First Look Grammy Cover Pop Stops picks the Grammy winners

Who will take home the gold gramophones for musical achievement this year?

The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards Show is just a few nights away – Feb. 21 – and so, once again, it's time to take a look back at the best (or at least the most popular) recordings of the past year.

Were your favorite albums and artists nominated? Who do you think will win?

The 1999-2000 Grammy eligibility year (Oct. 1, 1999-Sept. 30, 2000) didn't produce the kind of overwhelming popularity that will have any single artist arriving at Los Angeles' Staple Center next week to clean up as Santana did last year and Lauryn Hill did the year before.

While Santana walked away with eight trophies last year, this year the spoils will likely be more evenly divided, though there are 25 artists in various genres who drew three or more nominations. My bet is that Faith Hill's Breathe album gathers the most trophies – Hill's songwriters are nominated as many times as she is.

Madonna - MusicDr. Dre and Destiny's Child will likely gain some gold as they each garnered five nominations. Eminem, Vince Gill, Sisqo and Joe each have four nods. In the running with three nominations are Foo Fighters, Macy Gray, Don Henley, Faith Hill, B.B. King, Madonna, Aimee Mann, Brian McKnight, N'Sync, Jill Scott, Ricky Skaggs, Steely Dan and U2. All in all, more than 500 nominations were voted on in 100 categories.

The Grammy Awards cover the whole spectrum of music, from pop to blues to rap to classical to children's recordings. I can't claim to have listened to every recording released this year (and must admit to a strong deficiency in the jazz, classical, gospel and blues sections) so this "Grammy Picks" list will focus on awards in the pop/rock/country field – the usual purview of the "Pop Stops" column.

I'll cover nearly half of the Grammy categories, including the newly created Best Pop Instrumental Album category (which is a surprisingly difficult category in which to choose a winner!). For a complete listing of all 100 award categories, check out the Grammy Web site at www.grammy.com.

This year I've also tried something a little different. Every year following the Grammy telecast people ask me, "So how did you do? Did you guess right? Did you successfully 'pick' the Grammies?"

Well, in the past, I haven't really tried to guess which artists would win — I offered a list of who I wanted to win (often not the same thing!). So this year I'm giving it a shot. This list includes my best guesses of who will win the Grammies (my picks to win have an ). However, if there's another album in the category that I think deserves to win but probably won't, I'll note this by putting a (PS) beside the box (Pop Stops pick).

Given the list that the Grammy nominators have given us, which, as always, includes some strange omissions and inclusions, I'll also include occasional comments () on categories that seem particularly deficient or overly rich in good choices.

So have a little Grammy fun. Print the following list, make your own s and see how you and I each score during the televised awards show on Wednesday night!

EDITORS NOTE: I've updated the following list to note with an x who really won.

And the nominees are:

U2 - All That You Can't Leave BehindRecord Of The Year
Award to the Artist and to the Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s) and/or Mixer(s) if other than the artist. This category is for a commercially released single, or track from a current year's album.

"Say My Name" by Destiny's Child from The Writing's On The Wall (Columbia Records)

"I Try" by Macy Gray from On How Life Is (Clean Slate/Epic Records)

PS "Music" by Madonna from Music (Maverick/Warner Bros. Records)

"Bye Bye Bye" by *NSync from No Strings Attached (Jive Records)

x "Beautiful Day" by U2 from All That You Can't Leave Behind (Interscope Records)

Madonna's "Music" was one of my favorite singles this year, but U2's return to the charts has garnered more critical acclaim (why, I don't know – I found it one of the more uninteresting songs of 2000.) So my bet is the Grammies will honor U2.

 

Album Of The Year
Award to the Artist(s), and to the Album Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s) and/or Mixer(s) if other than the artist.

Midnite Vultures – Beck

The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem

Kid A – Radiohead

You're The One Paul Simon

x Two Against Nature – Steely Dan

Actually, I wouldn't personally vote for any of these discs as Album of the Year, but Eminem certainly made the biggest musical splash.

