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47th Grammy Awards show

Television | Despite concerns to the contrary, the Grammy winners were quite positive

Issue: "Lebanon: Democracy now," Feb. 26, 2005

The 47th Grammy Awards were supposed to push the envelope this year, with nominations dominated by controversial rappers, but when the envelopes were all torn open, the results were surprisingly positive.

Even rap came out positive, with best song and best album going to Kanye West for "Jesus Walks," a gritty song with some bad words about life's evils that emphasizes the need for salvation through Jesus.

Best pop performance by a group went to Los Lonely Boys, a three-brother group with a pleasant sound blending Hispanic, country, and rock. Their winning song "Heaven" is actually a prayer to God anticipating that better place.

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The best rock performance went to U2 for "Vertigo"-that song on the iPod commercials-from the album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, hailed as the group's most explicitly Christian album yet.

Song of the year was John Mayer's "Daughters," on the importance of the relationship between fathers and daughters.

The biggest winner, though, was the recently deceased Ray Charles, whose final album, Genius Loves Company, took album of the year. The record of the year was Mr. Charles's duet with Norah Jones, "Here We Go Again." Mr. Charles took six other Grammies, a fitting tribute to a giant of American music, the man who brought the stylings of black gospel singing into mainstream popular music.

The TV show on CBS was also surprisingly tasteful. The performance of the melodic punkers Green Day-who won best rock album for the mildly subversive American Idiot-had a lyric with a bad word that was smoothly snipped out by CBS editors, thanks to the five-second delay.

One highlight was a segment honoring black gospel music, with the Staples Singers, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and Mr. West.

Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith


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