David Bowie swept the board at last night’s Grammys. Bowie was up for 5 different awards and won all of them. They were: Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Recording Package and Best Engineered Album, Non Classical.
The awards for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song were both for ‘Blackstar’s immense title track, whilst Best Alternative Music Album was for the album itself. Some fans were eager to criticise the Grammys for their decision not to nominate Blackstar for Album Of The Year (which was won by Adele’s ’25’). Further controversy was courted when The Chainsmokers accepted Bowie’s award for Best Rock Song, with many fans quick to vent their outrage on twitter.
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Best Recording Package was accepted by Jonathan Barnbrook. A frequent collaborator with Bowie during his later years, Barnbrook created the art on all four of Bowie’s final albums, from 2002’s ‘Heathen’ through to last years’ ‘Blackstar’. The sleeve for the vinyl version of ‘Blackstar’ is ripe with symbolism, featuring a large die-cut star through which the record itself can be seen. Barnbook explained in a Dezeen interview that “the fact that you can see the record as a physical thing that degrades […] is a comment on mortality“
Bowie’s awards for Best Rock Performance and Best Alternative Music album were accepted by Donny McCaslin, saxophonist on ‘Blackstar’. In his speech he said “the course of my life as an artist and person changed when I met David in the summer of 2014. Working with him on ‘Blackstar’ introduced me to an artistic genius, a kind man and a funny as hell guy.”
In response to his father’s Grammy success, Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, shared a photo of the two via twitter and also sent out the message “So proud of you dad! Would hold you up forever.