The 50th Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 10, 2008. It honored musical achievement of 2007 in which albums were released between October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007. The primary ceremonies were televised in the US on CBS; however, as has become the custom, most of the awards were handed out during a pre-telecast portion of the show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and broadcast on XM Satellite Radio. Two nights prior to the show Aretha Franklin was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year.
The year's big winner was Amy Winehouse: the 24-year-old singer had recently entered a drug rehabilitation program and did not come to Los Angeles. American officials initially refused her a work visa; they reversed the decision, but by then it was too late for her to make the trip from the UK. She became the fifth female solo artist to get five awards in one night, alongside Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.
The golden anniversary of the Grammys and NARAS was noted in references and performances throughout this year's ceremony. Alicia Keys was the evening's opening musician, singing and playing piano alongside archived video and audio of Frank Sinatra. Other collaborative performances linking contemporary and past musicians included Beyoncé with Tina Turner, Rihanna with The Time, classical pianist Lang Lang with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and inaugural Grammy winner Keely Smith with Kid Rock. Special recognition of the musical contributions of The Beatles also featured. The Foo Fighters won Best Rock Album, and performed their nominated song "The Pretender" in a highly collaborative performance that involved a social media selection of classical musicians (the "My Grammy Moment" YouTube contest was won by violinist Ann Marie Calhoun).
The following is an alphabetical list of performers.
The following is an alphabetical list of presenters.
Winners and nominees
Bold type indicates the winner out of the list of nominees.
Multiple nominees and wins (wins/nominations)
- Amy Winehouse (5/6)
- Kanye West (4/8)
- Foo Fighters (2/5)
- Justin Timberlake (2/3)
- Herbie Hancock (2/3)
- Rihanna (1/6)
- Record of the Year
- Album of the Year
- River: The Joni Letters - Herbie Hancock
- Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace - Foo Fighters
- These Days - Vince Gill
- Graduation - Kanye West
- Dwele, Lil Wayne, Mos Def & T-Pain, featured artists; Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell, Eric Hudson, Brian "Allday" Miller, Nottz, Patrick "Plain Pat" Reynolds, Gee Roberson, Toomp & Kanye West, producers; Bruce Beuchner, Andrew Dawson, Mike Dean, Anthony Kilhoffer, Greg Koller, Manny Marroquin, Nottz Raw, Tony Rey, Seiji Sekine, Paul Sheehy & D. Sloan, engineers/mixers; Vlado Meller, mastering engineer
- Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
- Song of the Year
- Best New Artist
- Best Alternative Music Album
- Best Traditional Blues Album
- Best Contemporary Blues Album
- Best Children's Music Album
- Best Children's Spoken Word Album
- Best Classical Album
- Best Orchestra Performance
- Best Opera Recording
- "Albéniz: Pepita Jiménez"
- "Donizetti: Dom Sébastien, Roi De Portugal"
- "Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel"
- "Lully: Thésée"
- Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, conductors; Howard Crook, Ellen Hargis, Laura Pudwell & Harry Van Der Kamp; Renate Wolter-Seevers, producer (Boston Early Music Festival Chorus; Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra)
- "Verdi: La Traviata"
- Best Choral Performance
- "Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem"
- "Cherubini: Missa Solemnis in E"
- Riccardo Muti, conductor; Peter Dijkstra, chorus master (Ildar Abdrazakov, Herbert Lippert, Marianna Pizzolato & Ruth Ziesak; Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)
- "Grechaninov: Passion Week"
- "Penderecki: Symphony No. 7 'Seven Gates Of Jerusalem'"
- Antoni Wit, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, chorus master (Boris Carmeli, Ewa Marciniec, Aga Mikolaj, Wieslaw Ochman, Olga Pasichnyk & Romuald Tesarowicz; Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir; Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra)
- "Schönberg: Gurre-Lieder
- Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
- Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)
- Best Chamber Music Performance
- Best Small Ensemble Performance
- "Bach: Brandenburg Concertos" - Swiss Baroque Soloists
- "Bridges: Eddie Daniels Plays the Music of Frank Proto" - Frank Proto, conductor; Eddie Daniels; Ensemble Sans Frontière
- "Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde" - Kenneth Slowik, conductor; The Smithsonian Chamber Players & Santa Fe Pro Musica
- "Music for Compline" - Stile Antico
- "Stravinsky: Apollo, Concerto in D; Prokofiev: 20 Visions Fugitives" - Yuri Bashmet, conductor; Moscow Soloists
- Best Classical Vocal Performance
- "Gitano: Zarzuela Arias"
- "Homage: The Age of the Diva"
- Renée Fleming (Valery Gergiev; Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
- "Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs"
- "Russian Album"
- Anna Netrebko (Valery Gergiev; Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre)
- "Sea Pictures, Op. 37"
