54th Annual Grammy Awards

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The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 12, 2012, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles being broadcast on CBS honoring the best in music for the recording year beginning October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. LL Cool J hosted the show. It was the first time in seven years that the event had an official host.[2] Nominations were announced on November 30, 2011, on prime-time television as part of "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live! – Countdown to Music's Biggest Night", a one-hour special broadcast live on CBS from Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.[3][4] Kanye West received the most nominations with seven. Adele, Foo Fighters, and Bruno Mars each received six nominations. Lil Wayne, Skrillex, and Radiohead all earned five nominations. The nominations were criticised by many music journalists as Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy missed out on a nomination for Album of the Year despite being highly critically acclaimed and topping many end of year charts.[5][6] West's album went on to win Best Rap Album.[7]

54th Annual Grammy Awards
DateFebruary 12, 2012
1:00–3:30 p.m. PST (Pre-Telecast Ceremony)
5:00–8:30 p.m. PST (54th Grammy Awards)
LocationStaples Center, Los Angeles, California
Hosted byLL Cool J
Most awardsAdele (6)
Most nominationsKanye West (7)
Television/radio coverage
Viewership40 million viewers[1]
← 53rd · Grammy Awards · 55th →

A total of 78 awards were presented following the Academy's decision to restructure the Grammy Award categories. Paul McCartney received the MusiCares Person of the Year award on February 10, 2012, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, two nights prior to the Grammy telecast.[8]

On February 8, 2012, the Academy announced that the 54th Grammy Pre-Telecast Ceremony would stream live internationally. The ceremony took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center and was streamed live in its entirety internationally at Grammy's official website and CBS Television Network. The ceremony was co-hosted by Dave Koz and MC Lyte. A total of 68 awards were presented in the Pre-Telecast ceremony.[9] The official poster was designed by Architect Frank Gehry.[10]

The day before the ceremony, Whitney Houston died in Los Angeles, and the show's producers quickly planned a tribute in the form of Jennifer Hudson singing Houston's "I Will Always Love You".[11] The awards show began with a Bruce Springsteen performance followed by an LL Cool J prayer for Whitney Houston. Adele won all of her six nominations, equalling the record for most wins by a female artist in one night, first held by Beyoncé.[7][12] Adele became only the second artist in history, following Christopher Cross in 1981, to have won all four of the general field (Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year) awards throughout her career.[13] Foo Fighters and Kanye West followed with five and four awards, respectively.[7][14] With his win for Best Musical Theater Album (for The Book of Mormon: Original Broadway Cast Recording), producer Scott Rudin became the 11th person to become an EGOT winner.[15]



The anticipation for the show's tributes to the late Whitney Houston greatly helped increased the ratings for the 54th Grammy Awards, which became the second highest in its history with 39.9 million viewers (trailing only behind the 1984 Grammys with 51.67 million viewers). The rating was 50% higher than in 2011.[16] This remains the highest-rated Grammy telecast on 21st-century U.S. television.








Main telecast





The following performed:

Artist(s) Song(s)
Bruce Springsteen
The E Street Band
"We Take Care of Our Own"
Bruno Mars "Runaway Baby"
Alicia Keys
Bonnie Raitt
Tribute to Etta James
"A Sunday Kind of Love"
Chris Brown "Turn Up the Music"
"Beautiful People"
Jason Aldean
Kelly Clarkson
"Don't You Wanna Stay"
Foo Fighters "Walk"
"We Found Love"
"Princess of China"
Maroon 5
Foster the People
The Beach Boys
Celebrating the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary
"Surfer Girl"
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"
"Good Vibrations"
Paul McCartney
Diana Krall
Joe Walsh
"My Valentine"
The Civil Wars "Barton Hollow"
Taylor Swift "Mean"
Katy Perry "E.T."
"Part of Me"
Adele "Rolling in the Deep"
The Band Perry
Blake Shelton
Glen Campbell
Homage to Glen Campbell
"Gentle on My Mind"
"Southern Nights"
"Rhinestone Cowboy"
Tony Bennett
Carrie Underwood
"It Had to Be You"
Jennifer Hudson Tribute to Whitney Houston
"I Will Always Love You"
Chris Brown
David Guetta
Lil Wayne
Foo Fighters
"I Can Only Imagine"
"Raise Your Weapon"
Nicki Minaj "Roman's Revenge" (Intro)
"Roman Holiday"
Paul McCartney
Bruce Springsteen
Dave Grohl
Joe Walsh
Rusty Anderson
Brian Ray
Paul Wickens
Abe Laboriel Jr.
"Golden Slumbers"
"Carry That Weight"
"The End"
  • Maceo Parker was scheduled to pay tribute to Clarence Clemons following the montage of those that had died in 2011 although his tribute was dropped in the 24 hours leading up to the awards show to make room for the Jennifer Hudson tribute to Whitney Houston.[18]



