News: Kanye West Wins Big But No-Shows, J. Cole & Nicki Minaj Both Lose "Best New Artist" At Grammy Awards

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 11:21PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Award-winning rapper Kanye West stole the show at Sunday night's 54th annual Grammy Awards without even being in physical form by taking home four golden trophies during an evening ceremony which featured tribute performances, the return of Chris Brown and more.

The event got off to a somber start as host LL Cool J paid his respect to the late Whitney Houston.

"There is no way around this. We've had a death in our family." He then led the audience in prayer to "our fallen sister, Whitney Houston. "Heavenly father, we thank you for sharing our sister Whitney with us," he said, as celebrities like Lady Gaga and Miranda Lambert bowed their heads in prayer. "Though she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit." He introduced a clip of a glowing Houston singing "I Will Always Love You." (Associated Press)

Despite not being in attendance, Yeezy won multiple awards for joint work alongside Jay-Z and his own solo efforts.

And in a similarly dominant run, Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Otis," won Best Rap Performance in the first hip-hop award of the broadcast -- the fourth award of the day for West, who was a no-show at the ceremony, despite leading the nominations with seven. During the pre-show, he picked up Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "All of the Lights" and Best Rap Album for that track's source, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy." (Billboard)

The 54th Grammy Awards also marked the long-awaited return of R&B singer Chris Brown.

Chris Brown's career rehabilitation from his arrest for the beating of his then-girlfriend Rihanna just before the 2009 Grammys took another step forward with a Grammy win and a performance Sunday. "We got one!" the 22-year-old Brown said during a short acceptance speech after winning a Grammy for best R&B album. Rihanna was given her turn to perform during the same hour, collaborating with Cold Play on stage. (CNN)

Although Alicia Keys caught attention with her Etta James tribute performance, soulful singer Jennifer Hudson embodied the show with an ode to the late Whitney Houston.

As usual, the awards show paid respects to the number of now-gone musicians and music executives, including British singer Amy Winehouse, Motown executive Ester Gordy Edwards, soul-music architect Nick Ashford and influential rapper Heavy D. Their music played, their images were shown, and a quiet -- before an eruption of applause -- fell over the house when they concluded with an image of Houston in a red dress, in her heyday, singing. Then, the house went dark. And a lone spotlight shone down to reveal the newly svelte Hudson poised and ready to deliver what might very well be the night's best and most anticipated performance. She delivered the first a cappella notes of one of Houston's biggest hits, her remake of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" from the "Bodyguard" soundtrack. (MTV)

While rockers The Foo Fighters and singer Adele led the pack in wins, five and four trophies respectively, the Grammy ceremony also gave an award to late crooner Amy Winehouse.

British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, another recent pop music tragedy, was given a posthumous Grammy for her duet with Tony Bennett on the pop standard "Body and Soul," from his "Duets II" album, which took a second award for Bennett as traditional pop vocal album. Skrillex landed an early pair for dance recording and dance/electronica album, for the "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" track and album. (Los Angeles Times)

Heading into the awards show with fans split between J. Cole and Nicki Minaj going for "Best New Artist," neither hip-hop star walked home with the honor.

At last year's Grammy Awards, Justin Bieber's fans were up in arms when the Canadian sensation lost the Best New Artist award to jazz singer Esperanza Spalding and this year's award didn't go over too well either. Nicki Minaj and J. Cole were both nominated in the category up against Skrillex, The Band Perry and Bon Iver, and Bon Iver took home the award. (RapFix)

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