Backstage at the Grammys

Winners react to their awards

“It’s nice to know that the music I worked so hard on is being listened to. My family was great. Everywhere we would go, they were like, ‘This is Emily, a Grammy-nominated artist.’ Now I’m ready to try out new things.”

— Emily King, nominated for contemporary R&B album for “East Side Story”

* * *

“I don’t see this as a competition, but as a group of people being celebrated … some of these new artists, I just want to say, ‘The post office is hiring.’ Others I just want to embrace. I would love to educate some of these kids with funk, soul and rock … as for Amy Winehouse, she’s just walking her walk.”

— Chaka Khan, winner for R&B album, “Funk This,” and R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal, “Disrespectful”

* * *

“I thought Carrie Underwood was great tonight … the treatment of that song with the dancers from ‘Stomp.’ I also like Alicia Keys and John Mayer. I love collaborations, the joining of music. That’s what great about a night like this.”

— Brad Paisley, winner for country instrumental performance, “Throttleneck”

* * *

“This project got started when I got a phone call from Lupe (Fiasco). He thought my voice was great and thought it would work in a song he already wrote. I went down there to his studio and it all worked out. He just let me free. It was great.”

— Jill Scott, featured on Lupe Fiasco’s “Daydreamin’,” winner for urban/alternative performance

* * *

“It was appropriate to appear on the 50th anniversary of the Grammys with the song I sang since that was the song (“The Prayer”) that got me discovered. I was filling in for Andrea (Bocelli). So the fact that I sang that song with him on this night, it just made it all the more special … I hope I never take this kind of thing for granted. I still want someone to pinch me.”

– performer Josh Groban

* * *

“P. Diddy told me to only put a Grammy on a piano. I guess you just can’t put it up on a mantle. So now I have to buy a piano.

— T-Pain, featured on Kanye West’s “Good Life,” winner for rap song

* * *

“This new music? I like some of it. People like rap, but I don’t. The reason they like it is because anyone can do it. You can just jump in. Playing music, you need to learn. It takes time and talent … I enjoy myself and I appreciate what people are doing for me. It feels good. I play the blues and I thank God in everything I do. I’ve got little feeling in my hands and knees, and I can’t walk a distance, but I feel good.

— David “Honeyboy” Edwards (age 92), winner with Henry James Townsend, Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins and Robert Lockwood Jr. for traditional blues album, “Last Of The Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas”

* * *

“I returned on an invite from Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich. He wanted to marry generations and he was a big fan of the Time. I thought we would start small at first, with a few intimate clubs — but I’ll settle for the Grammys.”

— Jimmy Jam on his reunion with the Time

* * *

“With the Beatles, we did ‘Love’ for a reason. We were trying to put on a show. You have to come up with a great project in order to work with the great music.”

— producer Giles Martin, “Love,” surround sound album winner

* * *

“It’s pretty mindblowing. We were working in a small apartment ten years ago. We’ve come so far. It’s been a labor of love.”

— Zack Nipper, art director for Bright Eyes’ “Cassadaga,” winner for recording package

* * *

“Sir George (Martin) and Giles (Martin’s son) began on the project a year and half before I got involved. They spent a long time piecing it together … the whole idea was creating a good show and a good album.”

— Paul Hicks, surround mix engineer on surround sound album winner “Love”

* * *

“It was a lot of fun. A lot to laugh at and with … It’s a fantastic album from the get-go … neither one of us has kids, but apparently we are kids at heart.”

— Ted Kryczko and Ed Mitchel, producers of the Muppets’ “A Green and Red Christmas,” winner of musical album for children

* * *

“I was one of the world’s worst composers. In my graduate year, I did a lot of electronic music. So that gave me a tech background. It took me a long time to realize that there was classical music conducting. I came across it by accident. I worked at a radio station and we had two live concerts a week. I was the engineer. When Vanguard first called me and told me they needed a classical music producer, I asked, ‘What does a classical music producer do?’ Then I realized I was in training for it my entire life.”

— Judith Sherman, producer of the year, classical

* * *

“Jennifer (Hudson) showed that character so fully through the song. She was a wonderful girl and great to work with … Last year, I was nominated for three Oscars. Al Gore and Melissa Etheridge won. They had a good song and are nice people, but it’s nice to actually win.”

— Henry Krieger, winner for song written for a motion picture, television or other visual media, “Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls”

* * *

“If I can empower people with my music, then I can change the world. It is who I am. I think the identity of each one of us is in danger in one way or another. We need to take more pride in who we are and show it in the music that we create.”

— Angelique Kidjo, contemporary world music album winner for “Djin Djin”

* * *

“It’s a bittersweet moment for us because Michael (Brecker) recorded this four months before he passed away. The record kept him going. When he was in the hospital, we listened to the demos to work on them. We add these two Grammys to the 13 he has already won, but it is just as special as the first one.”

— Susan Brecker, widow of Michael Brecker, winner for jazz instrumental solo (“Anagram”) and jazz instrumental album (“Pilgrimage”)

* * *

“I am really happy that there is such a large selection of different albums in the running for album of the year. It shows what the heart of the industry is about. The recording industry is like a country, like America. It started with a vision of the future, but it took a detour and a different path along the way. I feel this year, the recording industry and America are back on the right path.”

— Herbie Hancock, contemporary jazz album winner, “River: The Joni Letters”

* * *

“This is the most special win of all. My first trip to Texas, I met the Whites and it was the first time I ever heard of girls playing bluegrass, which I thought was the coolest thing. They don’t have that in Kentucky. So I met the Whites, and I married this wonderful girl. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world to win with people that you love, your family.”

— Ricky Skaggs, winner with the Whites for southern, country or bluegrass gospel album, “Salt of the Earth”

* * *

“This is a new category and it needs a few tweaks, but it makes musicians in Louisiana and in zydeco music happy because now we have a chance to win a Grammy.”

— Terrance Simien, zydeco or cajun music album winner with the Zydeco Experience for “Live! Worldwide”

* * *

“We intentionally kept it underground, but we kept getting pulled out of the hole and played on the radio. We’ve been lucky. We had (executive producer) Rick Rubin support us for years and we owe a lot to him. It’s because of him that we’ve come above ground.”

— Tom Araya of Slayer, metal performance for “Final Six”

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