21 February 2001
Wednesday night, the National Academy of Recording Arts And Sciences bestows its 43rd annual Grammy Awards, America's highest honor for achievement in music. This year, veteran musicians face competition from the new generation of artists, such as 'N Sync and Britney Spears.
R&B trio Destiny's Child earned five Grammy nominations this year. Their hit tune "Say My Name" is up for Record of the Year, the award that recognizes the artist and producer. Macy Gray, whose breathy voice earned her critical acclaim this past year, competes with "I Try." Madonna's entry is the title track from her album "Music," while Irish rockers U2 make a showing with "Beautiful Day" from their album "All That You Can't Leave Behind." Rounding out the Record of the Year field is boy band 'N Sync with "Bye Bye Bye."
In the Song of the Year category, which goes to the songwriter, Destiny's Child, U2 and Macy Gray appear again, along with two country tunes, Faith Hill's "Breathe" and "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Both songs successfully crossed over to the mainstream pop charts during the year.
Rapper Sisqo caused a sensation this year with his "Thong Song," an ode to the skimpy bathing suit. A member of Baltimore group Dru Hill, Sisqo is in the running for a Best New Artist Grammy. Hard rock and rap artist Papa Roach provides some competition for Sisqo, along with R&B singer Jill Scott, country newcomer Brad Paisley and another country singer and songwriter, Shelby Lynne.
Legendary singer and songwriter Paul Simon is in the running for Album of the Year with "You're The One," while influential rock band Steely Dan enters the field with "Two Against Nature." Alternative hero Beck presents "Midnite Vultures" and British quintet Radiohead goes in a more "techno" direction with "Kid A." Rock and rap star Eminem completes the Album of the Year category with his "Marshall Mathers LP," attracting attention for its themes of violence and profanity. Despite protests from several organizations, Emimen will perform a duet on the Grammy Awards broadcast with Elton John.
The Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group nominees include "boy bands" 'N Sync and The Backstreet Boys, along with Canada's Barenaked Ladies, Irish group The Corrs and Steely Dan.
In the Best Female Pop Vocal category, teen divas Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears meet Madonna, veteran singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell, Macy Gray and Aimee Mann.
The field for Best Male Pop Vocal is also multi-generational, with heartthrobs Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony meeting R&B's Brian McKnight, and established stars Don Henley and Sting. The 43rd annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on Wednesday evening. Here's Grammy nominee Sting with a Brazilian-flavored tune, "She Walks This Earth."