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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse sells her Grammy dress for $3,900

March 14, 2008 | 10:38 pm


It's too bad auctions are anonymous. Wouldn't you love to know who paid $3,900 for the skimpy Dolce & Gabbana mini-dress that Amy Winehouse recently wore to the Grammys where she won five awards, including record of the year?

The outfit was sold during an online auction on Ebay raising money for the Lavender Trust, a breast-cancer charity.

Other starlets who forked over a frock include Paris Hilton, Kylie Minogue, Renee Zellweger, Katherine Heigl,Thandie Newton and Geri Halliwell.

Dresses continue to be sold through March 27. Over the next few days Mariah Carey and Naomi Campbell outfits go up for grabs. CLICK HERE

How did Herbie and Amy pull off shocking Grammy wins?

February 10, 2008 | 10:07 pm

If you were flabbergasted by Herbie Hancock winning Grammy's album of the year award, you haven't been paying attention to the voting patterns in this race. The top category has clearly distinguished itself as a veteran's achievement award in recent years.

Content of the albums — what critics thought, how the discs sold in stores — hasn't seemed to matter much. Did any voters even listen to "Two Against Nature" in 2001? Of course not. That victory was a career hug for Steely Dan. Therefore, the facts that CD sales of Hancock's "River" were low and that he's not performing his own signature sound, but rather doing covers of Joni Mitchell's music, probably weren't factors at all in voters' minds. I think it's safe to say that most voters were not really familiar with the music on most of the albums by other veterans who won over the past 15 years: Eric Clapton ("Unplugged"), Tony Bennett ("MTV Unplugged"), Bob Dylan ("Time Out of Mind"), Santana ("Supernatural"), Ray Charles ("Genius Loves Company") and U2 ("How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb").


Though a lot of music critics predicted Amy Winehouse would win best record and/or song, it's still extraordinary that she did so, considering Grammy history (and the fact that music journalists aren't really award experts). Voters don't usually like riff-raff. That's probably one of the reasons Kanye West lost best album, as many other hooligans had in the past (Eminem, Pearl Jam). Also, the defiant message behind Amy's song is truly anti-hip in rehab-happy Hollywood. Keep in mind that the notorious video showing Amy smoking crack that finally did send her to treatment, kicking and screaming, came out in recent weeks, after the voting period ended.

But I have a theory that the positive spin on a booze or drug message doesn't matter — just the fact that the brain-altering substance is mentioned at all. In the videos (below) that I did with Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly, I go into it a bit, warning that it might be a factor this year at the Grammys.

Remember Sheryl Crow's big upset in the record of the year race back in 1995 when "All I Wanna Do" beat Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" and Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You"? Do you remember what Crow wanted to do in that song? Answer: have some fun getting drunk in a saloon while the sun came up over Santa Monica Boulevard.


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Grammy pundits mixed over predix

February 8, 2008 |  5:22 pm

Here's a roundup of Grammy forecasts from diverse sources, including L.A. Times music journos, The Envelope's Buzzmeter contributors and our forum moderators plus Yahoo music guru Paul Grein. Upshot: little harmony over who'll win two of the top four races: best record and song. There's a bit of consensus, however, over the other two categories: album and new artist of the year.

First, let's check in with Times scribe Ann Powers, who riffs on the best-album race HERE, picking Kanye West's "Graduation," as most pundits do. She also contributes to our Buzzmeter, where you can find her predix for best record (Beyonce's "Irreplaceable") and song ("Umbrella"). By the way, a side note: the difference between those two similarly sounding awards is that one goes to the recording artist (record), the other to the songwriter (song).


To see the full Buzzmeter breakdown, CLICK HERE to check out our aggregate views, then click on any link for "Individual Panelist's Rankings" to see predix per pundit in various races. Extended Play blogger Todd Martens and I agree that Kanye's got the album trophy and that Rihanna's "Umbrella" will take record and song and Amy Winehouse gets best new artist as a consolation prize after losing the other three top slots.

Veteran kudos seer Paul Grein usually has a trusty Grammy crystal ball, but I think he's going out on shaky limbs for Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" in the record race and Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" for best song while he pens Yahoo's predix. CLICK HERE. However, many times I've questioned his calls in the past only to proven wrong, so I won't brazenly say that those limbs will crack.

Now to our forum moderators, who do an ace job predicting most categories with accompanying text explaining their (dueling) views.

Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch seems to be drunk on Winehouse. He's picking her for best album because, he says, " I think the critical hosannas, commercial success, buzz and general heat will put (her) over the top." He says "Rehab" will take record, too, because "voters favor good old-fashioned traditional songs with live instruments" and song because she's "the sole credited songwriter on the track." Read his full predix report — CLICK HERE.

David "Guru" Schnelwar offers his take HERE. He picks Kanye for best disc because it's his "third consecutive album of the year nomination in this category," adding, "It reminds me of the Academy Awards with the 'Lord of the Rings.' How their third consecutive nomination for best picture finally gave them the win."

He picks "Umbrella" for record because it's "the song that will be remembered from 2007. Unlike other previous Urban/Top 40 record of the year nominees like OutKast' s 'Hey Ya,' Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love,' Usher's 'Yeah' and even Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy,' 'Umbrella' is also nominated for song of the year."