 

Song Of The Year
A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

x "Beautiful Day" – U2, songwriters (recorded by U2) from All That You Can't Leave Behind

"Breathe" – Stephanie Bentley & Holly Lamar, songwriters (recorded by Faith Hill) from Breathe

"I Hope You Dance" by Mark D. Sanders & Tia Sellers, songwriters (recorded by Lee Ann Womack) from I Hope You Dance

"I Try" by Macy Gray, Jinsoo Lim, Jeremy Ruzumna & David Wilder, songwriters (recorded by Macy Gray) from On How Life Is

"Say My Name" by LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III, Rodney Jerkins, Beyoncι Knowles, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson & Kelendria Rowland, songwriters (recorded by Destiny's Child) from The Writing's On The Wall

If U2 doesn't win for Record of the Year, they'll likely take "Song," though Destiny's Child are also strong contenders. But I'm putting all my chips of Faith Hill here.

 

Best New Artist
For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.

x Shelby Lynne

Brad Paisley

Papa Roach

Jill Scott

Sisqo

Another tough category to call…none of these artists were strong cross-the-board pop contenders as we've had in past few years (like last year when Christina Aquilera was up against Britney Spears.) Shelby Lynne's first album was much stronger than her latest and Papa Roach is a pale imitation of Kid Rock. So I'm putting my bets on Jill Scott.

Macy Gray - On How Life Is

 

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or tracks only.

"What A Girl Wants" – Christina Aguilera from Christina Aguilera

x "I Try" – Macy Gray from On How Life Is

"Music" – Madonna from Music

PS "Save Me" – Aimee Mann from Magnolia - Music From The Motion Picture

"Both Sides Now" – Joni Mitchell from Both Sides Now

"Oops!...I Did It Again" – Britney Spears from Oops!...I Did It Again

Macy Gray captured the public's and critics' ears with her quirky looks and sound, nobody beat Aimee Mann on pure emotion – and a perfect scene-setter – this year.

 

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or tracks only.

"You Sang To Me" – Marc Anthony from Marc Anthony

"Taking You Home" – Don Henley from Inside Job

"She Bangs" – Ricky Martin

"6, 8, 12" – Brian McKnight from Back At One

x "She Walks This Earth" (Soberana Rosa) Sting from A Love Affair - The Music Of Ivan Lins (Various Artists)

Don Henley returned this year with one of the most stirring tracks of his career..

Steely Dan - Two Against Nature

 

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
For established duos or groups. Singles or tracks only.

"Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" – Backstreet Boys from Millenium

"Pinch Me" – Barenaked Ladies from Maroon

"Breathless" – The Corrs from In Blue

"Bye Bye Bye" – *Nsync from No Strings Attached

x "Cousin Dupree" – Steely Dan from Two Against Nature

This category is likely a showdown between Backstreet Boys and *Nsync. "Bye Bye Bye" is the catchier of the two, though both feature excellent vocal harmony performances.

 

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
For a collaborative performance by artists who do not normally perform together. Singles or tracks only.

"Thank God I Found You" – Mariah Carey Featuring Joe & 98/ from Rainbow

"The Difficult Kind" – Sheryl Crow & Sarah McLachlan from Live From Central Park

"All The Way" – Celine Dion (& Frank Sinatra) from All The Way...A Decade Of Song

"Turn Your Lights Down Low" – Lauryn Hill (& Bob Marley) from The Best Man - Music From The Motion Picture (Various)

x "Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)" – B.B. King & Dr. John from Let The Good Times Roll

Grammy voters are suckers for duets with dead legends…and so are fans. I'm going with Celine and Frank.

 

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
For instrumental recordings, with or without vocal coloring, by an Orchestra, Group or Soloist. Singles or Tracks only.

"Overture (Selmasongs)" – Bjφrk; Vincent Mendoza, conductor from Selmasongs

"Rebel Heart" – The Corrs from In Blue

"Zona Mona" – Bιla Fleck & The Flecktones from Outbound

x "Caravan" – The Brian Setzer Orchestra from Vavoom!

