Grammy’s hang up on Madonna, Blige breaks through

Chris Azzopardi
By | 2018-01-16T04:21:10-04:00 December 14th, 2006|Entertainment|

It looks like Grammy voters decided to hang up on Madonna. The gay fave disc “Confessions On A Dance Floor” picked up two nominations in the dance categories, but was snubbed in any major ones.
Local fans were not surprised.
“It was completely expected,” said Chris VanderKolk of Ann Arbor. “(Madonna’s) album wasn’t exactly revolutionary by any sense of the word.”
But the dance diva wasn’t the only long-established artist not feeling the love from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences voters. Shakira, Prince, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce were all overlooked.
Justin Timberlake, though, scored four nominations. But Jason Misleh, who spins at Necto in Ann Arbor on Fridays, isn’t elated by the pop sensation’s accomplishment.
“I’m not … surprised or impressed that Justin Timberlake got nominated,” Misleh said. “Put a pretty face on anything, and they will get nominated.”
Misleh, who worked on a remix of Mary J. Blige’s multi-nominated “Be Without You” earlier this year, said Blige’s Grammy success is well deserved.
“I knew it would be a hit,” he said of the single.
Blige, who took home nine Billboard Awards earlier this month, garnered eight nominations for her chart-topping album “The Breakthrough,” which has sold 2.6 million copies to date. Blige, who didn’t receive a best album nod, is riding on her soulful single “Be Without You,” nominated for Record and Song of the Year.
VanderKolk doesn’t think she deserves it. “I believe a Record of the Year should be revolutionary,” he said.
When it came to the R&B nods, which Blige cleaned up, she’s the shoe in, VanderKolk noted. “Maybe this year was the ‘Return of the Blige,'” he said.
Those who voted for the five-time nominated Dixie Chicks put aside political affiliations and recognized the trio for their personal pop-country comeback. VanderKolk calls their triumphant return, “Taking The Long Way,” a representation of their best work.
“I think that the Dixie Chicks really came into their own with ‘Not Ready To Make Nice’ (nominated for Song and Record of the Year),” he said. “They know exactly who they are as artists but they’re still pushing the envelope a little bit … .”
In addition to gay-friendly artists, LGBT artists and themed soundtracks caught voters’ ears. Melissa Etheridge’s song “I Need to Wake Up” for Al Gore’s global warning-themed film will go head-to-head with Dolly Parton’s “Travelin’ Thru” from “Transamerica” for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media. The “Brokeback Mountain” soundtrack picked up a nomination in the same category as “Little Miss Sunshine”: Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
“With (the) ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (soundtrack) there was obviously a lot of thought that went into it,” said VanderKolk, who notes the splendid guitar work from Gustavo Santaolalla and original tracks by Rufus Wainwright. “I thought it was really a fantastic soundtrack.”

Grammy run-down

Some of the year’s best-selling album scored multiple accolades. Other top-selling music makers, though, weren’t so lucky. See who’s up for some of the Grammy’s biggest honors:

Album

*Dixie Chicks; “Taking The Long Way”
*Gnarls Barkley; “St. Elsewhere”
*John Mayer; “Continuum”
*Red Hot Chili Peppers; “Stadium Arcadium”
*Justin Timberlake; “Future Sex/LoveSounds”

Record

*Mary J. Blige; “Be Without You”
*James Blunt; “You’re Beautiful”
*Dixie Chicks; “Not Ready to Make Nice”
*Gnarls Barkley; “Crazy”
*Corinne Bailey Rae; “Put Your Records On”

Song of the Year (Songwriters award)

*”Be Without You”; (performed by Mary J. Blige), Blige, Johnta Austin, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jason Perry
*”Jesus, Take the Wheel”; (Carrie Underwood), Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson
*”Not Ready to Make Nice”; (Dixie Chicks), Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson
*”Put Your Records On”; (Corinne Bailey Rae), John Beck, Steve Chrisanthou and Bailey Rae
*”You’re Beautiful”; (James Blunt), Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek

New artist

*James Blunt
*Chris Brown
*Imogen Heap
*Corinne Bailey Rae
*Carrie Underwood

Pop album

*Christina Aguilera; “Back to Basics”
*James Blunt; “Back to Bedlam”
*Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint; “The River in Reverse”
*John Mayer; “Continuum”
*Justin Timberlake; “FutureSex/LoveSounds”

Rock album

*John Mayer Trio; “Try!”
*Tom Petty; “Highway Companion”
*The Raconteurs; “Broken Boy Soldiers”
*Red Hot Chili Peppers; “Stadium Arcadium”
*Neil Young; “Living With War”

Contemporary R&B album

*Mary J. Blige; “The Breakthrough”
*Jamie Foxx; “Unpredictable”
*India.Arie; “Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship”
*Prince; “3121”
*Lionel Ritchie; “Coming Home”

Dance Recording

*Depeche Mode; “Suffer Well”
*Goldfrapp; “Ooh La La”
*Madonna; “Get Together”
*Pet Shop Boys; “I’m With Stupid”
*Justin Timberlake and Timberland; “SexyBack”

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.