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Coldplay second to none with Clocks at Grammys

Story: Jack Foley

COLDPLAY surprised many by winning the record of the year title, for their song Clocks, at this year’s Grammys.

The track, which is taken from the band’s hugely successful Rush of Blood to the Head album, confirms their growing reputation in America, which they have conquered with relative ease.

Lead singer, Chris Martin, who is expecting his first child with actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, dedicated the award to the late country star, Johnny Cash, as well as to Democratic presidential contender, Senator John Kerry, who, he said, would hopefully be the US President, one day.

The award had been expected to go to Beyonce, who nevertheless dominated the awards ceremony, which was held in Los Angeles, on Sunday, February 8, 2004.

The R&B singer won five awards in total, including best female R&B vocal performance and best contemporary R&B album, for Dangerously in Love, as well as best R&B single, for Crazy in Love, which features Jay-Z, and best rap/sung collaboration.

She also shared best vocal R&B performance by a duo or group with Luther Vandross for their collaboration on, The Closer I Get To You.

In what proved a memorable night for the singer, she also appeared live with Prince, to sing Purple Rain, to mark the 20th anniversary of the song and the film.

Vandross, who suffered a stroke last April and was still too ill to attend the ceremony, was the next best recipient on the night, receiving four accolades, including, most notably, song of the year, for Dance With My Father, as well as best male R&B vocal performance and best R&B album.

A video message from the soul singer was shown - during which he sang a line of a tribute as it was performed by Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Richard Marx.

In what proved a night for reflection, as well as rewarding current success, another tribute marked the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' invasion of America, and was performed by Sting, Dave Matthews and Vince Gill.

The Beatles were subsequently given the President's Award, which was accepted by John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's widow, Olivia, while surviving band members, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, joined the celebrations via a satellite link from London.

Of the other notable winners on the night, US rappers, OutKast, who have dominated the US charts for the last two months with Speakerboxx/The Love Below, won best album, best rap album and best urban/alternative performance.

And Detroit-based rock group, The White Stripes, won two awards - best rock song, for Seven Nation Army, and best alternative album, for Elephant.

Another rapper, Eminem, won best rap song, for Lose Yourself, taken from his movie, 8 Mile, as well as best male rap solo performance accolades, although fellow rapper, 50 Cent, missed out on the best newcomer prize, which went to goth-rockers, Evanescence, who also took the crown for best hard rock performance.

Johnny Cash and wife, June Carter Cash, who both died during the last nine months, were honoured with posthumous awards - Cash taking the prize for best short-form video, for his single, Hurt, and his wife claiming two prizes for her final album.

George Harrison and modern folk star, Warren Zevon, also received posthumous honours, while former US President, Bill Clinton, shared the award for best spoken word album for children with former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, and actress, Sophia Loren, after they all read on Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks.

Another of America’s current music favourites, Justin Timberlake, was named best male pop vocal and best pop vocal album and used his acceptance speech to apologise for last week's Superbowl performance, with Janet Jackson, which scandalised America.

The Grammys are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and, in total, there were 105 categories, in what are widely regarded as the music world's top accolades.

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