"Camaleao" – Grover Washington, Jr. from A Love Affair - The Music Of Ivan Lins (Various Artists)

 

Best Dance Recording
For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental. Singles or tracks only.

x "Who Let The Dogs Out" – Baha Men from Who Let The Dogs Out

"Blue (Da Ba Dee)" – Eiffel 65 from Europop

"Be With You" – Enrique Iglesias from Enrique

"Let's Get Loud" – Jennifer Lopez from On The 6

PS "Natural Blues" – Moby from Play

Moby is the best dance artist in this category, but my guess is the left-field novelty of Baha Men will take the trophy.

 

Best Pop Instrumental Album
For solo artists, duos or groups.

PS Audio – Blue Man Group

Faith - A Holiday Album – Kenny G

x Symphony No. 1 – Joe Jackson

Pieces In A Modern Style – William Ψrbit

Hymns - In The Garden – Kirk Whalum

The Blue Man Group's debut was a brilliant instrumental rock listen, but I'm betting not enough people heard it for it to take the gold. It would be an odd one for Kenny G to win this category with a holiday album, so I'm betting that the best known pop artist of the category, Joe Jackson, will take it.

 

Best Pop Vocal Album
For solo artists, duos or groups.

Inside Job – Don Henley

PS Music – Madonna

No Strings Attached – *NSync

Oops!...I Did It Again – Britney Spears

x Two Against Nature – Steely Dan

It's *Nsync's year and I'm betting the Grammy votes swing their way. Britney's sophomore album was a bit of a slump and Steely Dan's comeback a bit of a snore. Madonna's Music was a breath of fresh air in a stale pop room.

 

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

For solo artists, duos or groups.

PS As Time Goes By – Bryan Ferry

It's Like This – Rickie Lee Jones

Songs From The Last Century – George Michael

x Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell

Timeless - Live In Concert – Barbra Streisand

While Barbra Streisand will likely take this category, Bryan Ferry put out a fine collection of traditional standards with a cosmopolitan flair. George Michael, on the other hand, put out an album to fall asleep to.

 

Best Female Rock Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal permormance. Singles or tracks only.

"Paper Bag" – Fiona Apple from When The Pawn

x "There Goes The Neighborhood" – Sheryl Crow from Live From Central Park

"Enough Of Me" – Melissa Etheridge from Breakdown

"So Pure" – Alanis Morissette from Woodstock, 99 (Various Artists)

"Glitter In Their Eyes" – Patti Smith from Gung Ho

The choices in this category are particularly weak, given the amount of great female rock last year. Where was Nina Gordon, Michal or No Doubt on this list? Given that, I'm betting on Melissa Etheridge.

 

Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or tracks only.

"Thursday's Child" – David Bowie from Hours...

"Things Have Changed" – Bob Dylan from Wonder Boys - Music From The Motion Picture (Various Artists)

"Workin' It" – Don Henley from Inside Job

x "Again" – Lenny Kravitz from Greatest Hits

PS "Into The Void" – Nine Inch Nails from The Fragile

Again…throw a dart at this category. Where was Fastball, Matchbox 20 or The Jayhawks? Those artists had the best male rock performances of the year.

 

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
For Duos or Groups with vocals. Singles or tracks only.

"It's My Life" – Bon Jovi from Crush

PS "With Arms Wide Open" – Creed from Human Clay

"Learn To Fly" – Foo Fighters from There Is Nothing Left To Lose

"Californication" – Red Hot Chili Peppers from Californication

x "Beautiful Day" – U2 from All That You Can't Leave Behind

At last, some tough choices! I'm betting that U2 scores here, though I'm hoping the award goes to Creed, or Foo Fighters for their far more dramatic offerings.

 

Best Hard Rock Performance
For solo vocals, or Duos/Groups with vocals. Singles or tracks only.

