The music of pop-jazz chanteuse Norah Jones garnered seven Grammy awards Sunday night, catapulting her past crowd favorite Bruce Springsteen and his three awards for the Sept. 11-inspired “The Rising.”
As unknown as Springsteen was acclaimed before the last year, Jones won four individual Grammys while her producer, engineers and the writer of her hit “Don’t Know Why” were honored as well.
“I never ever thought that the music I made would become popular music, so this is amazing,” Jones said as she picked up an award for best pop vocal album.
She also won for best female pop vocal, best new artist and for record of the year for “Don’t Know Why,” written by Jesse Harris, who won the song of the year Grammy.
Her album, “Come Away With Me,” earned best engineered album and producer of the year honors for Arif Mardin.
The 23-year-old New Yorker, who emerged last year from obscurity after signing with the tiny Blue Note label, sold more than 6 million copies of her debut worldwide. She appeared almost overwhelmed in accepting one award from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Harris, who thanked Jones for “being a pal,” said backstage that he “thought for certain Bruce was going to win.”
Springsteen was clearly a favorite of the crowd inside Madison Square Garden as the Grammys returned to New York for the first time in five years.
Performing only a few miles north of ground zero, Springsteen delivered a rousing performance of the title track midway through the 45th annual award as the crowd screamed, “Bruuuuce!!!!”
The Dixie Chicks, after a bitter legal battle with their label Sony, took best country album among their three Grammys. The trio’s multiplatinum “Home,” a return to their country roots, was co-produced by member Natalie Maines’ father, Lloyd.
“I want to check the record books and see how many fathers and daughters have won Grammys together,” she said, grabbing her father.
Among the double winners were Eminem, Coldplay, India.Arie and Nelly. Eminem’s second Grammy came for best rap album, the third time he’s won in the category.
Instead of offering an acceptance speech, Eminem rattled off a list of rappers who had inspired him, including Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
“Thank you, because I learned from all of you,” he said.
Eminem, Jones, Springsteen and Nelly were all nominated for a leading five Grammys apiece, along with perennial Grammy favorite Sheryl Crow, neosoul singer-songwriter Raphael Saadiq, teen rocker Avril Lavigne and R&B newcomer Ashanti. Saadiq, Crow and Ashanti all won one.
Country singer Alan Jackson, who wrote “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” in the weeks after the terrorist attacks, won best country song for the mournful tune.
India.Arie, who was nominated for seven Grammys last year but lost them all, finally got her first two, winning for best urban-alternative performance for “Little Things” and best R&B album for “Voyage to India.”
Among the other winners: the previously unheralded Funk Brothers. The groundbreaking house band for Motown Records, the focus of the recent documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” won two trophies.
Some other veteran artists added to bulging trophy cases: bluesman B.B. King won two, for 13 in his career, while Johnny Cash won his 11th and Tony Bennett his 10th – while soul legend Solomon Burke won his first.
“We got a Grammy, baby!” Burke said as he hoisted his Grammy.
The disc “Vaughn Williams: A Sea Symphony” garnered three awards, including best classical album.
The show opened with Dustin Hoffman – one in a revolving series of New York-based hosts – introducing a reunion performance by lifetime achievement award winners Simon and Garfunkel. The pair, who sang “The Sound of Silence,” have shared a tumultuous relationship; this was their first performance together in a decade.
Hoffman, before exiting, provided two gaffes. He mispronounced the Boss’ name as “Springstreet,” and introduced No Doubt by singing “Say Baby” – their hit is “Hey Baby.”