Monday, February 09, 2009


As I type this I'm salty that my girl Jazmine Sullivan didn't win not one Grammy after being nominated in five categories. (rolls eyes) But anyhoo, plenty of other black folks took home awards and had a few things to say to Billboard about their wins.

According to Billboard, Whitney Houston's performance at a Recording Academy party honoring Clive Davis was on everyone's lips backstage. "Whitney Houston rocked the house," said Herbie Hancock. "Whitney is back," echoed Mary Mary's Tina Campbell. Said Yolanda Adams, "We are constantly praying for her. My joy is that the world saw that you don't have to stay in the shape you're in. You can move up."

Check out more pics and quotes below...

Gospel duo Mary Mary are coming out with a bath and body care line at Wal-Mart, an inspirational book for teenage girls, and a line of jeans "for girls with a little extra curve," says Erica Campbell, who joined sister Tina backstage after winning a Grammy for best gospel performance. "There are so many people in jobs that suck that they hate. To be in that space and to be here winning this, it's a great time for me."

Estelle's hero of the night? Full-term mom-to-be M.I.A., who performed "Swagga With Us" with Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West and Lil' Wayne. "I was like, 'She's going to break any minute now,'" she said. "I have so much respect for her. I'd be like that too, to get a chance to perform with them. Broken leg? I'd be like, 'Hang on, I'm here.'"

Asked how the five-time Grammy winners Blind Boys of Alabama felt about the election of the first black president without being able to see him, Ricky McKinnie said, "The Blind Boys may have lost their sight, but we haven't lost direction ... I don't think about it as just having an African-American president. Mr. Obama is qualified to do the job. A lot of times we weren't the choice, but we had the ability. We're glad that he has an opportunity to serve the country." The winners of best traditional gospel album for "Down in New Orleans" were one of the big favorites on the red carpet, as they serenaded the press at each stop.

Darius "Deezle" Harrison, who co-produced Lil Wayne's best rap song-winning "Lollipop," countered Nas' famous suggestion that hip-hop is dead. "People are trying to emulate what they know works," said Harrison, but emphasized that's nothing new. "You have people trying to copy Picasso, you have people trying to copy Van Gogh. Is painting dead? No ... it is alive. It's just taking different forms, brother."

Chrisette Michele sang her thanks to God backstage for her Grammy win for best urban/alternative performance, for "Be OK" featuring "You are the source of my strength and I lift my hands in praise to you," Michele, a deacon's daughter, belted out. "I definitely have to do a gospel album someday," added the singer, whose next album, "Epiphany," is due Mar. 31.

Just because you're famous doesn't mean you don't want to be infamous. 83-year-old B.B. King's -- the winner of the night for best traditional blues album for "One Kind Favor" -- next goal? "I want a movie of my life of what I've done -- and what people have said I've done."

Special congrats: to homestate homeboy Anthony Hamilton for taking home the gold. He had been on the grind for some time trying to make this singing thing happen. Glad to see his success.

Duke Fakir, the surviving member of the Four Tops, confirmed that a biopic on the group is "in motion." "The concept is there, we have the financing and all that," says Fakir, who is also working on a new album. "By the way, it'll be a love story of four guys, who didn't get married, but it's about all the trials and tribulations they [had] to stay together. That's whey I call it a love story."

Gospel artist Yolanda Adams explained Aretha Franklin's much-discussed choice of headwear for her Inauguration performance: "It is really a statement piece for us," Adams said of the significance of a big hat. Historically, for African-American women, "Their hats were a statement of royalty," said Adams. At church on Sundays, "They were regal ... they weren't the janitors' assistant or the lady who scrubbed floors."