Accepting the Grammy for Best Rock Album, Dave Grohl thanked "all the people at Sony BMG."


Adele Does What She Was Supposed to Do, While Bon Iver, Foo Fighters, Kanye West Have Big Nights, Whitney’s Memory Is Celebrated
Justice prevailed, as Adele swept the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, going six for six, including the hat trick, while “Rolling in the Deep” producer and co-writer Paul Epworth won as well for Producer of the Year.

Continuing the Academy’s indie-rock love fest initiated by Arcade Fire last year, Bon Iver upset Nicki Minaj—who must’ve outsold Justin Vernon’s album by at least 10 to 1—in the coveted Best New Artist category. Accepting the award, Vernon thanked voters for the "sweet hookup," while girlfriend Kathleen Edwards beamed in the audience. 

Foo Fighters also won five of the field-leading seven Grammys for which they were nominated, solidifying their role as Academy darlings. Accepting the Grammy for Best Rock Album, Dave Grohl thanked "all the people at Sony BMG." 

Here’s the play-by-play:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street
Band open the show powerfully if ruefully with the zeitgeist-capturing "We Take Care of Our Own," off the forthcoming Wrecking Ball, a string section further ramping up the song’s impact. This clutch performance connects the new song dynamically as well as thematically, with “The Rising,” the two anthems of resilience bookending the post-9/11 decade.

Host L.L. Cool J then appears for a tribute to Whitney Houston. "There's no way around this," he says. "We've had a death in our family, and so at least for me—for me—the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman we loved, for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston." He then leads the crowd through a prayer, which is followed by a video of her singing "I Will Always Love You" played. "Whitney, we will always love you," he continues. "And we'll remember you the best way we know how—with a song." The crowd responds with a standing ovation.

Bruno Mars
totally kicks ass old-school-stylee on "Runaway Baby," channeling James Brown and Morris Day, while his band is choreographed in the manner of The Time. If he went for this on his follow-up LP, people would perceive him to be less like a crooner asnd more like a young Prince.

In the first of Ken Ehrlich’s signature mix-and-match numbers, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt team up on Etta James’ "A Sunday Kind of Love" in tribute to another fallen diva. They then present the first televised award of the night, to Adele, of course, who wins Best Pop Solo Performance for "Someone Like You." "Getting emotional already," said Adele in her first acceptance speech of the night. "My life changed when I wrote this song, and I felt it before anyone even heard it… I need to thank my doctors, I suppose, who brought my voice back," she adds.

Chris Brown
returns from Grammy exile to sing "Turn Up the Music," ending it with a forward flip off a riser, which pretty much sums up with the vibe of the performance.

Best Rap Performance goes to: "Otis" from Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Jason Aldean
and Kelly Clarkson sing "Don't You Wanna Stay?"

Jack Black
introduces Foo Fighters, who do their Grammy-winning song “Walk” in a tent set up adjacent to Staples Center.

sings and works out to "We Found Love." Coldplay then comes out to do "Princess of China" with her, followed by an expansive “Paradise.”

The evening's most improbable highlight is a Chipotle Grill commercial featuring Willie Nelson brilliantly covering the great Coldplay ballad "The Scientist."

New York Giants hero Victor Cruz does his salsa dance before presenting the Grammy for Best Rock Performance to the Foos for "Walk."

Maroon 5
starts the Beach Boys tribute with a credible “Surfer Girl,” followed by Foster the People’s inspired rendition of "Wouldn't It Be Nice." The Beach Boys themselves climax the segment with the inevitable "Good Vibrations," looking their age but sounding undiminished.

Chris Brown
wins Best R&B Album for F*A*M*E

The Civil Wars
perform "Barton Hollow." “ This may be tonight's show-stealing performance,” writes Grammy.com blogger Tammy La Gorce. (The album immediately jumps to #8 in the iTunes Store). The duo then introduces Taylor Swift, whom they collaborate with on a song for The Hunger Games. She sings her double-winner "Mean" plunking a banjo in Dust Bowl garb.

The still-blue-haired Katy Perry starts "E.T," but it's soon interrupted by a jolt of digital distortion, as she transitions into the new ballad “Part of Me,” bringing some drama to her resolutely ebullient persona. Key line: "You can keep your diamond ring."

Gwyneth Paltrow introduces Adele, who launches a cappella into “Rolling in the Deep,” immediately supercharging the show. She gets a standing O.

Glen Campbell
tribute starts with The Band Perry doing a fine job on "Gentle On My Mind," followed by Blake Shelton's rendition of "Southern Nights," leading to Campbell's poignant performance of "Rhinestone Cowboy," surrounded by all of the above.

