Bruce Springsteen's brooding "Streets of Philadelphia" was named song of the year and won two other songwriting awards at Wednesday night's 37th annual Grammy ceremony.
The song, from the 1993 movie "Philadelphia" about a lawyer with AIDS, also won for best rock song and best song written specifically for a movie or television. The song remained in contention for record of the year.
In accepting the song of the year Grammy, Springsteen said he has been approached on the street by people "who have lost their lovers and friends and sons and said this song meant something to them."
"Streets of Philadelphia" earned Springsteen an Oscar last year.
Tony Bennett collected his third consecutive pop performance Grammy for his album "MTV Unplugged." The album followed in the footsteps of his previous works "Steppin' Out" and "Perfectly Frank," which rocketed the 68-year-old singer back into wide popularity after last being honored with Grammys in the 1960s.
The awards were presented at the Shrine Auditorium in a three-hour CBS telecast hosted by Paul Reiser.
Transcending award categories, the song "I Swear" brought All-4-One the Grammy for best pop vocal performance by a group or duo and was named best country song for the version recorded by John Michael Montgomery.
In rhythm and blues, jack-of-all-trades Babyface won Grammys for best male vocal performance for "When Can I See You?" and for writing "I'll Make Love to You," the popular hit recorded by Boyz II Men.
Boyz II Men claimed the rhythm and blues album trophy for "II." Toni Braxton won the female R&B; vocal performance for "Breathe Again."
Bonnie Raitt won best pop album for "Longing in Their Hearts," while newcomer Sheryl Crow claimed the female pop performance Grammy for "All I Wanna Do."
Crow's debut release, "Tuesday Night Music Club," was named for the weekly Pasadena jam sessions where she was a regular.
The Rolling Stones' "Voodoo Lounge" won the rock album trophy and Aerosmith's "Crazy" received a Grammy for rock performance by a group with vocal.
Melissa Etheridge captured the female rock performance Grammy for "Come to My Window." Green Day grabbed the Grammy for best alternative music performance for their album "Dookie."
"Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden earned the hard rock performance Grammy.
Eric Clapton, who soared back into the Grammy limelight two years ago with his "Unplugged" album, captured the traditional blues album award for "From the Cradle."
Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y" topped the rap solo performance competition, which included the hugely popular "Gin & Juice" by Snoop Doggy Dogg.
The producer of the year Grammy went to Don Was, whose work this past year ranged from Raitt's album to the Stones' "Voodoo Lounge."
In the country categories, the male and female vocal performance Grammys went to Vince Gill for "When Love Finds You" and Mary Chapin Carpenter for "Shut Up and Kiss Me."
"Blues for Dixie," recorded by Asleep at the Wheel with Lyle Lovett, won a Grammy for country performance by a duo or group with vocal. Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood scored the country vocal collaboration Grammy for "I Fall to Pieces." The instrumental performance award went to Chet Atkins for "Young Thing."
In the classical music categories, Andrew Cornall was producer of the year and the best album Grammy went to "Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra; Four Orchestral Pieces, Op. 12," recorded by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The film "The Lion King" produced four Grammy winners, including Elton John's male pop vocal performance award for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." The movie's soundtrack also won for best musical album for children, while a "read-along" recording won for spoken-word album for children. "The Circle of Life" track claimed an instrumental arrangement Grammy.
Nominations in 87 categories were announced in January. The winners were chosen by secret balloting of the 7,000 academy members, who include singers, musicians, producers, composers, engineers and others.
Most of the Grammys were presented in a ceremony before the televised part of the program.
The printout of nominees is six feet long, with 84 categories of mostly well-matched competitors and three categories where opera, rock and pop competed head to head.
The number of Grammy categories has tripled since the awards program began, recognizing more and more types of music.
Wednesday's ceremony marked the 25th time the Grammy Awards show was telecast. A dozen Grammy presentations passed before it became a TV show, on March 16, 1971, broadcast from the Hollywood Palladium. This year's show was aired in 166 countries.