The 52nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony took place Sunday, 31 January, in Los Angeles.
No longer single but very much in control, Beyonce emerged the big winner at Sunday night's 52nd annual Grammy Award ceremony. The 28-year-old singer, and wife of rap kingpin Jay-Z, collected six Grammys on the evening, setting a single-ceremony record for a female artist. That puts Beyonce's career Grammy total at 16. She's third among female acts, behind 26-time winner Alison Krauss and 18-time winner Aretha Franklin. Among Beyonce's victories was Song Of The Year, for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)."
Several high-profile acts emerged first-time winners, including Lady Gaga. The flamboyant singer took two trophies: Best Dance Recording, for "Poker Face," and Best Electronic/Dance Album, for "The Fame."
Lady Gaga also opened the three-and-one-half-hour telecast, changing costumes during a two-song performance of "Poker Face" and "Speechless." The latter saw her share the stage with Elton John, who performed bits of his 1970 hit single "Your Song."
Among other performing highlights were Beyonce singing a few bars of Alanis Morissette's 1995 hit "You Oughta Know"; Pink's upside-down high-wire rendition of "Glitter In The Air"; The Black Eyed Peas' futuristic performance of "Imma Be" and "I Gotta Feeling"; and Mary J. Blige providing an emotional rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli. Images of the Haitian earthquake flashed onscreen during their performance of the Simon and Garfunkel favorite. Currently available for downloading, the song benefits Red Cross recovery efforts in the devastated Caribbean island.
Among the night's most-anticipated performances was a 3D tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Usher performed his composition, "Earth Song," accompanied by three-dimensional images of nature.
Following the performance, two of Michael's three children - son Prince and daughter Paris - accepted their father's posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award. Prince spoke of his father's concern for nature and humanity.
"We are proud to be here to accept this award on behalf of our father, Michael Jackson," Prince Jackson said. "First of all, we'd like to thank God for watching over us for these past seven months. We'd also like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much because you were always there for him. Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity. Through all his hard work and dedication, he has helped through many charities, and donated to all of them. Through all his songs, his message was simple: Love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world. Thank you. We love you, Daddy."
While Beyonce dominated the award count, she didn't collect on all 10 of her nominations. Rock band Kings Of Leon bested her for Record Of The Year, with "Use Somebody." The Tennessee quartet, which won three awards on the evening, gave one of the telecast's more informal acceptance speeches.
"I'm not going to lie," said one member of the group, Caleb. "We're a little drunk, but we're happy drunks. We have a lot of people we're supposed to thank, but I'm not good at it, so I'll let him do it.
Another bandmember, Nathan said, "Man, thank you fans! First of all … amazing! We have the best fans in the world. Thank you God! Thank you family! Whoever else I forgot, I'll buy you shots afterwards."
Also surprising Grammy observers was The Zac Brown Band, which took Best New Artist honors. The Georgia country-rock outfit was viewed as a long shot, competing against rock acts Silversun Pickups and The Ting Tings; Rhythm and Blues singer Keri Hilson; and alternative dance-pop duo MGMT.
Two years ago, Taylor Swift was nominated for Best New Artist … and lost. On Sunday night, the 20-year-old Pennsylvania native was not to be denied. She took home four Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year, for the five-million-selling 'Fearless.' It makes Taylor the youngest artist to ever win the category.
"Oh, wow! Thank you so much," she said. "I just hope that you know how much this means to me. Our families are freaking out in their living rooms. My dad and my little brother are losing their minds in the living room right now. This is the story all of us, when we're 80 years old, and we are be telling the same stories over and over again to our grandkids, and they're so annoyed with us .. this is the story we're going to be tell over and over again, in 2010, how we got to win Album of the Year at the Grammys. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
The Black Eyed Peas won three trophies, including Best Pop Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals for its global hit "I Gotta Feeling."
Sunday's telecast also paused to look back at the artists who died over the past year, among them folk singer Mary Travers, soul great Teddy Pendergrass, and Les Paul, who helped popularize the solid-body electric guitar and multi-track recording.