Steely Dan Steals Grammys From Eminem, 'N Sync

ByABC News
February 23, 2001, 7:41 PM

February 21 -- Click here for a complete list of Grammy winners.

Jazz-rock duo Steely Dan surprised all but the most conservative pundits, leading the way Wednesday night at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards by winning three trophies (and a fourth for its engineers). Faith Hill, Eminem, and U2 each took home three awards.

Though Eminem won three Grammys at the ceremony, The Marshall Mathers LP was denied the Album of the Year award which many expected the disc to win, despite the considerable controversy surrounding it.

Even without the prize, Eminem had the centerpiece of the show: a performance of his song "Stan" (the only song of his that the Academy would allow him to play, because of its relative lack of profanity) with openly gay pop icon Elton John.

The two vocalists, introduced by Recording Academy President Michael Greene, were in stark contrast, with the 28-year-old rapper walking around the stage with a plain, white T-shirt and jeans, while John, standing at a keyboard and singing Dido's parts in the song, wore a yellow suit and shirt with large, pink polka dots. Following the song, the two embraced, as the audience at Staples Center stood in applause.

Steely Dan's Two Against Nature, the duo's first album since 1980, not only upset the Eminem disc for the Album of the Year honor, it also won the Best Pop Vocal Album prize defeating such powerhouse artists as Madonna, Britney Spears, and 'N Sync and its single "Cousin Dupree" won Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, over tracks by 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys. Two Against Nature also was named Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Another upset victor was country singer Shelby Lynne, who won the vaunted Best New Artist trophy, defeating favorite Sisqo. Not only is Lynne a music veteran ("It took 13 years and six albums to get here," she quipped in her acceptance speech), but she also had by far the lowest album sales of the other rookies, selling 165,000 copies of I Am Shelby Lynne.