Country music earned its rightful place in the Grammy spotlight on Sunday night (Jan. 26) as Keith Urban and Taylor Swift captivated the crowd with strong performances of fresh material.
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Urban's cinematic "Cop Car" is from his latest album, Fuse. As the storyline unfolds, he finds himself getting hauled off to jail ... and thanks to those flashing blue lights, he falls in love with his ravishing accomplice. He teamed with guitar ace Gary Clark Jr. for the electrifying number.
Later in the show, Swift began her performance of "All Too Well" with a straightforward piano-vocal arrangement, then roused the crowd with a crashing cymbals and angst-filled memories. With her skill at placing details into the narrative -- from a forgotten scarf to a photo album on the counter -- "All Too Well" almost feels like a short film.
Swift has won seven career Grammys, while Urban has collected four in his career. They were nominated together this year for "Highway Don't Care," their collaboration with Tim McGraw.
Swift's Red was also in competition for album of the year, as well as country album of the year. At press time, neither of those awards had been announced.
During the pre-telecast ceremony, awards were presented to Darius Rucker for best country solo performance for "Wagon Wheel," the Civil Wars for best country/duo group performance for "From This Valley" and songwriters Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne for best country song for "Merry Go 'Round."