News And Notes
Feb 12

Taylor Swift Takes Home Two GRAMMYs at Tribute-Filled Show

Taylor Swift

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, winner of the GRAMMYs for Best Country Song with 'Mean' and Best Country Solo Performance for 'Mean', poses in the press room at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards began on a somber note. After a rousing performance from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to kick things off, host LL Cool J took center stage and opened with a heartfelt prayer in memory of Whitney Houston, who passed away Saturday. The rest of the night was a celebration of music from across all genres, tributes to artists both lost and living, and of course, the passing out of awards.

Taylor Swift was the night’s big winner for country music. Her hit song “Mean” earned her two GRAMMY Awards, for  Best Solo Country Performance and Best Country Song. “There is no feeling quite like writing a song about someone who is mean to you and makes your life miserable and winning a Grammy for it,” she said while accepting the trophy for Best Country Solo Performance. “Thank you.”

Taylor also performed “Mean” during the show, taking her set back to the Depression era. Having written the song in response to harsh criticism, Taylor changed up the last lines to say “Someday, I’ll be, singing this at the Grammys.” Her performance received a standing ovation from her fellow artists.

See photos from the GRAMMYS red carpet! >>

Lady Antebellum picked up the GRAMMY for Best Country Album for their Own the Night record. Up against stiff competition from Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Eric Church and George Strait, they were clearly surprised by the win. “We did not expect this,” Hillary Scott said when she reached the stage. “Thanks for changing our lives, we love you,” Charles Kelley added after the trio issued a round of thank yous.

Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson partnered for a performance of their GRAMMY-nominated hit “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” battling microphone troubles throughout. Kelly’s vocals were soft during her first lines of the song before she and Jason were able to trade vocals back and forth. Jason’s microphone went out as the performance neared its end, but like the professionals they are, Jason and Kelly kept singing.

The country performance of the night belonged to Glen Campbell, The Band Perry and Blake Shelton in a tribute to Glen, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Band Perry kicked off the medley with “Gentle on My Mind,” backed by Glen’s band, which included his sons and daughter. Blake followed them with “Southern Nights” before Glen himself took the stage for a round of “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Glen had the crowd of his feet, some even dancing in the aisles. It was a fitting tribute to the man who is currently on his Farewell Tour.

Carrie Underwood also made her return to the GRAMMY stage, performing “It Had To Be You” with Tony Bennett. Other winners in country-related categories included The Civil Wars, who won Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Barton Hollow” and  Best Folk Album for Barton Hollow; and Alison Krauss & Union Station for Best Bluegrass Album for Paper Airplane. Levon Helm picked up Best Americana Album for Ramble At The Ryman.

The night truly belonged to pop star Adele, who took home all six of the GRAMMYs she was nominated for, including Record of the Year for “Rolling In The Deep” and Album of the Year for 21. She also made her first public performance since undergoing major surgery on her vocal cords last year, which forced her to cancel numerous tour dates.

While it was Adele’s night to shine and The Band Perry and Blake Shelton teamed up for a memorable tribute to Glen Campbell, the show-stopping moment belonged to Jennifer Hudson’s incredible tribute to Whitney Houston. The star belted out “I Will Always Love You,” written by Dolly Parton, as a photo of Whitney performing the same song was projected above her.

2012 GRAMMY Awards Winners:

Best Americana Album
Linda Chorney, ‘Emotional Jukebox’
Ry Cooder, ‘Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down’
Emmylou Harris, ‘Hard Bargain’
Levo Helm, Ramble at the Ryman – WINNER
Lucinda Williams, ‘Blessed’

Best Bluegrass Album
Alison Krauss and Union Station, ‘Paper Airplane’ — WINNER
Jim Lauderdale, ‘Reason And Rhyme: Bluegrass Songs By Robert Hunter & Jim Lauderdale’
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, ‘Rare Bird Alert’
The Del McCoury Band, ‘Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe’
Ralph Stanley, ‘A Mother’s Prayer’
Chris Thile & Michael Daves, ‘Sleep With One Eye Open’

Best Country Solo Performance
Jason Aldean, ‘Dirt Road Anthem’
Martina McBride, ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’
Blake Shelton, ‘Honey Bee’
Taylor Swift, ‘Mean’ — WINNER
Carrie Underwood, ‘Mama’s Song’

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’
Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter, ‘You and Tequila’
The Civil Wars, ‘Barton Hollow’ — WINNER
Thompson Square, ‘Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not’

Best Country Song
Thompson Square, ‘Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not’
Trace Adkins, ‘Just Fishin”
Taylor Swift, ‘Mean’ — WINNER
Blake Shelton, ‘God Gave Me You’
Vince Gill, ‘Threaten Me With Heaven’
Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter, ‘You and Tequila’

Best Country Album
Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party
Eric Church, Chief
Lady Antebellum, Own the Night — WINNER
Blake Shelton, Red River Blue
George Strait, Here for a Good Time
Taylor Swift, Speak Now

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