Canadian Alanis Morissette captured four high-profile Grammy awards on Wednesday night, a huge win that signals a move by the Grammys to reward cutting-edge acts.
"It portends for good things in music", Glen Ballard, Morissette's American producer, said as he picked up the album-of-the-year award with the Ottawa born rocker.
Morissette also picked up the trophies for best rock song and best female rock vocal performance for her acid dripped single You Oughta Know and won best rock album for Jagged Little Pill, the breakthrough CD that propelled her to international stardom.
"This award does not represent the fact that I am better than any other woman nominated with me, but it does represent that a lot of people connected with what I wrote," she said as she accepted the best female rock vocal performance statuette.
Canadians amasses at least 10 Grammys, with veteran folk singer Joni Mitchell Picking up the award for best recording package and best pop album for Turbulent Indigo.
Mitchell received a rousing standing ovation from the crowd as she approached the stage.
"I really didn't expect this," said Mitchell, who described herself as being "stunned" for beating out Madonna, Mariah Carey, the Eagles and Annie Lennox.
The night was full of other surprises.
Canadian country crooner Shania Twain, who was proclaimed the reigning queen of country music by U.S. magazine Newsweek recently, won just one of the four awards she was up for-best country album for The Woman In Me.
Both Morissette and Twain were defeated by Hootie and the Blowfish for best new artist. Morisette's You Oughta Know also lost to Seal's Kiss From a Rose for song of the year.
With 1995's best selling album Cracked Rear View, Hootie won best new artist and pop group vocal performance for Let Her Cry.
Despite the Hootie wins, the usually conservative Grammy judges appeared bent on rewarding some cutting edge acts. A surprised Annie Lennox beat U.S. pop queen Carey in the best female pop vocal category for No More I Love You's, prompted Morissette to leap from her chair in a standing ovation.
Grammy organizers changed the way artists were nominated this year in response to criticism that the awards have too often rewarded sugary, middle-of-the-road acts.
Morissette sang an uncharacteristically melancholy version of You Oughta Know During the show, backed by strings and sitting on a stool. The Baton Broadcasting System, which carried the show in Canada didn't censor her while CBS bleeped out the most flagrant four letter word.
Grammy organizers and CBS had warned Morissette she'd be bleeped during the sexually explicit song, but she sang it word-for-word anyway to a worldwide audience of more than a billion people.
Toronto-area jazzman Rob McConnell won the Grammy for the best instrumental arrangement with accompanying vocals. McConnell beat out Quebecers Rene Dupres and Robbie Finkle of Montreal's Circque dul Soliel.
Charles Dutoit, conductor of the Montreal Symphony, won best opera recording for Berlioz: Les Troyens. Dutoit and the symphony lost in the other two categories they were nominated in.
Toronto's Rob Bowman won the Grammy for best album notes for The Complete Staxflashvolt Soul Singles.
He also lost in the category of best song written for a motion picture of Colors of the Wind from the Disney film Pocahontas.
Perennial nominee Walter Ostanek of St Catherines, Ont., known as the Polka King, lost the Grammy for best polka album, ending a three year winning streak in that category.
Toronto's Jeff Healey Band lost in the category of best rock instrumental to the Allman Brothers.
Frank Sinatra captured his first competitive Grammy in 29 years. His Duets II was named best traditional pop vocal performance.
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