Lauryn Hill, the 23-year-old soul diva who won the hearts of consumers and critics with her debut solo album, grabbed five Grammy awards Wednesday night, including the prizes for Album of The Year and Best New Artist. The awards for Record and Song of the Year, the two other closely watched categories, both went to “My Heart Will Go On,” the ubiquitous theme song to the blockbuster 1997 film “Titanic.” With her trophy haul, Hill broke Carole King’s 1971 record for most awards nabbed by a female artist in a single night. (King won four awards for her “Tapestry” album.) Michael Jackson holds the record for most wins with eight earned in 1983 for “Thriller.” “God is great, and He conquers all,” Hill said as she received her Album-of-the-Year prize, the last one presented during the three-hour televised ceremony. Hill, a New Jersey native and member of the hip-hop trio the Fugees, began the night with 10 nominations, the most of any performer this year. Her debut solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” was one of the most acclaimed releases of 1998 and has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ 41st annual ceremony was held at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium and was hosted by Rosie O’Donnell.
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In other news of the evening:
- Madonna, who had been largely ignored by Grammy voters during her 15-year career, won three awards, including Best Pop Album for “Ray of Light.” The stylish techno-influenced album was released exactly one year ago to much acclaim. “This is such a surprise,” Madonna said. “I am so honored.” The 40-year-old also opened the show, and wore a blazing red kabuki outfit.