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Grammy Awards: Train nabs an award for pop performance by a duo or group with vocals, against some tough odds and a bevy of musical theater nerds

February 13, 2011 |  8:11 pm

Train Train's single, "Hey Soul Sister," which won the first televised award of the evening, for pop performance by a duo or group with vocals, had many things going against it: It was the band's first foray into the limelight after a three-year hiatus, and it was a live iTunes verson of a song.

But what worried the band more? The fierce competition from a set of singing and dancing musical theater nerds.

“When you’re in a category up against ‘Glee’ these days, no,” guitarist Jimmy Stafford said when asked if he thought they had expected to win at the 53rd Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

The win echoes the massive success the group has already enjoyed for the retooled version of its hit, “Hey, Soul Sister." Upon its release, it reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it is the band's most commercially successful single to date, reaching No. 1 in 16 countries. It has sold more than 5 million digital copies in the U.S. and was the top-selling song on iTunes in 2010.

The hit was even covered by the show they beat, and being exposed on a platform like “Glee” isn’t something the band is ashamed of.

“Back in the beginning, I remember doing TV stuff as [being] uncool for a legitmate artist. Then it got to the point where I think Sting broke the record with that Jaguar commercial where I don’t think the song  [‘Desert Rose’] would have broke without it,” frontman Patrick Monahan said. “For ‘Marry Me,’ we’re looking for a diamond commercial ... so if anybody knows of one.”

The members said the win was a bittersweet moment for them, after having gone their separate ways in 2006 before reuniting in 2009.

“You know I gotta tell you, we’ve been through a lot. To be nominated, this is a beautiful comeback,” Patrick Monahan said. “We have many more albums to come that are better than [us] not existing.”

As for thanking Howard Stern and not his wife? Monahan said that’s a mess he’s going to have to clean up later. “Howard has been supportive from the time we were little to times like this,” he said. “He was still a dear friend of mine. I should have thanked my wife instead of Howard Stern ... but she understands.”

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Train pose with their awards during the 53nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2011. Credit: GABRIEL BOUYS /AFP / Getty Images.