Prince presents Best Album Grammy; Two Minnesotans win

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Looking resplendent in a bright orange tunic and pants, and carrying a walking stick, Prince appeared on the Grammy Awards program Sunday evening to present the award for Album of the Year. He made some brief remarks before listing the nominees.

In a bit of a surprise, the winner of the Grammy was Beck for "Morning Phase." It was up against albums by Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams and Beyonce.

Kanye West had a little fun after the announcement was made.

It harkened back to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards show, when West interrupted Taylor Swift while she was making her acceptance speech for winning Best Female Video. West took her microphone and told the audience that Beyonce "had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!"

Minnesota Grammy winners

A half dozen artists with Minnesota ties were up for Grammy Awards Sunday evening, and two of them came away as winners. These awards were announced before the live TV broadcast.

Here's a rundown. First, the two who won:

Best Opera Recording:

Aaron Sheehan, tenor, who sings on the winning record, "Charpentier: La Descente D'Orphée Aux Enfers" by the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble; Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble. Sheehan is a native of Minnesota and earned his bachelor's degree at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Best Choral Performance:

Craig Hella Johnsonconducted the choral group Conspirare on the winning record, "The Sacred Spirit Of Russia." Johnson is the founding artistic director of the Texas-based choral group. He is a Minnesota native and a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

MPR Classical recently talked with Johnson about his Grammy nomination. You can watch the video here.

Best Contemporary Classical Composition:

Local sentimental favorite Stephen Paulus, a famed and prolific St. Paul composer who died in October at age 65, was nominated for his "Concerto for Two Trumpets and Band." Paulus was noted in the Grammys "In Memoriam" montage.

The winner in this category is John Luther Adams for "Become Ocean." The Star Tribune has a profile of Paulus.

Best Children's Album:

The Okee Dokee Brothers were hoping for their second win in this category for their album "Through the Woods." They won two years ago for their album “Can You Canoe?”

The winner in this category is "I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)."

Best Album Notes:

Jon Kirby was nominated for his liner notes on the Twin Cities R&B compilation "Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound."

The winner in this category is Ashley Kahn, who wrote the liner notes for "Offering: Live at Temple University," by John Coltrane.

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:

Karl Doty, a native of Duluth, was nominated for the album "Dreams and Prayers" by his chamber orchestra A Far Cry, which is based in Boston. Doty, 29, plays bass in the group.

He is a 2003 graduate of Duluth East High School, and he received both his bachelors and masters degrees from New England Conservatory. The Duluth News Tribune has a profile.

The winner in this category is "In 27 Pieces – The Hilary Hahn Encores" by Hilary Hahn and Cory Smythe.

You can find all the winners of this year's Grammy Awards here. The list is updated in real time.

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