LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — British pop singer Amy Winehouse, whose rapid descent from promising newcomer to emaciated junkie played out in the full glare of the public eye last year, took home five Grammy Awards on Sunday. But jazz veteran Herbie Hancock was the shock winner of the coveted album of the year award, preventing Winehouse from enjoying a historic clean sweep.
Winehouse, 24, did win the key awards for record and song of the year for her hit tune “Rehab,” as well as best new artist. Her haul was rounded out by the female pop vocal solo performance for “Rehab,” and pop vocal album for “Back to Black,” her breakthrough release. Hip-hop star Kanye West, 30, who led all Grammy contenders with eight nominations, ended up with four awards. He was hoping for his first album of the year win, after losing with his two previous releases. Yet it was Hancock who claimed the best album Grammy for “River: The Joni Letters,” a tribute to Canadian singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Even without album of the year, Winehouse savored a stunning comeback. She entered a London rehab clinic last month after a long battle with drugs and alcohol. Just three weeks ago she was filmed appearing to be smoking crack cocaine at a party. Because of the rehab — and problems getting a U.S. work visa — Winehouse performed two songs live via satellite from a London venue. She performed confidently, offering a few sly grins. MORE
RELATED: Joni Mitchell 1965
Before she was Joni Mitchell she was Joni Anderson of Saskatoon, the fair young maid of Canadian folk music singing on the Oscar Brand hootenanny show, Let’s Sing Out. “Born to Take the Highway” is unreleased elsewhere, as far as I know. Glimpses of the late Dave Van Ronk, Tom and Harry Chapin and the now octogenarian Oscar Brand are found here. Oscar still hosts a radio show every week out of New York.
EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s a hiccup at the beginning, so just forward to the 1:20 mark, which is where her actually song begins. Check out how drop-dead Ivory Girl gorgeous she is — hubba hubba! Worth rewinding to the beginning for a glimpse of just how dorkily earnest and old fogey-ish the early ’60s folk scene was. Oh, Canada.