"American Bad Ass" – Kid Rock from The History Of Rock

"Take A Look Around (Theme From "M:I-2")" – Limp Bizkit from Mission: Impossible 2 - Music From And Inspired By

"Grievance" – Pearl Jam from Binaural

x "Guerrilla Radio" – Rage Against The Machine from The Battle Of Los Angeles

PS "Down" – Stone Temple Pilots from No. 4

Another tough call. "Guerrilla Radio" made hay with the critics but Stone Temple Pilots' sadly overlooked fourth album featured their best work yet.

 

Best Metal Performance
For solo vocals, or Duos/Groups with vocals. Singles or tracks only.

x "Elite" – Deftones from White Pony

"The Wicker Man" – Iron Maiden from Brave New World

"Astonishing Panorama Of The Endtimes" – Marilyn Manson from The Last Tour On Earth and from MTV Celebrity Deathmatch (Various Artists)

"Revolution Is My Name" – Pantera from Reinventing The Steel

"Wait And Bleed" – Slipknot from Slipknot

 

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal Instrumentals. Singles or tracks only.

"Off The Hook" – Peter Frampton from Live In Detroit

x PS "The Call Of The Ktulu" – Metallica With Michael Kamen Conducting The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from S &M

"First Tube" – Phish from Farmhouse

"Until We Say Goodbye" – Joe Satriani from Engines Of Creation

"Electric Lullaby" – Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band from Live On

Another tough one. I'm guessing the votes went for guitar wunderkind Kenny Wayne Shepherd, but my vote goes for the mad melding of classical orchestra with Metallica music.

 

Best Rock Song
Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Rock, Hard Rock & Metal songs. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

"Again" – Lenny Kravitz, songwriter (performed by Lenny Kravitz)

"Bent" – Rob Thomas, songwriter (performed by Matchbox Twenty) from Mad Season

"Californication" – Flea, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis & Chad Smith, songwriters (performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers) from Californication

"Kryptonite" – Brad Arnold, Todd Harrell & Matt Roberts, songwriters (performed by 3 Doors Down) from The Better Life

x "With Arms Wide Open" – Scott Stapp & Mark Tremonti, songwriters (performed by Creed) from Human Clay

There's a chance for Creed to take this, but my hope and my bet rides on Matchbox 20 to walk away with the award.

 

Best Rock Album
For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental. Includes Hard Rock and Metal.

Crush – Bon Jovi

x There Is Nothing Left To Lose – Foo Fighters

Mad Season – Matchbox Twenty

Return Of Saturn – No Doubt

The Battle Of Los Angeles – Rage Against The Machine

Mad Season was one of my Pop Stops Top 5 for the year. While Foo Fighters and No Doubt give Matchbox 20 some stiff competition, I'm betting Rob Thomas and the boys will take this one home.

 

Best Alternative Music Album
For solos, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental.

When The Pawn – Fiona Apple

Midnite Vultures – Beck

PS Bloodflowers – The Cure

Liverpool Sound Collage – Paul McCartney

x Kid A – Radiohead

I can't fathom why critics have hailed Kid A as a masterpiece. I used to love this band, but Radiohead's latest drones on interminably to my ears. On the other hand, The Cure's Bloodflowers is a return to dark form for Robert Smith and the band – and may serve as their swan song. My vote lies with The Cure, but I'm betting Radiohead takes it.

 

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.

"Try Again" – Aaliyah from Romeo Must Die - The Album (Various)

"Bag Lady" – Erykah Badu from Mama's Gun

x "He Wasn't Man Enough" – Toni Braxton from The Heat

"As We Lay" – Kelly Price from Mirror Mirror

"Gettin' In The Way" – Jill Scott from Who Is Jill Scott? Words And Sounds Vol.1

 

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.

x "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" – D'Angelo from Voodoo

"I Wanna Know" – Joe from My Name Is Joe

"I Wish" – R. Kelly from TP-2.COM

"Stay Or Let It Go" – Brian McKnight from Back At One

"Thong Song" – Sisqo from Unleash the Dragon

Look for Best New Artist nominees Jill Scott and Sisqo to take these categories.

 

Destiny's Child - The Writing's On The WallBest R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
For duos or groups with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.

