LOS ANGELES -- The Grammys came down with a case of the blues, giving five awards each to the melancholy piano songstress Alicia Keys and the old-school bluegrass and soul of the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. \nIrish rockers U2 won four Grammys Wednesday, including record of the year for "Walk On," a soaring rock anthem the group said found new meaning after Sept. 11. \n"When this country takes you to its heart it's an extraordinary feeling. And these are very testy times for America, so we know you're not just taking anybody to heart," U2's lead singer Bono said backstage. \nAfter a speech praising "the idea of America,'' he sheepishly ducked off stage. "Sorry about the lecture. You win a few Grammys, you think you're very interesting,'' he joked. \nKeys' hit "Fallin" won song of the year, and she was named best new artist. She also won three awards in rhythm 'n' blues categories, tying Lauryn Hill's 1999 record of five awards by a female artist. \n"Please believe in yourself, always believe in yourself,'' the 21-year-old Keys said. "Man, this makes me believe that.'' \nKeys won every category in which she was nominated except for record of the year, which blocked her chance to break Hill's record. \nAlternative soul artist India.Arie had the same opportunity, but she won none of the seven nominations for her debut, Acoustic Soul. \nAlbum of the year went to the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?'' soundtrack, an album of country roots music and bluegrass that was shunned by country music radio. \n"I don't think of it as roots music,'' producer T Bone Burnett said. "I think of it as southern music and every bit as rocking and way more in tune and free than anything anyone else is doing.'' \nBesides best album, "O Brother'' won best compilation disc, producer of the year for Burnett and garnered Ralph Stanley, who sang "O Death,'' best male country vocal, his first Grammy. It also won the Soggy Bottom Boys the Grammy for best country collaboration with vocals.\nThe folk country act Alison Krauss and Union Station won best country performance by a group and best bluegrass album for New Favorite. \nTraditional country also trumped more commercialized fare in the majority of the country field. Timeless, a tribute disc to Hank Williams featuring Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams and others, was best country album; Dolly Parton won best female country vocal for "Shine,'' off her bluegrass disc Little Sparrow; and "The Lucky One,'' performed by Krauss and Union Station, won best country song for its writers. \nOther winners were Eve and Gwen Stefani, who claimed the inaugural best rap/sung collaboration for "Let Me Blow Ya Mind;" Sade, who was awarded best pop vocal album for Lovers Rock; and best-selling rock group Linkin Park, which collected the best hard rock performance Grammy for "Crawling.'' \nCanadian newcomer Nelly Furtado took the pop female vocal Grammy for "I'm Like a Bird;'' Outkast's Stankonia won best rap album; and Train's "Drops of Jupiter'' was best rock song. \nThe ceremony also paid tribute to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Billy Joel and Tony Bennett, introduced by host Jon Stewart as two "neighborhood fellas,'' sang a swing rendition of Joel's "New York State of Mind'' while drawings of the New York City skyline were projected behind the Staples Center stage. \nThe final image was the World Trade Center's twin towers standing behind the Brooklyn Bridge. \nCountry singer Alan Jackson also performed his song "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),'' which he wrote about the collapse of the towers, the firefighters who died trying to save lives and the patriotic fervor that swept the United States. \nThe Grammy celebration followed a troubling year for the music industry, which saw sales drop 5 percent in 2001, the first decline in more than a decade. Recording companies blame the slump mainly on free downloading from the Internet, which Grammy President C. Michael Greene told viewers was an "insidious virus'' robbing musicians of the fruit of their labor. \nAt the same time, some musicians are trying to win more rights for artists in relation to record companies. Tuesday night, the Eagles, Joel, Sheryl Crow, No Doubt and others gave four concerts around the Los Angeles area to raise funds and awareness for that cause.
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