The 54th annual Grammy Awards honored one superstar and mourned the loss of another, causing it to draw in the highest Grammy ratings since 1984s show.
Adele stole the show with six wins including the three biggest categories: Album and Record of the Year for 21 and Song of the Year for “Rolling In The Deep.” Adele is now tied with Beyonce for most wins in a single night by a female singer.
“This record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone [has] been through it — a rubbish relationship,” said Adele of her life changing album. While it was a night that celebrated music of the past year, it was also a night that paid tribute to the fallen legend Whitney Houston. The night’s host,
LL Cool J, started the 3 ½ hour telecast with a prayer for Houston who passed away last Saturday, and won six Grammy’s throughout her career.
“There is no way around this. We’ve had a death in our family,” said LL Cool J before leading the prayer. Jennifer Hudson proceeded with a simple yet elegant performance of one of Houston’s biggest hits, “I Will Always Love You.”
An emotional Hudson finished the piano driven performance with, “Whitney, we will always love you.” The Foo Fighters were the night’s second biggest winners with five wins in the rock categories including Best Rock Album for Wasting Light.
Kanye West led the rap portion with four wins for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West, who now has an impressive 18 Grammy Awards under his belt, was not present to receive his awards.
Chris Brown was however in attendance to deliver two comeback performances and accept his Grammy for Best R&B album for his album F.A.M.E. This marks Brown’s return to the Grammy stage, three years after canceling his Grammy performance after assaulting his then-girlfriend, pop sensation Rihanna the night before the show.
Rihanna, who was also present at the awards show, proved to be the night’s queen of collaborations. The pop singer helped West win two awards with their collaboration, “All of the Lights,” and also shared the stage with Coldplay. After performing a crowd-pleasing performance of her global hit “We Found Love,” she performed “Princess of China” with the band.
While Adele thanked her producer Rick Rubin for teaching her “quality control,” other performers preferred quantity.
Queens rapper, Nicki Minaj started off her performance of “Roman Holiday” with a confession to a priest and ended it with religious imagery during an exorcism of her alter-ego Roman Zolanski.
Katy Perry took on the role of a blue-haired super hero during her performance of her new song “Part of Me.” The pop-singer, who recently signed her divorce papers from actor Russell Brand sang, “Keep
your diamond ring/In fact you can keep everything/except for me.”
In other surprise wins, Bon Iver bested St. John’s alum J. Cole for Best New Artist, four years after releasing his debut. Betty White can now add Grammy Award winner to her already impressive resume for If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) win for Best Spoken Word Album. Skrillex, a DJ and producer, won three Grammy awards. And Grammys darling Taylor Swift picked up only two Grammys in the country categories, little compared to her usual winning streaks.