Yamaha Artists Earn GRAMMY Gold at 51st Annual Awards Ceremony

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 11, 2009) — Yamaha artists celebrated "the music that makes us," by joining legends with newcomers and pop idols with rap superstars for the 51st Annual multi-generational GRAMMY Awards ceremony. A few Yamaha artists who took home the coveted gold gramophone include Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, Coldplay, Dr. John, Chick Corea, CeCe Winans, and Randy Brecker among others. Yamaha instruments were also front and center during the Sunday night broadcast, which aired on CBS live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and averaged 19 million viewers.

"It was a momentous night for all our Yamaha musicians, and we sincerely congratulate them on their accomplishments," 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 a tremendous impact in the music industry."

The celebratory evening kicked off with a killer performance by U2, with Yamaha drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. playing his Oak Custom kit. The band stormed the stage with their latest single "Get On Your Boots" amid a swirling psychedelic backdrop. Seconds, later, the audience was treated to an unexpected pairing of Yamaha artist Justin Timberlake with the Reverend Al Green. A last minute addition to the lineup, Timberlake sang alongside Green for a rousing rendition of "Let's Stay Together" with country star Keith Urban on bass and Boyz II Men covering harmonies.

Coldplay with Yamaha drummer Will Champion took to the stage next, performing their hit songs "Lost" and "Viva La Vida," the latter of which won the band the coveted Song of the Year award. Coldplay also took home GRAMMY awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Rock Album.

Rounding out her GRAMMY collection to 12, R&B songstress Alicia Keys took home an award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her song "Superwoman." Nine-time Grammy Award winner and Yamaha artist Natalie Cole also added another one to her collection, winning Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Still Unforgettable.

An unexpected but inspiring collaboration, 25-time Grammy winner and longtime Yamaha artist Stevie Wonder partnered with first-time Grammy nominees The Jonas Brothers for a medley that included the trio's hit "Burnin' Up" and the icon's classic "Superstition." Wonder, who played his Motif 8, set a record Sunday evening for the most live performances by an artist at the awards show.

Another unique pairing came when the legendary Paul McCartney was joined with special guest drummer Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, who together rocked a rendition of the Beatles classic "I Saw Her Standing There," proving to fans both old and new why The Beatles were such a smash sensation.

USC Marching Band
USC Marching Band with Radiohead
The evening was full of surprises, and none as mind-blowing as when the University of Southern California Marching Band and its massive percussion section, which plays exclusively Yamaha instruments, marched onto the stage to perform with the band Radiohead, who was making their first U.S. live television performance debut since 2000.

Timberlake got the crowd going once again during his second performance of the night, when he came back on stage to perform his collaboration with T.I. "Dead And Gone." Timberlake started the song seated at a Yamaha C7S grand piano and singing his soft, silky vocals he's become known for before the smoke cleared and T.I. burst onto the scene and into his signature rap.

Justin Timberlake with T.I.
Justin Timberlake with T.I.
Throughout Sunday's telecast, Yamaha drums were seen in performances both big and small. As part of a tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award recipients the Four Tops, Yamaha drummer Teddy Campbell joined original member Abdul "Duke" Fakir, the great Smokey Robinson and R&B newcomers Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo for a Motown medley of "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Standing in the Shadows Of Love," and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)." Campbell also took to the stage for a tribute to the late Bo Diddley with four very well-known guitarists on center stage: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Mayer and Keith Urban, and he was keeping the melody for the last minute performance of Justin Timberlake and Al Green. Campbell played his Yamaha PHX kit for all three performances.

Big Easy natives Allen Toussaint, Lil Wayne and Terence Blanchard paid tribute to the city of New Orleans with performances of the songs "Tie My Hands," "Big Chief" and "Feet Don't Fail Me Now." Yamaha artist Robin Thicke accompanied Lil Wayne while footage of Hurricane Katrina flashed in the background, reminding everyone of the work still left to be done there. Toward the end of the montage, Toussaint, playing a C7S grand piano, was joined by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who filed out in true New Orleans second line fashion to the center of the stage, bringing the audience to their feet. Appropriately, Yamaha artist and fellow New Orleans native Dr. John and the Lower 911 won Best Contemporary Blues Album for City That Care Forgot.

Yamaha Gospel artists were big winners Sunday night, with Kirk Franklin winning for Best Gospel Song and Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. Gospel great CeCe Winans took home an award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for Thy Kingdom Come.

A host of other Yamaha artists picked up GRAMMY wins, including: John Legend, accompanying Al Green – Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocals; Jeff Coffin with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones – Best Pop Instrumental Album for Jingle All the Way; Randy Brecker – Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Randy in Brasil; Chick Corea with Gary Burton – Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group, for The New Crystal Silence; Daniel Ho with Tia Carrere – Best Hawaiian Music Album for 'Ikena; Jaguares (Alfonso André) – Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for 45; Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra with Vince Cherico on drums – Best Latin Jazz Album.

Wonder graced the stage one last time seated at a Yamaha C7S grand piano for a solo performance of "All About The Love Again," ending the evening on a very inspirational and optimistic note.

For more information on the critically acclaimed Yamaha artists mentioned above, please visit www.ycaa.com.

Yamaha Artists Earn GRAMMY Gold at 51st Annual Awards Ceremony
— Yamaha Instruments Accompany the Night's Most Memorable Performances —