- Sarah Connolly (Simon Wright; Bournemouth Symphony Chorus; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)
- Best Classical Contemporary Composition
- "Amargós: Northern Concerto"
- "Chesky: Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra"
- David Chesky (Rossen Gergov, conductor; Symphony Orchestra Of Norrlands Opera)
- "Higdon: Zaka"
- "Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs"
- "Made in America"
- Best Classical Crossover Album
- Best Comedy Album
- Best Female Country Vocal Performance
- Best Male Country Vocal Performance
- Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- Best Country Collaboration with Vocals
- Best Country Instrumental Performance
- Best Country Song
- Best Country Album
- Best Dance Recording
- Best Electronic/Dance Album
- Best Traditional Folk Album
- Best Contemporary Folk Album
- Best Bluegrass Album
- Best Native American Music Album
- Oklahoma Style - Walter Ahhaitty & Friends
- Watch This Dancer! - Black Lodge
- The Ballad of Old Times - Davis Mitchell
- Reconnections - R. Carlos Nakai, Cliff Sarde, William Eaton & Randy Wood
- Totemic Flute Chants - Johnny Whitehorse
- Best Gospel Performance
- Best Gospel Song
- "Blessed & Highly Favored"
- "East to West"
- "Encourage Yourself"
- "Made to Love"
- "Praise on the Inside"
- James L. Moss, songwriter (J. Moss)
- Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album
- Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
- Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Album
- Best Traditional Gospel Album
- Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
- Best Contemporary Jazz Album
- Best Jazz Vocal Album
- Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Performance
- Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
- Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
- Best Latin Pop Album
- Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album
- Best Latin Urban Album
- Best Latin Jazz Album
- Funk Tango - Paquito Rivera Quintet
- The Magician - Sammy Figueroa and his Latin Jazz Explosion
- Borrowed Time - Steve Khan
- Refugee - Hector Martignon
- Big Band Urban Folktales - Bobby Sanabria Big Band
- Best Tropical Latin Album
- Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album
- Best Tejano Album
- Ram Herrera and the Outlaw Band 2007 - Ram Herrera and the Outlaw Band
- Before the Next Teardrop Falls - Little Joe & La Familia
- Corazon de Oro - David Marez
- 35th Anniversary - Ruben Ramos
- Vagar Libremente - Sunny Sauceda
- Best Banda Album
- Best Musical Show Album
- A Chorus Line
- David Caddick, producer (Marvin Hamlisch, composer; Edward Kleban, lyricist) (2006 New Cast Recording with Various Artists)
- Tommy Krasker, producer (Stephen Sondheim, composer/lyricist) (2006 Cast Recording with Raúl Esparza & Others)
- Grey Gardens
- Steven Epstein, producer (Scott Frankel, composer; Michael Korie, lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast with Christine Ebersole, Mary Louise Wilson & Others)
- Spring Awakening
- Duncan Sheik, producer; Duncan Sheik, composer; Steven Sater, lyricist (Original Broadway Cast with Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele & Others)
- West Side Story
- Best New Age Album
- Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
- Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
- Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
- Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
- Best Pop Instrumental Performance
- Best Pop Instrumental Album
- Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
- Best Pop Vocal Album
- Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
- Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
- Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
- Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
- Best Urban/Alternative Performance
- Best R&B Song
- Best R&B Album
Best Contemporary R&B Album
- Best Rap Solo Performance
- Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
- Best Rap Song
- Best Rap Album
- Best Reggae Album
- Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
- Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- Best Hard Rock Performance
- Best Metal Performance
- Best Rock Instrumental Performance
- Best Rock Song
- Best Rock Album
- Best Traditional World Music Album
- When the Soul Is Settled: Music of Iraq - Rahim Al Haj With Souhail Kaspa
- From Mali to America - Cheick Hamala Diabat & Bob Carlin
- Live at Couleur Café - Konono Nº1
- African Spirit - Soweto Gospel Choir
- Singing for Life: Songs of Hope, Healing, and HIV/AIDS in Uganda - Various Artists
- Best Contemporary World Music Album
- Best Hawaiian Music Album
- Ka Hikina O Ka Hau (The Coming of the Snow) - Keola Beamer
- Hawaiiana - Tia Carrere
- He'eia - Cyril Pahinui
- Hawaiian Blossom - Raiatea Helm
- Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Various Artists
- Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album
- Best Polka Album
- Best Spoken Word Album
Film, Television and Other Visual Media
- Best Compilation Soundtrack Album
- Best Score Soundtrack Album
- Best Song - Motion Picture, TV, Visual Media
- Best Instrumental Composition
- "Ash Wednesday"
- "Cerulean Skies"
- "Deep Six"
- Mark Walker, composer (Oregon)
- "I Knew Her"
- Best Instrumental Arrangement
- "Ash Wednesday"
- Harry Connick Jr., arranger (Harry Connick Jr.)
