| The Big Surprise: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. (Reuters)
Los Angeles, Feb. 9 (Reuters): Irish rockers U2 took time out from saving the world to bask in Grammy glory on Wednesday, but pop star Mariah Carey suffered a disappointing coda to her big comeback year.
U2 won all five categories in which it was nominated, including the coveted awards for album and song of the year. With a career haul of 22, the band ranks No. 6 on the all- time list of Grammy winners.
U2’s triumph, coupled with Green Day’s upset win in the marquee race for record of the year, gave an decided rock ‘’ roll cast to the recording industry’s biggest night, even as pop and R&B acts continue to dominate the charts.
The evening marked the first time since 2001 that rock acts clinched all three of the biggest Grammy prizes in a single year, including U2’s wins back then for song and record of the year.
Asked backstage if his band was now the greatest in the world, U2 guitarist the Edge replied, “We are tonight.”
Singer Bono, clutching a glass of white wine, added, “You can’t ask me to be humble at a moment like this.”
He noted that U2’s album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb has now yielded eight Grammy Awards, including three from last year, and recalled that the band has lost album of the year twice. It won the award in 1988 for The Joshua Tree.
The song of the year award for Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own also marked the band’s second win in this category, following its 2001 victory for Beautiful Day.
But it was a mixed evening for the three acts who led the nominations with eight each ' Carey, rapper Kanye West and R&B singer John Legend.
| Anoushka Shankar performs at the pre-telecast show. (AFP)
Carey, whose comeback album, The Emancipation of Mimi, was the biggest release in the US last year with sales to date of more than 5.2 million copies, won three statuettes. But she did not get a chance to thank anyone, because all her awards were announced during the non-televised portion of the show, which she did not attend.
She was the only person nominated in all three of the lead categories of album, song and record of the year. Punk rock trio Green Day was the surprise winner of the latter award with Boulevard of Broken Dreams, a track from last year’s rock album Grammy winner American Idiot.
Carey’s haul for the evening included female R&B vocal performance and R&B song, both for We Belong Together, and contemporary R&B album. Before this year, she had won just two Grammys, including best new artist, both in 1991.
West won three rap awards. Legend won best new artist, as expected, and two R&B awards.
West, who previously had said he would be disappointed not to win album of the year, said he was not surprised that the awards went the way they did.
“I understand the politics of it,” he said, and complimented U2 as “my boys”.
“I’m going to keep on delivering albums of the year that are so undeniable to the point where you are finally going to let a rapper come up and accept this award,” he said.
U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb also won best rock album. Additionally, the band won for rock performance by a duo or group with vocal (Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own) and rock song (City of Blinding Lights).