Carrie Underwood once again thanked American Idol for getting her career started last night as she took home the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.  The 2008 Grammy Awards were held last night, aired on CBS, and they marked the 50 year anniversary of the event.  In a star-studded three-plus hour event, Underwood (the season 4 winner of American Idol) not only took home the Grammy for her hit song “Before He Cheats” but also performed the same song live.  Whereas some American Idol alumni have either ignored the influence Idol had on their careers or occasionally made disparaging remarks about the show, Carrie Underwood has always been gracious towards the series and its effect on her career. 

Though Underwood did perform, the night was so full of big names and standout performances that the Idol winner was mostly an afterthought.  I actually watched the Grammys last night (well, I watched it with the help of DVR, thank goodness), which is the first time I’ve done that in a very long time.  Surprisingly, I was kind of blown away by the caliber of the event.  It was the 50th anniversary, though, and CBS pulled out all the stops.  Besides a disastrous Keely Smith duet with Kid Rock (really, the producers thought Kid Rock could do a freaking Louis Prima song justice?) and the kind of sad appearances by Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, almost every performance was great.

Kanye West’s Tron-inspired performance of “Stronger” followed by an emotional tribute to his recently (and tragically) deceased mother was incredible.  Say what you will about Kanye as a person (I love the guy), but he brings it.  It was sweet seeing Tina Turner (she’s 68-years-old, for God’s sake) get out there and not make a fool of herself.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that the preposterously hot Beyonce performed with her.  The Foo Fighters rocked.  Alicia Keys was impressive on both of her songs.  Even Fergie, who I usually despise, was quasi-impressive with John Legend accompanying her.  Amy Winehouse, given all of her recent troubles, was solid and healthy-looking in a live performance from London.

The two real standouts, to me, were the Beatles tribute and the full-on performance of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock playing piano.  Cirque Du Soleil performed “A Day in the Life” from the George Martin-concocted show “Love.”  But, the gospel rendition of “Let it Be” (from Across the Universe) was pure goosebumps.  I’ll be honest – it got a little dusty in my living room during that song. 

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of WireImage)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV