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Michael Buble, Joni Mitchell early winners in 50th Grammy Awards Print-ready version

Canadian Press
February 10, 2008

LOS ANGELES - Canadian heavyweights Joni Mitchell and Michael Buble each nabbed Grammys in an afternoon ceremony Sunday that otherwise largely shut out Canuck nominees.

Buble took best traditional pop vocal album with his disc, "Call Me Irresponsible," while Mitchell's track "One Week Last Summer," won for best pop instrumental performance.

Retro-soul diva Amy Winehouse, who was up for six trophies, took honours for best female pop vocal performance and best pop vocal album, denying Canadian rival Leslie Feist in both categories.

The Calgary-bred indie darling, who performs simply under her last name, also lost best short form video to Johnny Cash, but is still up for best new artist in the evening telecast.

Violinist James Ehnes' took Canada's first Grammy Award of the day for best instrumental soloist performance (with orchestra), for his performance with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Outspoken rapper/producer Kanye West heads into the evening ceremony with three trophies, for best rap performance on the hit "Stronger," best rap duo or group performance for the song "Southside" with Common, and best rap song for "Good Life."

"I'm so glad Kanye won everything because you know how cranky he gets when he loses," joked pre-telecast presenter Patti Austin.

West is nominated in another five categories to be announced in the evening telecast.

None of the Canadian winners were at the afternoon ceremony to accept their award, but Mitchell received additional kudos from friend Herbie Hancock, who took best contemporary jazz album with his tribute disc, "River: The Joni Letters."

"First of all I want to thank Joni Mitchell, with her incredible words and music," Hancock said in his acceptance speech before turning to a list that started with his mother and father, and included participating vocalist Leonard Cohen.

Canada's polka king Walter Ostanek lost his 20th Grammy nomination for best polka album to longtime rival Jimmy Sturr, while Loreena McKennitt's disc "An Ancient Muse," lost best contemporary world music album to Angelique Kidjo and her disc, "Djin Djin."

Nelly Furtado lost best female pop vocal performance for her song, "Say It Right" to Winehouse's "Rehab," and best pop collaboration with vocals for her song "Give it To Me," with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake to "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Other winners included democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who took a Grammy for best spoken word album for his (audio book?) "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream."

The politician was up against former presidents Bill Clinton ("Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World") and Jimmy Carter ("Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bringing Peace to a Changing World).

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Added to Library on February 10, 2008. (3820)

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