's best lines came from the winners, not the show's host.

After Vince Gill won the Best Male Country Vocal Grammy, he held the statue to his ear and said, "Somebody told me if you listen close, you can hear Garth Brooks play baseball ..."

Then there was Will Smith, who while accepting the Best Rap Solo Performance award, mentioned that he had had his first parent/teacher conference that day. The teacher told him his son's math and reading skills were good, but "his rhyming skills are down. I swear, that's what she told me! If you ask me, that's a clear case of parental neglect.

"So I dedicate this to my son, Trey. There's always law school, baby!"

Highlights

Here are some of the top winners:

Record of the Year: "My Heart Will Go On," Celine Dion

Album of the Year: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Lauryn Hill

Song of the Year: "My Heart Will Go On," James Horner & Will Jennings

New Artist: Lauryn Hill

Pop Album: "Ray of Light," Madonna

Rock Album: "The Globe Sessions," Sheryl Crow

R&B; Album: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Lauryn Hill

Grammy Awards winners

Winners of last night's Grammy Awards:, Record of the Year: "My Heart Will Go On," Celine Dion

Album of the Year: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Lauryn Hill

Song of the Year: "My Heart Will Go On," James Horner & Will Jennings

New Artist: Lauryn Hill

Female Pop Vocal Performance: "My Heart Will Go On," Celine Dion

Male Pop Vocal Performance: "My Father's Eyes," Eric Clapton

Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Jump Jive an' Wail," Brian Setzer Orchestra

Pop Collaboration with Vocals: "I Still Have That Other Girl," Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach

Pop Instrumental Performance: "Sleepwalk," Brian Setzer Orchestra

Dance Recording: "Ray of Light," Madonna

Pop Album: "Ray of Light," Madonna

Traditional Pop Vocal Performance: "Live at Carnegie Hall -- The 50th Anniversary Concert," Patti Page

Female Rock Vocal Performance: "Uninvited," Alanis Morissette

Male Rock Vocal Performance: "Fly Away," Lenny Kravitz

Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "Pink," Aerosmith Hard

Rock Performance: "Most High," Jimmy Page and Robert Plant

Metal Performance: "Better Than You," Metallica

Rock Instrumental Performance: "The Roots of Confidence," Pat Metheny Group

,, Rock Song: "Uninvited," Alanis Morissette

Rock Album: "The Globe Sessions," Sheryl Crow

Alternative Music Performance: "Hello Nasty," Beastie Boys

Female R&B; Vocal Performance: "Doo Wop (That Thing)," Lauryn Hill

Male R&B; Vocal Performance: "St. Louis Blues," Stevie Wonder

R&B; Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "The Boy Is Mine," Brandy & Monica

R&B; Song: "Doo Wop (That Thing)," Lauryn Hill R&B;

Album: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Lauryn Hill

Traditional R&B; Vocal Performance: "Live! One Night Only," Patti LaBelle

Rap Solo Performance: "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It," Will Smith

Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: "Intergalactic," Beastie Boys

Rap Album: "Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life," Jay-Z

Female Country Vocal Performance: "You're Still the One," Shania Twain

Male Country Vocal Performance: "If You Ever Have Forever In Mind," Vince Gill

Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: "There's Your Trouble," Dixie Chicks

Country Collaboration with Vocals: "Same Old Train," Clint Black, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt & Dwight Yoakam

Country Instrumental Performance: "A Soldier's Joy," Randy Scruggs and Vince Gill

Country Song: "You're Still the One," Robert John "Mutt" Lange & Shania Twain

Country Album: "Wide Open Spaces," Dixie Chicks

Bluegrass Album: "Bluegrass Rules!," Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

New Age Album: "Landmarks," Clannad

Contemporary Jazz Performance: "Imaginary Day," Pat Metheny Group

Jazz Vocal Performance: "I Remember Miles," Shirley Horn

Jazz Instrumental Solo: "Rhumbata," Chick Corea and Gary Burton

Jazz Instrumental Performance: "Gershwin's World," Herbie Hancock

Large Jazz Ensemble Performance: "Count Plays Duke," Count Basie Orchestra

Latin Jazz Performance: "Hot House," Arturo Sandoval

Rock Gospel Album: "You Are There," Ashley Cleveland

Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: "This Is My Song," Deniece Williams