PS "Pass You By" – Boyz II Men from Nathan/Michael/Shawn/Wanya

x "Say My Name" – Destiny's Child from The Writing's On The Wall

"911" – Wyclef Jean Featuring Mary J. Blige from The Ecleftic - 2 Sides II A Book

"Dance Tonight" – Lucy Pearl from Lucy Pearl

"Coming Back Home" – BeBe Winans Featuring Brian McKnight & Joe from Love & Freedom

I liked the Boyz better, but Destiny's Child seems poised for increased adulation here.

 

Best R&B Song
Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or tracks only.

"Bag Lady" – Erykah Badu, songwriter (performed by Erykah Badu) from Mama's Gun

"He Wasn't Man Enough" – LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III, Rodney Jerkins & Harvey Mason Jr., songwriters (performed by Toni Braxton) from The Heat

x "Say My Name" – LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III, Rodney Jerkins, Beyoncι Knowles, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson & Kelendria Rowland, songwriters (performed by Destiny's Child) from The Writing's On The Wall

"Thong Song" – Mark Andrews, Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson, songwriters (performed by Sisqo) from Unleash The Dragon

"Untitled (How Does It Feel)" – D'Angelo & Raphael Saadiq, songwriters (performed by D'Angelo) from Voodoo

 

Best R&B Album
For solo artists, Duos/Groups, vocal or instrumental.

Nathan/Michael/Shawn/Wanya – Boyz II Men

The Heat – Toni Braxton

x Voodoo – D'Angelo

My Name Is Joe – Joe

Who Is Jill Scott? Words & Sounds Vol. 1 – Jill Scott

Unleash The Dragon – Sisqo

This is also a tough category, with two of the Best New Artist nominees fighting it out with the veterans. I'm betting both age and beauty carry the day.

Best Rap Solo Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.

"The Light" – Common from Like Water For Chocolate

"Party Up" – DMX from ...And Then There Was X

x "The Real Slim Shady" – Eminem from The Marshall Mathers LP

"Shake Ya Ass Mystikal" – from Let's Get Ready

"Country Grammar" – Nelly from Country Grammar

Eminem WAS rap last year. He'll take this.

 

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
For a Duo or Group performance. Singles or Tracks only.

PS "Alive" – Beastie Boys from Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds Of Science

"Oooh" – De La Soul Featuring Redman from Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump

x "Forgot About Dre" – Dr. Dre Featuring Eminem from Dr. Dre - 2001

"The Next Episode" – Dr. Dre Featuring Snoop Dogg from Dr. Dre - 2001

"Big Pimpin'" – Jay-Z Featuring UGK from Vol. 3...Life And Times Of S. Carter

 

Best Rap Album
For solo artists, duos or groups.

...And Then There Was X – DMX

Dr. Dre - 2001 – Dr. Dre

x The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem

Vol. 3...Life And Times Of S. Carter – Jay-Z

Country Grammar – Nelly

Faith Hill - Breathe

 

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.

x "Breathe" – Faith Hill from Breathe

"That's The Way" – Jo Dee Messina from Burn

"Travelin' Prayer" – Dolly Parton from The Grass Is Blue

"I Hope You Dance" – Lee Ann Womack from I Hope You Dance

"Real Live Woman" – Trisha Yearwood from Real Live Woman

After the country-pop barriers were bent by Shania Twain over the past couple years, Faith Hill's Breathe proceeded to demolish them entirely. She'll dominate the country awards.

 

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.

x PS "Solitary Man" – Johnny Cash from American III - Solitary Man

"Feels Like Love" – Vince Gill from Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye

"One Voice" – Billy Gilman from One Voice

"My Best Friend" – Tim McGraw from A Place In The Sun

"A Thousand Miles From Nowhere" – Dwight Yoakam from dwightyoakamacoustic.net

How could anyone vote against Johnny Cash, one of the true living legends of American Music? I'm betting the Academy did, in favor of the kid.

 

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
For established Duos or Groups. Singles or Tracks only.