Nominees and winners


The winners per category were:[19][20]



Record of the Year

Album of the Year

Song of the Year

Best New Artist

Best Pop Solo Performance

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Best Pop Instrumental Album

Best Pop Vocal Album



Best Dance Recording

Sonny Moore, producer & mixer

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Traditional Pop

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album


Best Rock Performance
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album


Best Alternative Music Album
Best R&B Performance
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Best R&B Song
Best R&B Album
Best Rap Performance
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Best Rap Song
Best Rap Album


Best Country Solo Performance
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Best Country Song
Best Country Album

New Age

Best New Age Album


Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Gospel/Contemporary Christian

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance
Best Gospel Song
Best Contemporary Christian Music Song
Best Gospel Album
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album


Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album
Best Regional Mexican or Tejano Album
Best Banda or Norteño Album
Best Tropical Latin Album
  • The Last MamboCachao
  • Homenaje A Los Rumberos – Edwin Bonilla
  • Mongorama – José Rizo's Mongorama

American Roots Music

Best Americana Album
Best Bluegrass Album
Best Blues Album
Best Folk Album
Best Regional Roots Music Album


Best Reggae Album

World Music

Best World Music Album


Best Children's Album
  • All About Bullies ... Big and Small – Steve Pullara, Jim Cravero, Pat Robinson, Kevin Mackie and Gloria Domina, producers (Various Artists)
  • Are We There Yet? – The Papa Hugs Band
  • Fitness Rock & RollMiss Amy
  • GulfAlive – The Banana Plant
  • I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow – Various Artists

Spoken Word

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling)


Best Comedy Album

Musical Show

Best Musical Theater Album

Music for Visual Media

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Best Song Written for Visual Media


Best Instrumental Composition
Best Instrumental Arrangement
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)


Best Recording Package
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package


Best Album Notes
  • Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond as Recorded by the San Francisco Bay by Chris Strachwitz in the 1960s
    • Adam Machado, album notes writer (Various Artists)
  • The Bang Years 1966-1968
  • The Bristol Sessions, 1927–1928: The Big Bang of Country Music
    • Ted Olson & Tony Russell, album notes writers (Various Artists)
  • Complete Mythology
  • The Music City Story: Street Corner Doo Wop, Raw R&B and Soulful Sounds from Berkeley, California 1950–75


Best Historical Album
  • Band on the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition)
    • Paul McCartney, compilation producer; Sam Okell & Steve Rooke, mastering engineers (Paul McCartney & Wings)
  • The Bristol Sessions, 1927–1928: The Big Bang of Country Music
    • Christopher C. King & Ted Olson, compilation producers; Christopher C. King & Chris Zwarg, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
  • Complete Mythology
  • Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond as Recorded by the San Francisco Bay by Chris Strachwitz in the 1960s
    • Chris Strachwitz, compilation producer; Mike Cogan, mastering engineer (Various Artists)
  • Young Man with the Big Beat: The Complete '56 Elvis Presley Masters
    • Ernst Mikael Jorgensen, compilation producer; Vic Anesini, mastering engineer (Elvis Presley)


Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Best Remixed Recording

Production, Surround Sound

Best Surround Sound Album
  • Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition)
  • Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Bill Levenson & Elliot Scheiner, surround producers (Derek and the Dominos)
  • An Evening with Dave Grusin
    • Frank Filipetti & Eric Schilling, surround mix engineers; Frank Filipetti, surround mastering engineer; Phil Ramone, surround producer (Various Artists)
  • Grace for Drowning
    • Steven Wilson, surround mix engineer; Paschal Byrne, surround mastering engineer; Steven Wilson, surround producer (Steven Wilson)
  • Kind
    • Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Kjetil Almenning, Ensemble 96 & Nidaros String Quartet)
  • Spohr: String Sextet in C Major, Op. 140 & Nonet in F Major, Op. 31
    • Andreas Spreer, surround mix engineer; Robin Schmidt & Andreas Spreer, surround mastering engineer; Andreas Spreer, surround producer (Camerata Freden)

