Wednesday night’s 42nd Annual Grammy Awards show had its share of surprise disappointments, but not where Carlos Santana was concerned. Entering the Grammys riding high on the comeback of his life, Santana was heavily favored to clean up at the awards, and he did with Titanic aplomb. The fifty-two-year-old guitar god swept through the evening to pick up eight awards for his chart-topping Supernatural album, losing only twice: once to Don Sebesky for Best Instrumental Composition, and to himself in the Best Pop Duo Collaboration with Vocals (“Love of My Life,” his Supernatural collaboration with Dave Matthews was bested by “Smooth,” his smash Rob Thomas collaboration from the same album.)
Supernatural won the coveted Album of the Year award, beating out albums by the Backstreet Boys, TLC, the Dixie Chicks and jazz singer Diana Krall. In addition to Best Pop Duo Collaboration with Vocals, “Smooth” won both Record of the Year and Song of the Year (which went to writers Thomas and Itaal Shur). Santana’s other wins were Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal and Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
A handful of other seemingly sure-bet contenders, however — including the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Ricky Martin – walked away empty-handed. Critical favorite Macy Gray lost her bid for Best New Artist (alongside Spears, Kid Rock and blues singer Susan Tedeschi) to a visibly stunned Christina Aguilera. And the Roots blindsided the formidable likes of Dr. Dre, Eminem, Puff Daddy and Busta Rhymes to collect the award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for their Erykah Badu collaboration “You Got Me.”
Winners in the evening’s other big categories included Eminem for Best Rap Album, TLC for Best R&B Album, Sting for Best Pop Album, the Dixie Chicks for Best Country Album, Tom Waits for Best Contemporary Folk Album and Robert Cray for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Beck won Best Alternative Music Performance (for Mutations).
In the individual song and performance departments, Sting and Sarah McLachlan took the honors for Best Male and Female Pop Vocal Performance; Lenny Kravitz and Sheryl Crow for Best Male and Female Rock Vocal Perfomance (both for covers – “American Woman” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” respectively); and Barry White and Whitney Houston for Best Male and Female R&B Vocal Performance. Metallica won Best Hard Rock Performance, Black Sabbath Best Metal Performance, Eminem Best Rap Solo Performance and TLC Best R&B Song. The Red Hot Chili Peppers claimed Best Rock Song with “Scar Tissue,” and Cher, the year’s other big comeback story, came away with Best Dance Recording for “Believe.”
A complete list of winners for the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards can be found at www.grammy.com.