yeah, yeah, yeah, The Police reunited and it felt so good (and Sting still looks so good).

But the best thing about this year's Grammy Awards was the honoring of powerful women, and it's about frickin' time. I'm talking about Mary J. Blige, and of course the Dixie Chicks sweep—5 Grammy's including Album of the Year.

Mary broke it down when she sang “Be Without You.” She gave us the back story telling us how she didn't love herself enough to let someone lover her, proudly donned her Queen of Hip-Hop Soul crown, and delivered that song with a voice that knows pain, suffering, struggle, but now also deliverance and redemption. When she spoke, it was from the heart, drawing from a well of life experience, including her personal triumph in allowing herself to have love. There was no ego, or pretense, only strength and a depth of character we don't see in the likes of Jessica Simpson or even Carrie Underwood. Mary had to work for it, and not by auditioning in front of Simon Cowell. I don't know much about Mary's background but I do know she has a scar on her face she refuses to talk about, and in her acceptance speech, she spoke about time spent in the valley, in the low place. And to come from that dark valley, up the mountain, to standing on a stage at the Grammys, award in hand, before a standing ovation, must certainly have felt like the summit. We had all witnessed a woman's dream come true. It was a deeply emotional moment and I admit, I cried.

And the Dixie Chicks! How perfect that the lovely Joan Baez introduced them? I don't even have to say it. We all know what the Dixie Chicks winning meant and especially winning in the Country Music category. We know what it meant for free speech, maybe for the non-existent war movement, but I was especially happy to see women being rewarded for sticking up for themselves in the face of unpopular opinion. Not just for being half nude and dancing (I forgive Shakira, her Arabic bellydance was sort of political on some level).

I loved that Christina Aguilera, a white woman, in a white suit, got down on her knees and belted out, It's A Man's World. It called to mind witch trials and hunger strikes for the right to vote and it made my feminist heart swell with pride. I felt it gave context to the evening.

Even Ludacris' Runaway Love (the hip-hop “Janie's Got A Gun”), performed with Mary J. and Earth, Wind and Fire, had young women holding candles, on the stage, standing in unity celebrating female hardship and our ability to overcome adversity.

I haven't felt so inspired by women or felt like there were any real role models, since Sally Ride went into space. One small step for women, one giant step for little girls everywhere.

Posted by Linda Immediato

Dixie chicks photo by Reuters

Mary J. Blige photo by MARK J. TERRILL/AP

LA Weekly