Spalding, Brecker, Corea Among Winners at Grammy Awards

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Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding took home a Grammy in the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” category for 12 Little Spells.

(Photo: Jacob Blikenstaff)

Singer/bassist Esperanza Spalding, trumpeter Randy Brecker and pianist Chick Corea were among the honorees at the 62nd Grammy Awards, held Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Winners included:

Metaphorical clouds hung over the ceremony. Before the telecast, the world learned of basketball star Kobe Bryant’s death. He and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven others, perished in a morning helicopter crash about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Bryant’s legend was built as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA team that plays its home games in the Staples Center. The proceedings included numerous tributes to Bryant.

“We are standing here literally heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” Alicia Keys, the evening’s host, told the audience.

The telecast also included tributes to hip-hop star Nipsey Hussle, who was fatally shot in Los Angeles on March 31, 2019. His track “Racks In The Middle,” featuring Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy, was awarded the Grammy for Best Rap Performance. DJ Khaled’s track “Higher,” featuring Nipsey and John Legend, won for Best Rap/Sung Performance.

The ceremony’s In Memoriam segment concluded with a clip of Dr. John (1941–2019), followed by a performance by Trombone Shorty and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

In the days leading up to the ceremony, Recording Academy members addressed multiple controversies. Deborah Dugan, who had served as the academy’s president and chief executive officer, was placed on administrative leave Jan. 16, following claims of misconduct by a co-worker. Then on Jan. 21, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

For a complete list of this year’s winners, visit the Recording Academy’s Grammy website. DB



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