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).