A dele's distinctive voice was born again and Whitney Houston was mourned on February 12 in a Grammy Awards show packed with triumphant comebacks and fond farewells. Katy Perry, sporting blue hair and metallic body armor, stormed back defiantly in her first big public performance after divorce in December, and country singer Glen Campbell, 75, made what could be his last Grammy appearance after being diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease.
Just 10 of the 78 Grammys were handed out during the three-and-a-half hour telecast from Los Angeles, clearing the way for some eclectic line-ups on stage that paired Rihanna with Coldplay, and rapper Lil Wayne with DJ David Guetta.
As expected, the music industry's biggest night belonged to British singer Adele, 23, who won all six of the Grammys she had been nominated for. But the biggest applause came after Adele gave her first major public performance following throat surgery in November that millions of her fans worldwide feared might destroy her signature husky voice.
Memories of Houston, who was found dead in unexplained circumstances just 24 hours earlier in a Los Angeles hotel room, made for a nostalgia-filled night. Grammy host LL Cool J started the evening with a prayer "for our fallen sister Whitney Houston" but said the industry would remember her "the best way we know now, with a song." Grammy and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson did the honors, singing Houston's biggest hit 'I Will Always Love You'. Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys bade farewell to another lost star – 'At Last' singer Etta James – with their version of 'Sunday Kind of Love'.
Chris Brown returned to Grammy's embrace, three years after his career nosedived when he beat up girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 awards show.
Country star Taylor Swift turned the table on critics of her off-key Grammy performance two years ago by winning two awards for 'Mean' – in which she lashed out at her haters – delivering a flawless performance that changed the words of the chorus to 'Some day, I'll be, singing this at the Grammys'.
Elsewhere, some of the night's biggest thrills came from a small tent outside the main concert venue where Foo Fighters played a rousing version of 'Walk' and Brown, David Guetta and Lil Wayne gave Grammy viewers their first taste of dance electronica.
List Of Winners
Here are the winners in key categories at the 54th Grammy Awards:
Record Of The Year: 'Rolling In The Deep' – Adele
Album Of The Year: 21 – Adele
Song Of The Year: 'Rolling In The Deep' – Adele and Paul Epworth
Best New Artist: Bon Iver
Best Pop Solo Performance: 'Someone Like You' – Adele
Best Pop Duo: 'Body and Soul' – Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
Best Pop Vocal Album: 21 – Adele
Best Rock Song: 'Walk' – Foo Fighters
Best Rock Album: 'Wasting Light' – Foo Fighters
Best R&B Song: 'Fool for You' – Cee Lo Green and Melanie Fiona
Best R&B Album: F.A.M.E – Chris Brown
Best Rap Song: 'All of the Lights' – Kanye West
Best Rap Album: 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' – Kanye West
Best Country Song: 'Mean' – Taylor Swift
Best Country Album: 'Own the Night' – Lady Antebellum