February 11th, 2007 21:55 EST
“We are The Police, and we are back!” The reunion of the 1980s super trio kicked off the 49th Annual Grammy Awards this past Sunday. After performing together for the first time in decades, Sting and company received a standing ovation and music’s biggest night was officially underway.
Apart from The Police, the highlights of the evening came courtesy of multiple winners Dixie Chicks, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mary J. Blige and Justin Timberlake. (The sexyback crooner received a few trophies during the unaired pre-show.)
Adding five more Grammy’s to their overflowing trophy cases, outspoken country trio Dixie Chicks were the biggest winners of the night. The group collected the most coveted awards including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
“For the first time in my life, I’m speechless,” said Natalie Maines frontwoman for the Chicks. Although the group has declined in popularity after Maines spoke out against President Bush several years ago, they still have support from the musical elite.
After being introduced as “the best band in the world” by comedian Chris Rock, California bred Red Hot Chili Peppers performed “Snow (Hey Oh)”, the latest single off their double album Stadium Arcadium. The Peppers took home four Grammy’s including Best Rock Album, and solidified their spot within the pantheon of rock ‘n roll survivors. While accepting their Best Rock Album nod, drummer Chad Smith said, “We need more rock bands!” An appropriate statement considering the majority of the awards show focused on R&B and country.
Mary J. Blige gave a tearful acceptance speech when she collected her first-ever Grammy for Best R&B album, The Breakthrough. She graced the stage several times throughout the show thanks to three wins and two performances (one solo and another with Ludacris). Backed by a full band and donned in a white gown, soul queen Blige looked reminiscent of Billie Holiday or Nina Simone while belting out her hit single “Be Without You.”
Justin Timberlake also performed twice. “What Goes Around Comes Around,” a ballad and Timberlake’s latest single, was his first appearance of the evening. The second was “My Love” featuring T.I. and contest winner Robin Troupe.
Other highlights included a performance by pint size phenom Christina Aguilera. She paid homage to the late godfather of soul James Brown, by belting out his tune “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”
Ludacris provided one of the biggest laughs of the night when he thanked Oprah and right-wing talk show host Bill O’Reilly during his acceptance speech. The two television personalities had been critical of the Atlanta rapper’s lyrics, but their distaste didn’t stop him from garnering Best Rap Album for Release Therapy.
A complete list of winners and performers is available at grammy.com.