Southern Gospel, Country Gospel, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: "The Apostle -- Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture," various artists

Traditional Soul Gospel Album: "He Leadeth Me," Cissy Houston

Contemporary Soul Gospel Album: "The Nu Nation Project," Kirk Franklin

Gospel Choir or Chorus Album: "Reflections," The Associates

Latin Pop Performance: "Vuelve," Ricky Martin

Latin Rock/Alternative Performance: "Suenos Liquidos," Mana

Tropical Latin Performance: "Contra la Corriente," Marc Anthony

Mexican-American Music Performance: "Los Super Seven," Los Super Seven

Tejano Music Performance: "Said and Done," Flaco Jimenez

Traditional Blues Album: "Any Place I'm Going," Otis Rush

Contemporary Blues Album: "Slow Down," Keb' Mo'

Traditional Folk Album: "Long Journey Home," The Chieftains With Various Artists

Contemporary Folk Album: "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," Lucinda Williams

Reggae Album: "Friends," Sly and Robbie

World Music Album: "Quanta Live," Gilberto Gil

Polka Album: "Dance With Me," Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra

Musical Album for Children: "Elmopalooza!," The Sesame Street Muppets with various artists

Spoken Word Album for Children: "The Children's Shakespeare," various artists

Spoken Word Album: "Still Me (Christopher Reeve)," Christopher Reeve

Spoken Comedy Album: "The 2000-Year-Old Man in the Year 2000," Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner

Musical Show Album: "The Lion King," Mark Mancina

Instrumental Composition: "Almost 12," Bela Fleck, Future Man and Victor Lemonte Wooten

Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or Television: "Saving Private Ryan," John Williams

Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television: "My Heart Will Go On (From "Titanic")," James Horner and Will Jennings

Instrumental Arrangement: "Waltz for Debby," Don Sebesky

Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s): "St. Louis Blues," Herbie Hancock

Recording Package: "Ray of Light" Boxed Recording Package: "The Complete Hank Williams"

Album Notes: "Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968"

Historical Album: "The Complete Hank Williams"

Engineered Album, Non-Classical: "The Globe Sessions"

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Rob Cavallo

Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical: David Morales

Engineered Album, Classical: "Barber: Prayers of Kierkegaard/Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem/Bartok: Cantata Profana"

Producer of the Year, Classical: Steven Epstein

Classical Album: "Barber: Prayers of Kierkegaard/Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem/Bartok: Cantata Profana," Robert Shaw

Orchestral Performance: "Mahler: Symphony No. 9," Pierre Boulez

Opera Recording: "Bartok: Bluebeard's Castle," Pierre Boulez

Choral Performance: "Barber: Prayers of Kierkegaard/Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem/Bartok: Cantata Profana," Robert Shaw

Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (With Orchestra): "Penderecki: Violin Con. No. 2 'Metamorphosen'," Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin

Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra): "Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 6," Murray Perahia, piano

Chamber Music Performance: "American Scenes (Works of Copland, Previn, Barber, Gershwin)," Andre Previn, piano

Small Ensemble Performance (With or Without Conductor): "Reich: Music for 18 Musicians," Steve Reich and Musicians

Classical Vocal Performance: "The Beautiful Voice," Renee Fleming

Classical Contemporary Composition: "Penderecki: Violin Con. No. 2 'Metamorphosen,' " Krzysztof Penderecki

Classical Crossover Album: "Soul of the Tango -- The Music of Astor Piazzolla," Yo-Yo Ma

Short Form Music Video: "Ray of Light," Madonna

Long Form Music Video: "Rock and Roll Heart," Lou Reed

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Johnny Cash, Mel Torme, Smokey Robinson and the late Sam Cooke and Otis Redding

Trustees' Non-Performer Awards: Songwriting teams of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, and Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoler

Pub Date: 2/25/99

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