Production, Classical

Best Engineered Album, Classical

Aldridge: Elmer Gantry

Byeong-Joon Hwang & John Newton, engineers; Jesse Lewis, mastering engineer (William Boggs, Keith Phares, Patricia Risley, Vale Rideout, Frank Kelley, Heather Buck, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
Producer of the Year, Classical

Judith Sherman

  • Adams: Son of Chamber Symphony; String Quartet (John Adams, St. Lawrence String Quartet & International Contemporary Ensemble)
  • Capricho Latino (Rachel Barton Pine)
  • 85th Birthday Celebration (Claude Frank)
  • Insects & Paper Airplanes – Chamber Music of Lawrence Dillon (Daedalus Quartet & Benjamin Hochman)
  • Midnight Frolic – The Broadway Theater Music of Louis A. Hirsch (Rick Benjamin & Paragon Ragtime Orchestra)
  • Notable Women – Trios by Today's Female Composers (Lincoln Trio)
  • The Soviet Experience, Vol. 1 – String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich & His Contemporaries (Pacifica Quartet)
  • Speak! (Anthony De Mare)
  • State of the Art – The American Brass Quintet at 50 (The American Brass Quintet)
  • Steve Reich: WTC 9/11; Mallet Quartet; Dance Patterns (Kronos Quartet, Steve Reich Musicians & So Percussion)
  • Winging It – Piano Music of John Corigliano (Ursula Oppens)
  • Blanton Alspaugh
    • Aldridge: Elmer Gantry (William Boggs, Keith Phares, Patricia Risley, Vale Rideout, Frank Kelley, Heather Buck, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
    • Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas (Peter Takács)
    • Osterfield: Rocky Streams (Paul Osterfield, Todd Waldecker & Various Artists)
  • Manfred Eicher
    • Bach: Concertos & Sinfonias for Oboe; Ich Hatte Viel Bekümmernis (Heinz Holliger, Eric Höbarth & Camerata Bern)
    • Hymns & Prayers (Gidon Kremer & Kremerata Baltica)
    • Manto & Madrigals (Thomas Zehetmair & Ruth Killius)
    • Songs of Ascension (Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, Todd Reynolds Quartet, The M6 & Montclair State University Singers)
    • Tchaikovsky/Kissine: Piano Trios (Gidon Kremer, Giedre Dirvanauskaite & Khatia Buniatishvili)
    • A Worcester Ladymass (Trio Mediaeval)
  • David Frost
    • Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Live (Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass)
    • Mackey: Lonely Motel – Music from Slide (Rinde Eckert, Steven Mackey & Eighth Blackbird)
    • Prayers & Alleluias (Kenneth Dake)
    • Sharon Isbin & Friends – Guitar Passions (Sharon Isbin & Various Artists)
  • Peter Rutenberg
    • Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (Patrick Dupré Quigley, James K. Bass, Seraphic Fire & Professional Choral Institute)
    • The Vanishing Nordic Chorale (Philip Spray & Musik Ekklesia)


Best Orchestral Performance

"Brahms: Symphony No. 4"

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Best Opera Recording

"Adams: Doctor Atomic"

Alan Gilbert, conductor; Meredith Arwady, Sasha Cooke, Richard Paul Fink, Gerald Finley, Thomas Glenn & Eric Owens; Jay David Saks, producer (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
  • "Britten: Billy Budd"
    • Mark Elder, conductor; John Mark Ainsley, Phillip Ens, Jacques Imbrailo, Darren Jeffery, Iain Paterson & Matthew Rose; James Whitbourn, producer (London Philharmonic Orchestra; Glyndebourne Chorus)
  • "Rautavaara: Kaivos"
    • Hannu Lintu, conductor; Jaakko Kortekangas, Hannu Niemelä, Johanna Rusanen-Kartano & Mati Turi; Seppo Siirala, producer (Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra; Kaivos Chorus)
  • "Verdi: La Traviata"
    • Antonio Pappano, conductor; Joseph Calleja, Renée Fleming & Thomas Hampson; James Whitbourn, producer (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)
  • "Vivaldi: Ercole Sul Termodonte"
    • Fabio Biondi, conductor; Romina Basso, Patrizia Ciofi, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Vivica Genaux, Philippe Jaroussky, Topi Lehtipuu & Rolando Villazón; Daniel Zalay, producer (Europa Galante; Coro Da Camera Santa Cecilia Di Borgo San Lorenzo)
Best Choral Performance

"Light & Gold"

