Was Amy Winehouse robbed at the Grammys? [poll]
When Amy Winehouse competed at the Grammys in 2008, she won five of her six nominations: best record, song and new artist of the year; best female pop vocal and best pop vocal album. The only race she lost was for album of the year. "Back to Black" got trounced by Herbie Hancock's "River: The Joni Letters."
Many music critics would argue that "Back to Black" was a better album than "River" and it certainly had much better sales. But gooey-hearted Grammy voters love to hug beloved old veterans in that race such as Steely Dan ("Two Against Nature," 2001), Santana ("Supernatural," 2000) and Bob Dylan ("Time Out of Mind," 1998), even when winners don't deserve it -- such as Ray Charles ("Genius Loves Company," 2005) and Tony Bennett ("MTV Unplugged," 1995). It can be argued that Winehouse simply got trounced by that quirky voting trend.
Of course, it can be argued that Kanye West's "Graduation" or one of the other nominees really deserved to win best album of 2008 instead of Winehouse or Hancock, but let's stay focused on Winehouse.
When Winehouse won five Grammys in 2008, she tied Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Beyonce for the record of achieving the most wins by a female artist in one year. If only Winehouse had won best album, she would've set a new record that would still stand today. Beyonce went on to win six in 2010, but she merely would've tied Winehouse.
If Winehouse had won best album, she would've entered a lofty Grammy pantheon occupied only by Christopher Cross. In 1981, Cross became the only music artist to win all of Grammy's top four awards: record, song, album and new artist of the year. Winehouse would've become the seventh artist to win the triple crown (best record, song and album) in one year after Carole King (1972), Christopher Cross (1981), Eric Clapton (1993), Santana (2000), Norah Jones (2003) and Dixie Chicks (2007).
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: The "Back to Black" CD cover. Credit: Republic Records