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Houston Wins Vocalist, Top Song Grammys

March 02, 1994|MARY CAMPBELL | ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — It was deja vu for Whitney Houston at the 36th annual Grammys on Tuesday night as she took the awards for best pop female vocalist and song of the year.

Just three weeks ago, she collected eight trophies at the American Music Awards for her single, "I Will Always Love You," and the soundtrack to the movie "The Bodyguard."

"I think everyone can dig and understand 'I Will Always Love You'," she said backstage.

Dolly Parton, who wrote the torch song two decades ago, presented the Grammy to Miss Houston. The single has been one of the fastest-selling tunes in music history, and the movie soundtrack has sold more than 10 million copies.

Tony Bennett, country star Mary-Chapin Carpenter and the Disney soundtrack for "Aladdin" were among the early winners as the recording industry honored its top performers.

Sting, Billy Joel, Houston and Neil Young were among the competitors for the prestigious record of the year to be awarded during the televised portion of the show.

Houston took the first award of the televised proceedings, best pop vocal performance-female, for "I Will Always Love You." Just three weeks ago, she collected eight trophies at the American Music Awards for her single, "I Will Always Love You," and the soundtrack to the movie "The Bodyguard."

Dolly Parton, who wrote the torch song two decades ago, presented the Grammy to Houston. The single has been one of the fastest-selling tunes in music history, and the movie soundtrack has sold more than 10 million copies.

Other early winners were Aerosmith for best rock group, and U2 for alternative music.

U2's Bono was greeted with cheers and gasps when he used a four-letter word in delivering "a message to the young people of America."

Before the telecast, the "Aladdin" soundtrack was responsible for four Grammys. Last year, the movie won two Academy Awards.

Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle won the award for best pop performance by a duo or group for singing, "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)."

Carpenter, the country singer who grew up in New Jersey, won the best female country vocal performance. Lucinda Williams' "Passionate Kisses," which Carpenter covered, received the award for best country song.

Bennett's "Steppin' Out" beat Barbra Streisand's "Back to Broadway" for best traditional pop vocal performance.

"What a thrill," Bennett said. "I don't know what Barbra's going to say about this."

Outside Radio City Music Hall, a group of protesters that included Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and members of the Breeders criticized the elimination of the award for best female rock vocal.

The other awards for "Aladdin" were: best musical album for children, and best instrumental composition written for a motion picture or for television. The theme song won best song written for a motion picture or television.

Sting, whose six nominations topped the field for performers, picked up two technical Grammys--best engineered album and best music video (long form).

Sting was nominated for record and song for his single "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" and for album with "Ten Summoner's Tales."

Winners were determined by the ballots of 6,500 voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Like Sting, Joel was also nominated for the song, record and album of the year awards. Joel's wife, Christie Brinkley, painted the cover to his "River of Dreams" album.

"Harvest Moon," which represented Young's return to acoustic rock, was nominated for song and record of the year.

R.E.M.'s "Automatic For the People" won nominations for best album and best alternative record of the year.

Belly, Blind Melon, Toni Braxton, Digable Planets and SWV competed for the best new artist Grammy.

Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, jazz artist Bill Evans and pianist Arthur Rubinstein were all to receive lifetime achievement awards.

The academy also planned to honor songwriter Curtis Mayfield, paralyzed four years ago when a lighting tower fell on him, with a performance by an all-star band.

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