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Grammys 2008: Amy Winehouse takes five awards

Amy Winehouse

Story by Jack Foley

AMY Winehouse has won five awards at the prestigious Grammys despite being absent from the ceremony.

The troubled singer took prizes for song of the year and record of the year, both for her single Rehab, as well as best new artist.

However, she was unable to attend the Los Angeles ceremony because she had been denied a visa in light of her ongoing problems and she was forced to perform and make her acceptance speech via satellite.

The awards complete an emotional few months for Winehouse, who has seldom been out of the tabloid headlines as she battles personal demons and addiction.

But she was clearly overwhelmed with joy to have been recognised with the accolades and could be seen hugging her mum as the LA crowd chanted her name.

She went on to pay tribute to her husband as part of her speech and dedicated the wins to London, “because Camden Town is burning down” [in reference to a huge fire that has devastated Camden Market this weekend].

Other main winners

Rapper Kanye West took home four Grammy Awards, Bruce Springsteen won three and The White Stripes, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood and Mary J Blige were among the acts who picked up two awards.

West, who had led the nominations going into the ceremony with a total of eight, received his four trophies for best rap song, best rap album, best rap solo performance and best rap performance by a duo or group.

He used his acceptance speech for best rap album to pay tribute to his mother Donda, who died in November.

He said: “I know you’re really proud of me right now and I know you want me to be the number one artist in the world. And mama, all I’m going to do is keep making you proud.”

Justin Timberlake won his two awards for best male pop vocal performance for What Goes Around…Comes Around and Best dance recording (for LoveStoned/I Think She Knows).

And Bruce Springsteen collected his two prizes for best rock song (Radio Nowhere) and best solo rock vocal performance for the same song.

Foo Fighters won best rock album for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and The White Stripes won Best Alternative Music Album for Icky Thump.

Winehouse’s remaining accolades came for best pop vocal album for Back To Black and best female pop vocal performance for Rehab.

Although the US Embassy had initially refused her a visa that would have enabled her to attend the ceremony, it later reversed its decision – but it was too late to allow the singer to travel.

The singer had been nominated for six awards, but lost out on the prize for album of the year to jazz legend Herbie Hancock (for River: The Joni Letters), his tribute to singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

It marked only the second time a jazz album has triumphed in the 50-year history of the Grammys and was one of the night’s biggest surprises.

The glittering awards bash was opened with a duet between Alicia Keys and footage of the late Frank Sinatra singing Learnin’ the Blues. It included a performance from Tina Turner, who returned to the stage for the first time in seven years to perform with Beyonce.