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Music awards honor top American talents

Jan. 29, 1997

Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group

Hootie and the Blowfish

Favorite Pop/Rock Album

Jagged Little Pill -

Alanis Morissette

Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group

Blackhawk

Favorite Country Album

Blue Clear Sky -

George Strait

By Kelly Maher

Lariat Reporter

The 24th annual American Music Awards, aired Monday night, proved to be as riveting as ever delivering a wide range of upsets, triumphs, fashion faux pas and off-color jokes.

Toni Braxton gained the most attention at the awards, walking away with favorite female artist and favorite album awards in the Soul/ Rhythm and Blues category. She also stunned the audience with her revealing dress and visual effects during the opening performance.

Sinbad hosted the live broadcast from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Sinbad's banter was somewhat humorous, yet more often annoying. He made too many senseless comments about the various women presenters parading across the stage. Sinbad was also given the undeserving honor of presenting the final two awards: favorite male artist in the Pop/ Rock category won by the always classic Eric Clapton, and favorite female artist Alanis Morissette, who also garnered the favorite album award in the Pop/ Rock category. Morissette was unable to accept her award due to a much needed vacation after 18 months of touring.

The most poignant and touching episode in the awards was Jewel's acceptance of the favorite new artist award in the Pop/ Rock category. Although some felt it was a surprise upset over No Doubt, Jewel came out shining.

'I went from living in a car to being here today. You bought my albums, so I wouldn't have to steal food,' Jewel said. 'Never lose hope.'

Throughout the show were performances by such acts as Bush, Texas sweetheart LeAnn Rimes, classic Metallica, New Edition, Rod Stewart, Keith Sweat and NAS. Motley Crue reunited to make a rather tired comeback.

Garth Brooks appeared all dolled up in tails to make a touching presentation on 'The Year of the Women' acknowledging the phenomenal success by female recording artists during 1996.

The favorite new artist nominees for the Country category were all women including, Terri Clark, Mindy McCready, and Garland phenom, LeAnn Rimes, who came out a winner.

'I feel that Terri Clark should have won for the favorite new artist award in the Country category,' Wendy Darby, a Plano senior, said. 'Her voice, songs, and presentation outshined LeAnn Rimes.'

Rounding out the group of women winners were Shania Twain for favorite country female artist, and Whitney Houston for favorite adult contemporary artist and also for her efforts on the 'Waiting to Exhale' soundtrack.

In addition to the various standard categories and awards, a special award of merit was presented to Little Richard for his outstanding contributions to the musical entertainment of the American public. Also, the international artist award recognized the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees had a long successful career that spanned the globe.

Unfortunately, most only know them for their John Travolta theme song, 'Stayin' Alive.'

Other award winners included Hootie and the Blowfish for favorite band, duo or group in the Pop/ Rock category, Metallica for favorite Heavy Metal/ Hard Rock artist, Keith Sweat for favorite male artist, New Edition for favorite band, duo or group, and D'Angelo for favorite new artist in the Soul/ Rhythm and Blues category.

Winning favorite artist for the Rap/ Hip Hop category was the late TuPac Shakur. Shakur was the victim of a suspected random drive-by shooting several months earlier; however, some believe he may have faked his death and is now residing somewhere in Hawaii.

On the country end of the spectrum, Garth Brooks walked away with favorite male artist, Blackhawk took favorite band, duo or group and George Strait received honors for his album, Blue Clear Sky. Strait was unable to accept his award because he was celebrating his 25th anniversary with his wife.

'George Strait is a true man for keeping his anniversary date with his wife instead of appearing at the awards,' Amber McGill, a Houston freshman, said.

Many watch this and other awards shows for the fashions as much as for the music.

'Toni Braxton, she looked elegant,' Tiffany Gracely, an Austin sophomore, said. 'Pamela Lee, what was she thinking, that hat has got to go. LeAnn Rimes looked like she was on her way to the prom.'

Others tuned in to the show to catch a glimpse of their favorite musicians.

'I was so upset that Bush didn't win because I was hoping to watch Gavin Rossdale walk across the stage to receive his award,' Jennifer Pamplin, a Marlin freshman, said.

Overall, the program provided the viewer with three hours of entertainment. Take out the commercials and it only would have been two hours of watching the antics of various amusing and spoiled celebrities.

Copyright © 1997 The Lariat

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