Double winner Tony Bennett does “It Had to Be You”—though it could’ve been handled by fellow crooner Paul McCartney. But Paul had already done his instant standard “My Valentine,” and more significantly, he’d been enlisted to close the show with the Abbey Road Side Two medley—good thinkin’, Ken—with Joe Walsh, Springsteen, Grohl, Macca and his two guitarists taking turns ripping out variations on the main riff. In between is an EDM mash-up out in the tent featuring David Guetta, Skrillex and Deadmau5 leading into a suitably bizarre Foo Fighters-Deadmau5 mash-up back in the tent, an offbeat performance by Nicki Minaj (to say the least), Jennifer Hudson’s powerful take on "I Will Always Love You" in Whitney's honor, and another pair of acceptance speeches by Adele—for the two biggies.

Overall purely subjective impression: guitars, real drums, live vocals and close harmonies still trump electronics and acrobatics on TV.


Record of the Year
“Rolling in the Deep”

Album Of The Year

Song of the Year
“Rolling in the Deep”

Best New Artist
Bon Iver
Bon Iver

Best Pop Solo Performance
“Someone Like You”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Body and Soul”
Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse

Best Pop Instrumental Album
The Road from Memphis
Booker T. Jones

Best Pop Vocal Album

Best Dance Recording
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Duets II
Tony Bennett

Best Rock Performance
Foo Fighters

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
“White Limo”
Foo Fighters

Best Rock Song
Foo Fighters

Best Rock Album
Wasting Light
Foo Fighters

Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver
Bon Iver

Best R&B Performance
“Is This Love”
Corinne Bailey Rae

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Fool for You”
Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona

Best R&B Song
“Fool for You”
Cee Lo Green, Melanie Hallim, Jack Splash, songwriters (Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona)

Best R&B Album
Chris Brown

Best Rap Performance
Jay Z & Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“All of the Lights”
Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie

Best Rap Song
“All of the Lights”
Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)

Best Rap Album
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye West

Best Country Solo Performance
Taylor Swift

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Barton Hollow”
The Civil Wars

Best Country Song
Taylor Swift

Best Country Album
Own the Night
Lady Antebellum

Best New Age Album
What's It All About
Pat Metheny

Best Americana Album
Ramble at the Ryman
Levon Helm

Best Bluegrass Album
Paper Airplane
Alison Krauss & Union Station

Best Blues Album
Tedeschi Trucks Band

Best Folk Album
Barton Hollow
The Civil Wars

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Rebirth of New Orleans
Rebirth Brass Band

Best Reggae Album
Revelation Pt 1: The Root of Life
Stephen Marley

Best World Music Album

Best Comedy Album
Louis C.K.

Best Musical Theater Album
The Book of Mormon
Josh Gad & Andrew Rannells, artists; Anne Garefino, Robert Lopez,
Stephen Oremus, Trey Parker, Scott Rudin & Matt Stone, producers; Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
The King's Speech
Alexandre Desplat

Best Song Written For Visual Media
“I See the Light” (from Tangled)
Alan Menken & Glenn Slater, songwriters (Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi)
Track from: Tangled

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
“Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)”
Jorge Calandrelli, arranger (Tony Bennett & Queen Latifah)

Best Recording Package
Scenes from The Suburbs
Caroline Robert, art director (Arcade Fire)

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story
Dave Bett & Michelle Holme, art directors (Bruce Springsteen)

Best Album Notes
Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond As Recorded by the San Francisco Bay by Chris Strachwitz in the 10s
Adam Machado, album notes writer (Various Artists)

Best Historical Album
Band on the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection - Deluxe Edition)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Paper Airplane
Neal Cappellino & Mike Shipley, engineers; Brad Blackwood, mastering engineer (Alison Krauss & Union Station)

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
“Cinema” (Skrillex remix)
Sonny Moore, remixer (Benny Benassi)

Best Surround Sound Album
Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition)
Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Bill Levenson & Elliot Scheiner, surround producers (Derek & the Dominos)

Best Short Form Music Video
“Rolling in the Deep”
Sam Brown, video director; Hannah Chandler, video producer

Best Long Form Music Video
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Foo Fighters
James Moll, video director; James Moll & Nigel Sinclair, video producers

Former Island chief gets his own label. (6/16a)
How'd they do that? (6/15a)
We're reading the tea leaves. (6/15a)
"Variant" is a scary word right now. (6/15a)
Is there a lawyer in the house? (6/15a)
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?

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