Kanye, Winehouse each grab 4 Grammys

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ap"><span>AP</span></div><span class="caption-text">Kanye West performs at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, in Los Angeles. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Kevork Djansezian&#41;</span></div>
February 10, 2008 8:50:42 PM PST
Amy Winehouse may have been physically absent from the Grammy awards on Sunday, but her presence was strong as the famously troubled singer won four awards, including song of the year for her autobiographical hit "Rehab."Kanye West, who had a leading eight nominations, also won four awards: best rap album for "Graduation," best solo performance for "Stronger," best rap song for "Good Life" and best rap performance by a duo or group for his collaboration with Common on "Southside."

West delivered an electric, glow-in-the-dark rendition of "Stronger," then segued into a stirring tribute to his mother, Donda West, who died unexpectedly last year at age 58. "Last night I saw you in my dreams, and now I can't wait to go to sleep," West, dressed in all black, sang as he launched into "Hey Mama," a celebratory tune from his second album that has now turned into a somber ode.

One of the most anticipated moments was still to come a satellite performance by Winehouse, who was sprung from a rehab center to sing for the show from a London studio. Besides song of the year and best new artist, she also won best pop vocal album for "Back to Black" and best female pop vocals.

The Grammys, celebrating its 50th year, emphasized its history with its very first performance. Alicia Keys, glammed-up with a '50s style, sat at the piano and sang "Learnin' the Blues" along with a black-and-white video performance from the late legend Frank Sinatra.

"Frank Sinatra looked good for 150, didn't he," Prince joked moments later before introducing Alicia Keys as the winner for best female R&B vocal for her smash "No One."

Later, the cast from Cirque Du Soleil's "Love" Beatles' show and the cast of the Beatles-inspired movie "Across the Universe" paid tribute to the Fab Four as Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison watched from the audience.

It was a hot-legs competition when Tina Turner teamed up with Beyonce on "Proud Mary." The senior citizen kept up with her younger counterpart, showcasing her famous dance moves while wearing a tight-fitting silver bustier and pantsuit.

Carrie Underwood was an early performer with her revenge anthem, "Before He Cheats," which earned two Grammys, including for best female country vocal performance.

Bruce Springsteen took three pre-show Grammys, including best rock song for "Radio Nowhere." Other early winners included the White Stripes, Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige with two each, the Foo Fighters, Herbie Hancock and even Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for best spoken-word album.

Though the pre-telecast ceremony, where most of the Grammys' 110 categories are doled out, is usually low on star-wattage, there were several big names on hand to accept their trophies, including Underwood, the Foos and Brad Paisley.

"You couldn't keep me from actually getting this myself it's not the same when someone else gets this on your behalf," said Underwood.

In any other year, West would have been the main storyline thanks to his history of awards-show tirades, his huge album "Graduation" and the shocking death of his mother. But the absent Winehouse, up for six trophies, threatened to upstage West and everyone else.

The 24-year-old singer-somgwriter's personal life has fallen apart over the past year as her career blossomed. As the ceremony approached, suspense built over whether she would appear. She was rejected Thursday for a U.S. work visa, and Grammy producers arranged for her to perform via telecast. Soon afterward, the U.S. government reversed itself and approved Winehouse, but it was too late for her to make the cross-continental trek.

The retro-soul singer's top-selling American debut was also up for song and record of the year for "Rehab."

Besides West and Winehouse, the other album of the year contenders were the Foo Fighters' "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace," Vince Gill's "These Days," and Herbie Hancock's "River: The Joni Letters."

For record of the year, Winehouse's "Rehab" was competing against Beyonce's "Irreplaceable," Rihanna's "Umbrella," "The Pretender" by the Foo Fighters and Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around ... Comes Around."


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