There were few memorable outfits and only two rowdy moments, but this year's Grammys succeeded in one important respect:

the show was full of good music. The 18 performances (by such artists as a fully-clothed Fiona Apple, a seemingly-mellowed Bob Dylan and the cryogenically preserved Fleetwood Mac) proved that a wide variety of songs can gain a certain freshness during a live performance. Here are some of the show’s highlights, followed by a list of the top winners:

Best Performance: So Pavarotti — like Barbra Streisand — gets the killer flu that knocks them both off the show at the last minute. Of course, iron maiden Celine Dion is there to fill in for Barbra. But who can replace Luciano’s pipes? Would you believe… Aretha Franklin? Belting out an Italian opera song, she’s the night’s only performer with the ability to sprout goosebumps all over Radio City Music Hall.

Rowdiest Moments: Just before Shawn Colvin’s about to get her first award, Wu Tang’s Old Dirty Bastard bumrushes the stage to make a pitch for rap music. Later, a barechested guy with “Soy Bomb” written on his stomach jumps onstage and dances around Bob Dylan during his performance. Tsk. Tsk. Where do these people think they are? At a rock concert?

Best Entrance: Though Will Smith’s win in the rap category proves that the Grammy presenters still don’t have a clue about hip-hop, you’ve got to hand it to Smith (and the set designer) for his grand entrance. He lands onstage in a space ship that looks more like a Hollywood special effect than a theater in mid-town Manhattan.

Cruelest Timing: They invite LeAnn Rimes to sing “How Do I Live?”, then two minutes later they give the award for Best Female Country Vocal to Trisha Yearwood — who wins for her rendition of the same dang song. Thinking back to the hopeful look on Rimes’s face as they announce the nominees, it makes you wonder why they couldn’t factor human feelings into their award-giving.

Best Sign of Prosperity on the Internet: Every minute of ad time during the Grammys must cost a skidillion dollars, and three commercial web sites —,, and — all have enough cash to buy air time.

Second Best Scene Stealer: In two minutes at the show’s end, Bette Midler brings more life (and better jokes) to the stage than Kelsey Grammer offers in three hours. Next year, maybe they can trade places?

Best Scene Stealer: After the show, the local news comes on, and we find out that Tommy Lee has been arrested for allegedly beating Pamela Lee. After that shocker, who cares about the Grammys?

And now, the winners:

Record of the year
“Sunny Came Home,” Shawn Colvin

Album of the year
“Time Out of Mind,” Bob Dylan

Song of the year
“Sunny Came Home,” Shawn Colvin & John Leventhal

Best new artist
Paula Cole

Female vocal
“Building a Mystery,” Sarah McLachlan

Male vocal
“Candle in the Wind 1997,” Elton John

Duo or group with vocals
”Virtual Insanity,” Jamiroquai

“Hourglass,” James Taylor

Collaboration with vocals
”Don’t Look Back,” John Lee Hooker with Van Morrison

Instrumental performance
”Last Dance,” Sarah McLachlan

Dance recording
”Carry On,” Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder

Traditional pop
”Tony Bennett on Holiday,” Tony Bennett

Female vocal
“Criminal,” Fiona Apple

Male vocal
“Cold Irons Bound,” Bob Dylan

Duo or group with vocal
”One Headlight,” The Wallflowers

Hard rock
”The End Is the Beginning Is the End,” The Smashing Pumpkins

”Block Rockin’ Beats,” Chemical Brothers

”Aenema,” Tool

”One Headlight,” Jakob Dylan

”Blue Moon Swamp,” John Fogerty

Alternative music
”OK Computer,” Radiohead

Female vocal
‘On and On,” Erykah Badu

Male vocal
“I Believe I Can Fly,” R. Kelly

”No Diggity,” Blackstreet

”I Believe I Can Fly,” R. Kelly

“Baduizm,” Erykah Badu

“Men in Black,” Will Smith

“I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112

“No Way Out,” Puff Daddy & The Family

Female vocal
“How Do I Live?” Trisha Yearwood

Male vocal
“Pretty Litle Adriana,” Vince Gill

Other Awards
Frankie Knuckles

Music video, short
”Got ‘Till It’s Gone,” Janet Jackson, Mark Romanek, video director

Music video, long
”Jagged Little Pill, Live,” Alanis Morissette, Steve Purcell, video directors

”Living on Polka Time,” Jimmy Sturr