"Twentieth Century" – Alabama from Twentieth Century

x "Cherokee Maiden" – Asleep At The Wheel from Ride With Bob

"You'll Always Be Loved By Me" – Brooks & Dunn from Tight Rope

"Woody's Roundup" – Riders In The Sky from Toy Story 2 - Soundtrack

"Jimmy's Got A Girlfriend" – The Wilkinsons from Here and Now

 

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
For a collaborative performance by artists who do not normally perform together. Singles or Tracks only.

"Strong Enough" – Sheryl Crow & The Dixie Chicks from Live From Central Park

"When I Look Into Your Heart" – Vince Gill & Amy Grant from Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye

x "Let's Make Love" – Faith Hill & Tim McGraw from Breathe

"Walk Softly" – Ricky Skaggs & The Dixie Chicks from Big Mon - The Songs Of Bill Monroe

"Murder On Music Row" – George Strait & Alan Jackson from Latest Greatest Straitest Hits

 

Best Country Song
Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or – s only.

"Breathe" – Stephanie Bentley & Holly Lamar, songwriters (performedy by Faith Hill) from Breathe

"Feels Like Love" – Vince Gill, songwriter (performed by Vince Gill) from Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye

x "I Hope You Dance" – Mark D. Sanders & Tia Sillers, songwriters (performed by Lee Ann Womack) from I Hope You Dance

"One Voice" – Don Cook & David Malloy, songwriters (performed by Billy Gilman) from One Voice

"The Way You Love Me" – Michael Delaney & Keith Follesι, songwriters (performed by Faith Hill) from Breathe

 

Best Country Album
For solo artists, Duos or Groups, vocal or instrumental.

Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye – Vince Gill

x Breathe – Faith Hill

Under The Influence – Alan Jackson

I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack

Real Live Woman – Trisha Yearwood

 

Best New Age Album
For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental.

Whisper To The Wild Water – Mαire Brennan

Highland Cathedral – Phil Coulter

x Thinking Of You – Kitaro

East Of The Moon – David Lanz

In A Distant Place – Nakai, Eaton, Clipman & Nawang

 

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
For a solo, duo or group vocal performance.

Joy – Avalon

x If I Left The Zoo – Jars of Clay

Fearless – Crystal Lewis

This Is Your Time – Michael W. Smith

Crystal Clear – Jaci Velasquez

 

B.B. King & Eric Clapton - Riding With The KingBest Traditional Blues Album
For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental.

Superharps – James Cotton, Billy Branch, Charlie Musselwhite & Sugar Ray Norcia (Telarc Blues)

x Riding With The King – B.B. King & Eric Clapton

Let The Good Times Roll – B.B. King

Delta Crossroads – Robert Lockwood, Jr.

Milk Cow Blues – Willie Nelson

It wasn't one of the best albums of the year, but how often do you get to listen to two guitar legends of this calibre trade licks and vocals?

 

Best Contemporary Blues Album
For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental.

Wicked – Shemekia Copeland

x Shoutin' In Key – Taj Mahal & The Phantom Blues Band

Shake Hands With Shorty – North Mississippi Allstars

Hoochie Man – Bobby Rush

Royal Blue – Koko Taylor

 

Best Traditional Folk Album

For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental.

x Public Domain - Songs From The Wild Land – Dave Alvin

Far Away, Down On A Georgia Farm – Norman Blake

Live At The Royal Albert Hall – Ladysmith Black Mambazo

My Roots Are Showing – Natalie MacMaster

Cajun Blood – Jo-El Sonnier

 

Best Contemporary Folk Album
For solo artists, duos or groups, vocal or instrumental.

Mermaid Avenue Vol. II – Billy Bragg & Wilco

American III: Solitary Man – Johnny Cash

Transcendental Blues – Steve Earle

x Red Dirt Girl – Emmylou Harris

Crossing Muddy Waters – John Hiatt

Forget what I said above…I had to vote against Johnny Cash in this category because Billy Bragg & Wilco's second album giving life to previously unsung Woody Guthrie lyrics is what this category is all about.

