Thursday, February 10, 2000

Madonna Grammy History

With the 49th Annual Grammy Awards just around the corner - and M up for three trophies - the time calls for a look back at the many nominations (and five wins) our lady has racked up from the kudofest over the years:

1985: (nom) Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Crazy For You

1986: (nom) Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Papa Don't Preach

1987: (nom) Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media, Who's That Girl

1990: (nom) Best Short Form Video, Oh Father

1990: (nom) Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, Like a Prayer

1991: (win) Best Long Form Music Video, Blond Ambition World Tour: Live!

1995: (nom) Best Long Form Music Video, The Girlie Show: Live Down Under

1995: (nom) Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media, I'll Remember

1996: (nom) Best Pop Vocal Album, Bedtime Stories

1999: (nom) Album of the Year, Ray of Light

1999: (nom) Record of the Year, Ray of Light

1999: (win) Best Pop Vocal Album, Ray of Light

1999: (win) Best Dance Recording, Ray of Light

1999: (win) Best Short Form Music Video,
Ray of Light

2000: (nom) Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Beautiful Stranger

2000: (win) Best Song Specifically Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media, Beautiful Stranger

2001: (nom) Best Pop Vocal Album, Music

2001: (nom) Record of the Year, Music

2001: (nom) Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Music

2002: (nom) Best Short Form Music Video, Don't Tell Me

2003: (nom) Best Dance Recording, Die Another Day

2003: (nom) Best Short Form Music Video, Die Another Day

2007: (nom) Best Electronic/Dance Album, Confessions on a Dance Floor

2007: (nom) Best Dance Recording, Get Together

2007: (nom) Best Long Form Video, I'm Going To Tell You a Secret

Her batting average on those nominations? A meager .136, not including this year's noms. But twenty-two nods is pretty staggering.

And who needs a trophy to validate a music career? Madonna's most memorable Grammy appearances, especially in the latter half of Her career, usually revolve around one of Her incredible live performances. The stunning trifecta of Nothing Really Matters in 1999, Music in 2001, and Hung Up last year are almost unparalleled in show-stealingness.

Capping a banner year proclaimed as Her umpteenth "comeback" era, Madonna opened up the 1999 Grammys in full-blown geisha mode. I had this to say about the performance in my column about Madonna's top live performances:

There is something haunting but absolutely essential about this oft-overlooked performance. Perhaps one of those most out-there Grammy numbers, Madonna’s geisha-infused set piece is inimitably hers, never to be replicated and virtually critic-proof.

I mean, there are very few grown-ups that we as a consuming public will allow play dress-up on such a large scale. Madonna recreates the herky-jerky movements from the video while balanced on obscenely high platform boots. This performance just barely edges out The Power of Goodbye performance from the Europe VMAs, but only because Madonna would later (finally!) collect several trophies for the Ray of Light album throughout the evening, making the 1999 Grammy telecast truly historic.

Madonna's next appearance at the Grammys - while not as successful trophy-wise as 1999 - yielded a second memorable opening number. Of Music in 2001, I wrote:

No one can open an awards show quite like Madonna, who is guaranteed to whip the crowd into hysteria before the proceedings even start. This was her first national performance of the blockbuster song that critics dubbed a
return to Holiday fun.

And --- ouch -- those deep leg lunges! E! Online said it all: “We love Madonna's Jennifer Aniston 'do, we love her cool black threads, complete with ‘Material Girl’ tank, we love the video montage of Madonna highlights past, we
love the gold confetti falling on the crowd, we really love the pimp-daddy limo driven by Lil' Bow Wow...If the rest of the ceremony is even half as ghetto fabulous as Madonna's opening performance of her Grammy-nominated Music, we are so gonna be lovin' this show.”

Surely making my list of top live performances - had it been written a few years later -would be Hung Up, yet another Grammy opening. It's debatable whether Madge should have sat last year's telecast out altogether, being that She wasn't in attendance to wait out any nominations but rather, blatantly, to plug Confessions. Not that anyone's complaining. Her tried-and-true run-through of Hung Up, a performance featuring the animated Gorillaz, ranked as the second best Madonna moment of 2006, behind only the monumental Confessions Tour. Her reason for showing up? To rock your face.

While we won't get a performance from Madge this year, perhaps She'll add a few Grammys to Her mantel. Good luck, Madonna!

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