- "Besame Mucho"
- "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"
- "In a Silent Way"
- "Yo Tannenbaum (From Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas)"
- Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
- Best Recording Package
- Best Boxed/Special Limited Edition
- Best Album Notes
- Best Historical Album
- Actionable Offenses: Indecent Phonograph Recordings from the 1890s
- David Giovannoni, Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Richard Martin, mastering engineer (Various Artists)
- Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 (Deluxe Edition)
- Stuart Batsford, Mick Houghton & Phil Smee, compilation producers; Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
- The Live Wire: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949
- Nora Guthrie & Jorge Arévalo Mateus, compilation producers; Jamie Howarth, Steve Rosenthal, Warren Russell-Smith & Dr. Kevin Short, mastering engineers (Woody Guthrie)
- Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970
- Alec Palao, compilation producer; Dan Hersch, Bill Inglot & Dave Schultz, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
- People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs 1913-1938
- Christopher King & Henry "Hank" Sapoznik, compilation producers; Christopher King & Robert Vosgien, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
Production, Non Classical
- Best Engineered Album, Non Classical
- Producer of the Year, Non Classical
- Best Remixed Recording
- "Angelicus" (Andy Moor Full Length Mix)
- "Bring the Noise" (Benny Benassi Pump-Kin Remix)
- "Like a Child" (Carl Craig Remix)
- "Proper Education" (Club Mix - Radio Edit)
- "Sorry" (Dirty South Mix)
Production, Surround Sound
- Best Surround Sound Album
- At War With the Mystics 5.1
- The Flaming Lips & Dave Fridmann, surround mix engineers; The Flaming Lips & Dave Fridmann, surround mastering engineers; The Flaming Lips & Dave Fridmann, surround producers (The Flaming Lips)
- Fear of a Blank Planet
- Steven Wilson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Porcupine Tree, surround producers (Porcupine Tree)
- Grechaninov: Passion Week
- Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5; Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Serenade to Music
- Best Engineered Album, Classical
- Garden of Dreams
- Grechaninov: Passion Week
- Nielsen: Clarinet & Flute Concertos
- Spirit of the Season
- Strauss: Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration
- Producer of the Year, Classical
- Blanton Alspaugh
- Eternal Rest: Mäntyjärvi, Ticheli, Martin, Clausen (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale)
- Grechaninov: Passion Week (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale)
- The Harrington String Quartet: Daniel McCarthy (The Harrington String Quartet)
- Hartke: The Greater Good (Stewart Robertson & Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra)
- Rider On The Plains: Cello Concertos By Virgil Thomson And Charles Fussell (Emmanuel Feldman)
- John Fraser
- Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2, Scherzos (Simon Trpceski)
- Great Handel (Ian Bostridge)
- Kate Royal (Kate Royal)
- Krommer/Spohr: Clarinet Concertos (Julian Bliss, Sabine Meyer & Kenneth Sillito)
- Schubert: Piano Sonata D958, Lieder, Fragments (Leif Ove Andsnes & Ian Bostridge)
- Marina A. Ledin
- Balakirev And Russian Folksong (Joseph Banowetz)
- Louisiana - A Pianist's Journey (Kenneth Boulton)
- Piano Impromptus (Jungran Kim Khwarg)
- 20th Century Piano Sonatas (Allison Brewster Franzetti)
- Judith Sherman
- American Virtuosa: Tribute To Maud Powell (Rachel Barton Pine & Matthew Hagle)
- From Barrelhouse To Broadway: The Musical Odyssey Of Joe Jordan (Rick Benjamin & The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra)
- Górecki: String Quartet No. 3 '...Songs Are Sung' (Kronos Quartet)
- Strange Imaginary Animals (Eighth Blackbird)
- Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets, Souvenir De Florence (Ying Quartet)
- Robina G. Young
- As Steals The Morn...Handel Arias & Scenes For Tenor (Mark Padmore, Andrew Manze & The English Concert)
- Bach, CPE: Symphonies 1-4, Cello Concerto (Andrew Manze & The English Concert)
- Brahms: Variations (Olga Kern)
- Music For Compline (Stile Antico)
- Stockhausen: Stimmung (Paul Hillier & Theatre Of Voices)
- Best Short Form Music Video
- Best Long Form Music Video
- Live and Loud at the Fillmore - Dierks Bentley
- Russell Thomas, video director; James Whetherly, video producer
- Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 13-22 - R. Kelly
- R. Kelly, Jim Swaffield and Victor Mignatti, video directors; Ann Carli, video producer
- The Confessions Tour - Madonna
- Jonas Akerlund, video director; Sara Martin and David May, video producers
- 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads - Kenny Wayne Shepherd and various artists
- Noble Jones, video director; Kenny Wayne Shepherd, video producer
- Liberacion: Songs of the Cuban Underground - Various artists
- Reuben Field, video director; Dean Bates, video producer
Brad Delp, Boots Randolph, James B. Davis, Max Roach, Robert Goulet, Lee Hazlewood, Pimp C, Gian Carlo Menotti, Joe Zawinul, Joel Dorn, Ray Evans, Lucky Dube, Al Viola, Mstislav Rostropovich, Joel Brodsky, Hilly Kristal, Diane Ogden-Halder, Joe Hunter, Don Ho, Dan Fogelberg, Porter Wagoner, Beverly Sills, Teresa Brewer, Hy Weiss, Tom Noonan, Bobby Byrd, Tommy Makem, John Stewart, Arthur Shimkin, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Clyde Otis, Luther Ingram, Hank Thompson, Ike Turner, Oscar Peterson and Luciano Pavarotti.