 

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
Award to the Artist(s) and/or Producer(s) of a majority of the – s on the album, or to the individual(s) actively responsible for the concept and musical direction and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable. Albums only.

x Almost Famous – Various Artists

Fantasia/2000 – James Levine Conducting The Chicago Symphony Orchestra

PS High Fidelity – Various Artists

Magnolia – Aimee Mann

The Sopranos – Various Artists

While I loved the Magnolia soundtrack, it was really an Aimee Mann album with a couple of other songs thrown in, rather than a diverse compilation soundtrack. Because of that, in my mind it's disqualified here. I'm betting the popularity of The Sopranos puts them on top, though I thought the diverse and well-thought-out selection for High Fidelity deserves the award.

 

Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
Award to Composer(s) for an original composition (not an adaptation) written specifically for a motion picture, television or other visual media.

x American Beauty – Thomas Newman, composer

PS The Cider House Rules – Rachel Portman, composer

Gladiator – Lisa Gerrard & Hans Zimmer, composers

Magnolia – Jon Brion, composer

Toy Story 2 – Randy Newman, composer

The Gladiator soundtrack was moody thanks to Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard; the portion of the Magnolia soundtrack that was exciting was Aimee Mann's work, rather than Jon Brion's instrumental offerings; and American Beauty's soundtrack was often pensive and mysterious. The beauty of the Cider House Rules soundtrack beat all of those for me, but I'll bet American Beauty still carries the vote.

 

Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
Songwriter(s) award. This category is for a song (melody & lyrics) written specifically for a motion picture, television or other visual media, and commercially released on a recording for the first time during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

"The Great Beyond (From Man On The Moon)" – Peter Buck, Mike Mills & Michael Stipe, songwriters (performed by R.E.M.)

"Independent Women Part I (From Charlie's Angels)" – Samuel Barnes, Beyoncι Knowles, Jean Claude Olivier & Corey Rooney, songwriters (performed by Destiny's Child)

"Save Me" (From Magnolia) Aimee Mann, songwriter (performed by Aimee Mann)

"Things Have Changed" (From Wonder Boys) Bob Dylan, songwriter (performed by Bob Dylan)

x "When She Loved Me" (From Toy Story 2) Randy Newman, songwriter (performed by Sarah McLachlan)

Aimee Mann's anthem for Magnolia not only "made" the movie, but stands as a brilliant pop song on its own.

 

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Absolute Benson – Steve Barkan, Jon Fausty, Al Schmitt & Bill Schnee, engineers (performed by George Benson)

Here's To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! – Clark Germain & Bill Schnee, engineers (performed by David Benoit)

Kid A – Nigel Godrich, engineer (performed by Radiohead)

Oregon In Moscow – Rich Breen, engineer (performed by Oregon With The Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra)

x Two Against Nature – Phil Burnett, Roger Nichols, Dave Russell & Elliot Scheiner, engineers (performed by Steely Dan)

 

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Bill Bottrell (Shelby Lynne)

x Dr. Dre (Eminem, N.W.A., Dr. Dre, Ice Cube)

Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Travis)

Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis (Ginuwine, Mariah Carey, Shaggy, Janet)

Matt Serletic (Angie Aparo, Celine Dion, Matchbox Twenty, Leigh Nash)

 

Best Short Form Music Video
For an individual track or single promotional clip. Award to the Artist and to the Video Director/Producer.

"Fire" – Busta Rhymes Busta Rhymes & Hype Williams, video directors; Rubin Mendoza, video producer

x "Learn To Fly" – Foo Fighters Jesse Peretz, video director; Tina Nakane, video producer

"What Do You Say" – Reba McEntire Robert Deaton & George Flanigen, video directors; Robert Deaton, George Flanigen & Steve Lamar, video producers

"Broken Home" – Papa Roach Marcos Siega, video director; Shirley Moyers, video producer

"Will 2K" – Will Smith Robert Caruso, video director; Jack Hardwicke & Paul Hill, video producers