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Danielle Adams

Bon Iver unexpected winner at award show

Winner makes awkward acceptance speech

Bon Iver caused quite a stir at the 2012 Grammy Award show last night. After the indie folk band won two awards last night, many are wondering, who is Bon Iver?

Bon Iver’s self-titled sophomore album won the award for Best Alternative Music Album, and the band also took the award for Best New Artist, beating out the Band Perry, Skrillex, J. Cole and fan favorite Nicki Minaj. The Bon Iver song “Holocene” was nominated for song of the year and record of the year, losing, of course, to Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep.”

The Best New Artist winner is in fact, not so new. The band was founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon and also includes Michael Noyce, Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughn. The name Bon Iver comes from the French phrase bon hiver, which means “good winter.”

The band began gaining popularity in late 2008. Several Bon Iver tracks have been featured on television shows such as One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and House. The band performed on The Late Show with David Letterman in December, 2008 and collaborated with St. Vincent to contribute the song “Rosyln” to the New Moon soundtrack in 2009. Bon Iver won Best International Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards in 2009.

Bon Iver has performed at several well known music festivals, including Lollapalooza, Bonaroo, Austin City Limits and is set to headline at Sasquatch! 2012 festival. Bon Iver Frontman Justin Vernon has produced and collaborated with other artists, including Kanye West.

Vernon has publicly bashed the Grammys and other award shows, proclaiming them “ridiculous” in a New York Times interview.  In the same interview, Vernon criticized not only award shows but the artists themselves, claiming that many of the nominees have compromised their art. Bon Iver declined to perform at the Grammys; Vernon told Billboard that they were asked collaborate with other artists and “play music that had nothing to do with [their album],” which the band strongly felt would comprise their integrity.

Vernon voiced his discomfort in his acceptance speech, saying that the award was hard to accept because, “There’s so much talent out here… and there’s a lot of talent that’s not here tonight.” He also admitted that he was “a little bit uncomfortable.” One can’t help but wonder if he was, perhaps, a bit embarrassed as well.

Grammys 2012 full of surprises

British singer rolling in awards

The 2012 Grammy Awards were dominated by British singer Adele. The singer took home six Grammy Awards last night, winning in every category she was nominated in. The 23-year-old also set a new record for youngest artist to take home the “Big Three” – Record and Song of the Year for “Rolling in the Deep” and Album of the Year for “21.” Adele was named Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards two years ago.

Keeping up with the trends, this year the Grammys 2012 show included electronic dance music (EDM) for the first time. Dubstep artist Skrillex (Sonny Moore) won three of the five awards he was nominated for. Another electronic artist, deadmau5, played a prank on Skrillex by showing up to the Grammy Awards sporting a t-shirt with Skrillex’s phone number and the phrase “U Mad Bro?” underneath. Later, he performed with the Foo Fighters in a collaboration of rock and EDM.

The Foo Fighters won five Grammys last night, including Best Rock Album for “Wasting Light.” Best Country Album went to Lady Antebellum for the second year in a row, this year for “We Own The Night.” Chris Brown took home his first Grammy, R&B Album of the Year, for “F.A.M.E.”

Newcomer Bon Iver triumphed over rapper Nicki Minage and country trio The Band Perry for Best New Artist. Clearly shocked, lead singer Justin Vernon made a sincere and awkward acceptance speech after winning Best New Artist. The Indie folk band also won the award for Best Alternative Music Album. The band declined to perform at the award show, but Minaj performed her new single “Roman Holiday,” while performing a baffling sort of exorcism in the show’s final act. Noticeably absent from the award show was rapper Kanye West, who won four awards, including Best Rap Album for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” but oddly he did not show up to receive them.