Yamaha Artists and Instruments Ring in the 50th Annual GRAMMY® Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2008) — Yamaha artists were front and center on Sunday night when the Recording Academy ushered in their celebratory 50th GRAMMY® Awards ceremony, which was dedicated to honoring both the old, the new and everything in between. Yamaha instruments also took center stage during some of the most memorable moments of the show, which was broadcast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and aired on CBS.

Soul songstress Alicia Keys united past with present during the opening number by singing a duet with Frank Sinatra, setting the stage for many more surprise performances that would come. Thanks to a large screen presentation and modern digital technology, Keys was able to share verses to "Learnin' The Blues" with Sinatra while she played a Yamaha MPC7 grand MIDIpiano.

Keys, whose recent release As I Am marked her fourth straight No. 1 album debut, was honored with two nominations and won them both. She walked away with awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, both for her hit single "No One."

"It was an amazing way to open this milestone of a show, and we congratulate Alicia and all of our artists who walked away with much-deserved awards," comments Chris Gero, vice president of Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, Inc. "We are proud to work with and supply instruments to these amazingly talented artists who continue to make an impact on today's music industry."

Pop superstar Justin Timberlake, who plays Yamaha keyboards and guitars, brought his GRAMMY tally to six after winning two more awards, one for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "What Goes Around…Comes Around" and one for Best Dance Recording for "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows." Famed Canadian crooner Michael Bublé won the title of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Call Me Irresponsible.

Four-time GRAMMY winner Carrie Underwood was backed by her keyboardist and Yamaha artist Jonathan Hamby, who played his Motif XS8 during her spirited performance of the revenge anthem "Before He Cheats."

A Maple Custom Absolute drum kit in Gold Sparkle accompanied Prince protégés the Time's first stage performance in 15 years, which was then joined by hip-hop diva Rihanna. The Time trio blasted through their hit "Jungle Love," which was interspersed with Rihanna's hits "Umbrella" and "Don't Stop the Music."

Yamaha artist and five-time GRAMMY award winner John Legend played the keys to the song "Finally" for GRAMMY-nominated Yamaha artist Fergie. Playing an ebony DGT2 grand piano, Legend brought extra dimension to Fergie's impressive vocal performance.

Brad Paisley performed his new single "Ticks" and was backed by a Yamaha Motif ES8 music production synthesizer. A dynamic Gospel compilation performance consisting of Aretha Franklin, BeBe Winans, Madison Bumble Bees, the Clark Sisters, Trin-I-Tee 5:7 and Israel & New Breed featured an S90ES synthesizer and Yamaha drummer Teddy Campbell using an Absolute Birch Nouveau drum kit in Embossed Silver with the new Hexrack.

Following an archival film clip of big-band singer Keely Smith and the late, great Louis Prima, Smith joined with Kid Rock and GRAMMY-nominated Yamaha saxophonist Dave Koz to perform "That Old Black Magic."

Twenty-five-time GRAMMY award winner Stevie Wonder proudly introduced and welcomed the "incomparable" Keys back to the stage to perform her impassioned song "No One." Keys began the performance on an MPC7, with her band later joining her and allowing her to freely roam the stage and fully engage the audience in the highs and lows of the song before giving way to John Mayer on his guitar to help finish out the song.

Andrea Bocelli partnered with Yamaha artist Josh Groban for a performance of Bocelli's signature "The Prayer." Bocelli dedicated the performance to "all those who we have lost this year." Groban added his energy and effortless intensity that he is known for and started out the song at the seat of a Yamaha MPC7 grand piano. A Motif XS8 music production synthesizer was also used for the performance.

One of the most memorable moments of the evening was the highly anticipated performance by British soul singer Amy Winehouse. An Absolute Maple Nouveau drum kit in Black Sparkle and an S90ES synthesizer graced the stage during her comeback moment, when she performed "You Know I'm No Good" and "Rehab" via satellite from London with the presence and panache she became so well-known for.

Other Yamaha winners included drummer Matt Flynn of the hit group Maroon 5, who took home an award with his fellow band mates for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Makes Me Wonder."

In the Gospel category, Yamaha artist Fred Hammond won Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album for Free To Worship. Representing the jazz genre, Yamaha drummer Mark Walker and Yamaha saxophone artist Paquito D'Rivera of the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet won Best Latin Jazz Album for Funk Tango. Producer Daniel Ho won Best Hawaiian Music Album for Treasures Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar.

Yamaha Artists and Instruments Ring in the 50th Annual GRAMMY® Awards
— Alicia Keys opens the telecast and adds two more awards to her collection —