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1994 Music Awards: Readers Picks

They’re still ‘Alive’: Pearl Jam wins hearts and minds in 1993

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

Paul Bergen/Redferns

Another year, another poll and another set of jarring but revealing contradictions. Pearl Jam, to absolutely no one’s surprise, walked off with most of the big prizes in the Readers Poll, including Artist of the Year, Best Band, Brightest Hope, Best Male Singer (Eddie Vedder), Songwriter (Vedder again) and Male Sex Symbol (guess who). But Pearl Jam’s Vs. didn’t even figure in the Best Album sweepstakes — possibly because it had only been out about a month by ballot deadline time — and Ten (a 1991 LP that a few million people just bought last year!) lost by a nose to U2’s Eurocentric industrial-dance project Zooropa. And while Pearl Jam also won Artist of the Year in the Critics Poll, it was a Pyrrhic victory; our pen jockeys handed archrivals Nirvana the jackpots for Best Band and Best Album (In Utero).

So what does this tell us about 1993? Aside from the fact that Pearl Jam are to Moshpit Nation what Led Zeppelin were to ’70s stoners, not much — only that there are no sure things in rock & roll right now. The brass rings are up for grabs, and the generational swerve from established-superstar worship to earthier rap and hard-rock pleasures is in full swing. The best-of roll calls on both the readers’ and critics’ sides of the fence were heavy on new blood: Stone Temple Pilots, Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre, Liz Phair, Counting Crows. The only ’80s icon to do big business with readers was Michael Jackson — under Hype of the Year. Whether it was because of the Oprah interview, the Dangerous world tour or the sex-abuse allegations was unclear.

The traditional readers-critics schism, meanwhile, was in full effect. Eighties nostalgia got a major jump-start with Duran Duran taking Comeback of the Year from the readers. The pundits opted, of course, for the Velvet Underground. Some things never change. — David Fricke

Artist of the Year
Pearl Jam
U2
Soul Asylum
R.E.M.
Aerosmith

Best Album
Zooropa, U2
Ten, Pearl Jam
Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins
Get a Grip, Aerosmith
Automatic for the People, R.E.M.

Best Single
“Runaway Train,” Soul Asylum
“Plush,” Stone Temple Pilots
“No Rain,” Blind Melon
“Are You Gonna Go My Way,” Lenny Kravitz
“Jeremy,” Pearl Jam

Best Band
Pearl Jam
U2
R.E.M.
Aerosmith
Soul Asylum

Best Male Singer
Eddie Vedder
Bono
Michael Stipe
Lenny Kravitz
Sting 

Best Female Singer
Janet Jackson
Natalie Merchant
Mariah Carey
Madonna
Björk

Best Tour
Lollapalooza ’93
Neil Young
Aerosmith
Grateful Dead
Van Halen

Worst Album
“The Bodyguard” (Soundtrack)
Zooropa, U2
Erotica, Madonna
Pocket Full of Kryptonite, Spin Doctors
Dangerous, Michael Jackson

Worst Single
“I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston
“Whoomp! (There It Is),” Tag Team
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” Proclaimers
“I Can’t Help Falling in Love,” UB40
“What’s Up,” 4 Non Blondes

Best New Band
Stone Temple Pilots
Blind Melon 4
Non Blondes
Soul Asylum
Rage Against the Machine

Best New Male Singer
Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots
Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon
Eddie Vedder
Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Jon Secada

Best New Female Singer
Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes
Björk
Juliana Hatfield
Liz Phair
Tanya Donelly of Belly

Best Producer
Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois (Tie)
Butch Vig
Rick Rubin
Scott Litt
Bob Rock

Best Songwriter
Eddie Vedder
Bono
Sting
Michael Stipe
Billy Joel

Best Heavy-Metal Band
Metallica
Aerosmith
Guns n’ Roses
Alice in Chains
Pearl Jam

Best Rap Group
Cypress Hill
Arrested Development
Naughty by Nature
Dr. Dre
Digable Planets

Best Male Rapper
Dr. Dre
Ice-T
Ice Cube
Snoop Doggy Dogg
LL Cool J

Best Female Rapper
Queen Latifah
MC Lyte
Neneh Cherry
YoYo Boss

Best Country Artist
Garth Brooks
Dwight Yoakam
Wynonna Judd
Mary-Chapin Carpenter
Clint Black

Best Jazz Artist
Kenny G
Harry Connick Jr.
Branford Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Pat Metheny

Best Album Cover
Zooropa, U2
Get a Grip, Aerosmith
River of Dreams, Billy Joel
Blind Melon, Blind Melon
janet., Janet Jackson

Worst Album Cover
“Get a grip,” Aerosmith
Zooropa, U2
River of Dreams, Billy Joel
The Chronic, Dr. Dre
Blind Melon, Blind Melon

Best Video
“Jeremy,” Pearl Jam
“No Rain,” Blind Melon
“Numb,” U2
“Runaway Train,” Soul Asylum
“‘Livin’ on the Edge,” Aerosmith

Worst Video
“I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston
“Numb,” U2
“Will You Be There,” Michael Jackson
“Human Behaviour,” Björk
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” Proclaimers

What You Love Most About MTV 
“Beavis & Butt-head”
Videos 
Alternative Nation
Kennedy
Headbangers Ball

What You Hate Most About MTV
“Beavis & Butt-head”
Kennedy
Commercials
Yo! MTV Raps
Everything

Male Sex Symbol
Eddie Vedder
Bono
Anthony Kiedis
RuPaul
Christian Slater

Female Sex Symbol
Janet Jackson
Madonna
Cindy Crawford
RuPaul Mariah
Carey

Best Guitarist
The Edge
Eric Clapton
Eddie Van Halen
Slash Joe Perry

Best Keyboardist
Billy Joel
Elton John
The Edge
Paul Shaffer
Dizzy Reed of G n’ R

Best Bassist
Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers
Adam Clayton of U2
Les Claypool of Primus
Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam
Geddy Lee of Rush

Best Drummer
Larry Mullen Jr. of U2
Lars Ulrich of Metallica
Neil Peart of Rush
Alex Van Halen
Rick Allen of Def Leppard

Comeback of the Year
Duran Duran
Meat Loaf
Aerosmith
Billy Joel
Soul Asylum

Hype of the Year
Michael Jackson
U2
Lollapalooza ’93
Beavis & Butt-head
Stone Temple Pilots

Brightest Hope for 1994
Pearl Jam
Blind Melon
Smashing Pumpkins
Soul Asylum
Peace in the Middle East

In This Article: Coverwall

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