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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Houston: Undisputed Queen of Pop

NEW YORK -- Whitney Houston to Grammys: "I Will Always Love You."


Houston and the soundtrack for her film "The Bodyguard" won top honors at the 36th annual Grammy music awards Tuesday in a show that mixed glitz with unexpected controversy.


Houston was named best female vocalist at the U.S. music industry's awards for her monster hit single "I Will Always Love You," theme from the film.


The song was also named record of the year and "The Bodyguard" soundtrack album, which has sold a record-tying 11 million copies, was named album of the year, pushing aside competition from Billy Joel and Sting. In sales, the album is tied with the soundtracks for "Saturday Night Fever" and "Dirty Dancing."


Sting won three awards, including Best Male Vocal and two awards for his album "10 Summoner's Tales."


"A Whole New World," the theme song from the hit Walt Disney Film "Aladdin," written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice, was named Song of the Year, giving the soundtrack from the film five awards. Billy Joel and Neil Young, both multiple nominees, were shut out from the awards.


The evening was not without controversy. The Irish rock group U2's lead singer Bono used the banned "F" word in accepting an award for best alternative album and the show cut to a commercial before Frank Sinatra could finish accepting his "Grammy Living Legend Award."


In accepting the award for "Zooropa," Bono said, "I'd like to give a message to the young people of America. We shall continue to abuse our position and f--- up the mainstream."


The banned word was heard on the live television broadcast beamed to millions of homes but was cut out when the program was beamed to the West Coast three hours later. Bono apologized after the program if he had offended anyone.


Sinatra choked back tears as a star-studded audience of 4,000 gave him a standing ovation at the 36th annual Grammy music awards. But his acceptance of the "Grammy Living Legend Award" was cut off when the television broadcast went to a commercial before he finished speaking.


The organizers of the award said Sinatra had his own producers for the segment and they were the ones who cut to the commercial.


Host Gary Shandling said, "Mr. Sinatra should have been allowed to finish his speech. That was a mistake. This is live television and Mr. Sinatra will cut us off in an hour."


"I just got off the phone with Lorena Bobbitt and she said 'I wouldn't cut off Frank Sinatra,'" he quipped, referring to the woman acquitted of malicious wounding for cutting off her husband's penis.


Billy Joel interrupted his performance of the hit song "The River of Dreams," looked at his watch and said, "Valuable advertising time going by, valuable advertising time going by. Dollars, dollars, dollars." He smiled, then resumed playing.


Houston opened the awards ceremony at the art deco Radio City Music Hall by singing "I Will Always Love You," which dominated the charts, radio airwaves and music video stations.


Then she was handed the award by Dolly Parton, who wrote the song in 1974 with what she said was a broken heart until the royalties rolled in.


Singer Tony Bennett posted the major upset of the night when his album "Steppin' Out" beat out Barbra Streisand's "Back to Broadway" for the best traditional pop vocal performance award.


"I don't know what Barbra's gonna say about this," Bennett laughed, accepting the award.