Eric Whitacre, conductor (Christopher Glynn & Hila Plitmann; The King's Singers, Laudibus, Pavão Quartet & The Eric Whitacre Singers)
  • "Beyond All Mortal Dreams – American A Cappella"
    • Stephen Layton, conductor (Choir of Trinity College Cambridge)
  • "Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45"
    • Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor; James K. Bass, chorus master (Justin Blackwell, Scott Allen Jarrett, Paul Max Tipton & Teresa Wakim; Professional Choral Institute & Seraphic Fire)
  • "Kind"
    • Kjetil Almenning, conductor (Nidaros String Quartet; Ensemble 96)
  • "The Natural World of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen"
    • Paul Hillier, conductor (Ars Nova Copenhagen)
Best Small Ensemble Performance

"Mackey: Lonely Motel – Music from Slide" – Rinde Eckert & Steven Mackey; Eighth Blackbird

  • "Frank: Hilos" – Gabriela Lena Frank; ALIAS Chamber Ensemble
  • "The Kingdoms of Castille – Richard Savino, conductor; El Mundo
  • "A Seraphic Fire Christmas" – Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor; Seraphic Fire
  • "Sound the Bells!" – The Bay Brass
Best Classical Instrumental Solo

"Schwantner: Concerto for Percussion & Orchestra"

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Christopher Lamb (Nashville Symphony)
  • "Chinese Recorder Concertos – East Meets West"
    • Lan Shui, conductor; Michala Petri (Copenhagen Philharmonic)
  • "Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini"
    • Claudio Abbado, Yuja Wang (Mahler Chamber Orchestra)
  • "Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4"
    • Leif Ove Andsnes, Antonio Pappano (London Symphony Orchestra)
  • "Winging It – Piano Music of John Corigliano"
    • Ursula Oppens
Best Classical Vocal Solo

"Diva Divo"

Joyce DiDonato (Kazushi Ono; Orchestre De L'Opéra National De Lyon; Choeur De L'Opéra National De Lyon)
  • "Grieg/Thommessen: Veslemøy Synsk"
    • Marianne Beate Kielland (Nils Anders Mortensen)
  • "Handel: Cleopatra"
  • "Purcell: O Solitude"
  • "Three Baroque Tenors"
    • Ian Bostridge (Bernard Labadie; Mark Bennett, Andrew Clarke, Sophie Daneman, Alberto Grazzi, Jonathan Gunthorpe, Benjamin Hulett & Madeline Shaw; The English Concert)
Best Contemporary Classical Composition

"Aldridge, Robert: Elmer Gantry" – Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein

  • "Crumb, George: The Ghosts of Alhambra" – George Crumb
  • "Friedman, Jefferson: String Quartet No. 3" – Jefferson Friedman
  • "Mackey, Steven: Lonely Motel – Music From Slide" – Steven Mackey
  • "Ruders, Poul: Piano Concerto No. 2" – Poul Ruders

Music Video

Best Short Form Music Video
Best Long Form Music Video

Special Merit Awards

MusiCares Person of the Year
President's Merit Award
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award[23]
Grammy Trustees Award
Technical Grammy Award

Artists with multiple nominations and awards


In Memoriam


Amy Winehouse, Nick Ashford, Phoebe Snow, Jerry Leiber, Steve Jobs, Heavy D, Sylvia Robinson, Nate Dogg, M-Bone, Jimmy Castor, George Shearing, Roger Williams, Ray Bryant, Gil Cates, Fred Steiner, Dobie Gray, Ferlin Husky, Larry Butler, Wilma Lee Cooper, Harley Allen, Liz Anderson, Charlie Craig, Barbara Orbison, Frank DiLeo, Steve Popovich, Tal Herzberg, Bruce Jackson, Johnny Otis, Benny Spellman, Don DeVito, Roger Nichols, Stan Ross, Joe Arroyo, Facundo Cabral, Marv Tarplin, Esther Gordy Edwards, Carl Gardner, Cornell Dupree, Jerry Ragovoy, Gene McDaniels, Joe Morello, Gil Bernal, Frank Foster, Ralph MacDonald, Leonard Dillon, Clare Fischer, Bert Jansch, Andrew Gold, Bill Morrissey, Warren Hellman, Hazel Dickens, Gary Moore, Gerard Smith, Doyle Bramhall, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Camilla Williams, Milton Babbitt, David Mason, Andy Kazdin, Alex Steinweiss, Bill Johnson, Jessy Dixon, Don Butler, Clarence Clemons and Whitney Houston.


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