Even though the tune that wins best record frequently claims the song kudo, too, Guru opts for "Like a Star" in the song race because "lyrics with stories and meanings have been winning in this category. Examples: 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own,' 'Daughters,' 'Dance With My Father.' "

While most other gurus are going for Winehouse in the new artist slot, our forums Guru notes, "A non-U.S. artist has not won best new artist since 1989. That was Milli Vanilli. If you don't count their win as legitimate, then since 1985 with Sade." Instead, he picks Taylor Swift because, "she is a singer/songwriter. Her music crossed over to AC, AC Top 40 & Pop Radio during the voting period. Her album and two singles are doing well on the Billboard charts."

GRAMMY PREDIX PODCAST: Todd says Kanye takes best album

February 7, 2008 | 10:18 am

Finally, after two consecutive losses in the race for album of the year, Kanye West will win the elusive top Grammy prize, asserts The Envelope's Extended Play blogger Todd Martens. "Graduation" has all of the key elements needed for victory, he says, plus "there's nothing else in that category that jumps out other than Kanye. Amy Winehouse, she's not strong enough (here). She can clean up in the singles categories. Herbie Hancock's and Vince Gill's records — they're nice records, but they don't represent the past year in music. They're not what 2007 sounded like."

Listen to Todd sound off about Grammy's best-album race. CLICK HERE to Download the MP3 File of Our Podcast Chat. Note: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.


Photos: Rock-a-Fella Records

GRAMMY PREDIX PODCAST: Todd picks Winehouse in best-record race

February 4, 2008 | 10:49 pm

Who'll win Grammy's highest honor — record of the year? Extended Play blogger Todd Martens says Amy Winehouse fans can start popping Champagne corks to toast her victory for "Rehab" even though its message is heresy in rehab-happy Hollywood. I say it's Rihanna's "Umbrella." Who do YOU believe, eh? Tune in to Grammy's top race by listening to our podcast chat — CLICK HERE to Download the MP3 File!. NOTE: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.


Gutsy Grammy predix: DoubleD forecasts top nominees

October 24, 2007 |  7:22 am

Now that the Grammy eligibility period is over (Sept. 30), I asked our forums moderator Darrin "Double D" Dortch to stick out his tender neck and bravely forecast the top three races — record, album and new artist of the year — in advance of nominations being unveiled on Dec. 6. See below, then compare to the predix of our other moderator, David "Guru" Schnelwar (CLICK HERE).

You can listen to Darrin and my podcast chat about his Grammy predix — CLICK HERE to Download MP3 File! Note: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.

The words south of this sentence are Darrin's.


"Irreplaceable," Beyonce
"Umbrella," Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
"Radio Nowhere," Bruce Springsteen
"Stronger," Kanye West
"Rehab," Amy Winehouse

"Smile," Lily Allen
"Home," Daughtry
"It's Not Over," Daughtry
"1234," Feist
"Thinking About You," Norah Jones
"No One," Alicia Keys
"Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5
"The Sweet Escape," Gwen Stefani featuring Akon
"The Way I Are," Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson
"Until the End of Time," Justin Timberlake
"What Goes Around," Justin Timberlake
"Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood

This is an odd year because two of the biggest songs — Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Robin Thicke's "Lost Without You" — aren't eligible for Grammy consideration because both tracks were submitted last year before they became hits.

Predicting record (and song) of the year nominees this year is a real crap shoot. I really don't feel confident in saying any of these songs are frontrunners to be nominated. Grammy voters usually try to give us a mix of commercially successful songs and singles that made artistic statements. The past few years, however, the record of the year nominees have been almost solely made up of big hits.

Rihanna and Beyonce have had two of the year's biggest hits so I'm assuming both are likely nominees, but will voters really go for both in this category? Beyonce is the likelier nominee since she's been twice nominated in this category, but Rihanna has been a bigger force on the pop scene this year. Springsteen and West are past nominees in this category and are critical darlings this year so that should hopefully land them repeat nods here, though Springsteen's single isn't making an impact on the charts.

I feel most confident in predicting Winehouse's "Rehab" for a nod here and in song of the ear. It's easily the most interesting, if not controversial, record of the year. If one or more of the above five don't make the cut, we could see Grammy darlings like Norah Jones or Alicia Keys earn a spot or see a past nominee (Gwen Stefani) show up here. Keys, in particular, has a huge advantage since her song is currently sitting in the Top 5 on the pop and R&B charts. If not, last year's best new artist winner, Carrie Underwood, could steal a spot for her 'boyfriend done me wrong' country ditty. Underwood's song has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for over a year.

To Continue Reading, CLICK HERE!

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50th annual Grammy derby launches this Sunday!

September 28, 2007 |  2:05 pm


That's right. The next Grammy race officially starts so soon — this Sunday, Sept. 30, when the annual eligibility period ends. Nominations don't come out until Dec. 6, but now we can start noodling possibilities with some confidence.

That's what Todd Martens has done in his nifty preview, presented here at The Envelope as a photo gallery you can click through. (Start clicking HERE!)

Todd foresees an album of the year nom for Kanye West's "Graduation." He equivocates a bit on Rihanna when he shouldn't: yes, Todd, "Umbrella" or "Shut Up and Drive" will definitely be up for record or song of the year. Your hunch is right. Bet on "Umbrella," I say!

Quite shrewdly, he equivocates a bit on Amy Winehouse, noting, "While the upstart British R&B singer should be a lock for a best new artist nod, where her single 'Rehab' may fall is subject to greater debate. It’ll be interesting to see if Winehouse has enough crossover appeal to score a record of the year nod, or if the more conservative of the Recording Academy voters will be unable to look past her extracurricular drama."



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