Beyoncé and Taylor Swift win big at the Grammy Awards

, Staff

 After dominating the nominations, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift were the big winners at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, held last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Beyoncé made history by wining 6 Grammys, the most ever by a woman in a single year. However, it was Swift who walked away with the biggest prize of the night, Album of the Year.

Beyoncé, who entered the night as the most-nominated artist with 10, left with the golden trophies for Song of the Year, Female R&B Vocal Performance, R&B Song (all thanks to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”), Female Pop Vocal Performance (thanks to “Halo”), Contemporary R&B Album (for I Am… Sasha Fierce) and Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for her cover of the Etta James classic “At Last”.

In Album of the Year, she lost to country-pop sensation Swift’s Fearless, which was also name Country Album of the Year. In addition, Swift won Best Country Song and Female Country Vocal Performance for “White Horse”.

The Zac Brown Band was named Best New Artist while Kings of Leon pulled off one of the night’s bigger upsets, winning Record of the Year for “Use Somebody” over Beyoncé, Swift, Lady Gaga and the Black Eye Peas. The win provided for one of the night’s more memorable acceptance speeches. “I’m not gonna lie,” lead singer Caleb Followill said while accepting the award with his bandmates and Boston-bred producer Angelo Petraglia. “We’re all a little drunk, but we’re happy drunks.” They also won for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Rock Song.

The Black Eyed Peas won 3 Grammys (Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Short Form Music Video), as did Jay-Z (Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Solo Performance). Lady Gaga took home two (Best Electronic Dance Album and Best Dance Recording) as did Maxwell (Best R&B Album and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance) and Eminem (Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group).

Green Day defeated Album of the Year nominees Dave Matthews Band and U2 for Rock Album. At the end of their acceptance speech, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong declared “Now I’m going to have shots with Kings of Leon”.

Brendan O’Brien won Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) for his work on AC/DC’s Black Ice, Mastodon’s Crack the Skye, Pearl Jam’s The Fixer, Killswitch Engage’s Killswitch Engage and Bruce Springsteen’s Working on a Dream.

Other notable winners included Steve Martin for Best Bluegrass Album, Stephen Colbert for Best Comedy Album and Michael J. Fox for Best Spoken Word Album.

For a complete list of the winners, go here.

Of course, most of the 3 1/2 hour telecast was devoted to performances and not handing out hardware. And as has become custom, there were a handful of unique collaborations. Gaga kicked off the show with a rendition of “Pokerface” joining Elton John for “Speechless” and John’s “Your Song.” The night’s most memorable moment came during a 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson. Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood, and Usher all joined together for a version of Jackson’s “Earth Song”, which also included his vocals. Two of Jackson’s children, Paris and Prince, then accepted a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in honor of their deceased father.

Equally as impressive was Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige duet of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which will be made available as a download to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Green Day was joined by the cast their upcoming “American Idiot” Brodway musical for “21 Guns” while Dave Matthews Band was joined by an orchestra and choir of singers for a splendid rendition of “You and Me.” Jeff Beck and Imelda May paid tribute to Les Paul and Bon Jovi made their Grammy debut with a medley of hits and help from Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Taylor Swift went the acoustic route and duetted with Stevie Nicks, while the Zac Brown Band was joined by Leon Russell.

The oddest performance came courtesy of Jamie Foxx, who delivered “Blame It” with help from Keith Sweat, T-Pain and Slash. Blink 182’s Travis Barker provided drums for jail-bound Lil Wayne, Eminem and Drake for a collaboration that was muted throughout by censors. Other performers included Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell, Pink (who brought her Cirque du Soleil-inspired Funhouse act) and Lady Antebellum (who delivered one of the only simple and straight forward performances of the night).

All performances are now available for download on i-Tunes.

 

 

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