Eau Claire's Bon Iver wins best new artist Grammyby Curtis Gilbert, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Eau Claire, Wis.-based band Bon Iver, and its leader Justin Vernon, picked up two Grammys last night in Los Angeles, winning in the Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album categories for for its self-titled sophomore release.
The band has had a meteoric rise since its 2008 debut "For Emma, Forever Ago." Most of that album was recorded at a cabin in rural Wisconsin. It was a surprise hit, and frontman Justin Vernon became an unlikely star.
On stage at the Grammys last night, Vernon said it was hard to accept the award because of all the talented artists he knows who haven't had the same recognition.
"And it's also hard to accept because when I started making songs I did it for the inherent reward of making songs. So I'm a little bit uncomfortable up here. But with that discomfort I do have a sense of gratitude."
Bon Iver was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
The Foo Fighters captured five Grammys and Adele won four, including the song of the year trophy for "Rolling in the Deep," at a Grammy ceremony that had the difficult task of celebrating music's best while mourning the loss of one of their greatest, Whitney Houston.
Houston's death on the eve of the awards forced a delicate balance between the exuberance of the show's winners and performances with the loss.
Adele, who owned the year's best-selling album with "21," was triumphant in her first performance since vocal cord surgery forced the cancellation of a tour and months of vocal rest. As the world wondered whether her voice would still soar, she answered with her performance of her hit "Rolling in the Deep," and received a rousing standing ovation from the crowd.
The song also won her one of the night's most prestigious awards, song of the year, as well as one for best pop solo performance.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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