The various winners of the night were hard to predict. Mumford & Sons won album of the year, though the band lost best Americana album to Bonnie Raitt. And fun. won song of the year and best new artist, but lost best pop vocal album to Kelly Clarkson.
The performances — as usual — were also a reflection of diversity in music: Taylor Swift opened with her pop smash "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and Miguel sang his R&B hit "Adorn" onstage and off of it.
"Miguel, I don't know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together," Clarkson said when accepting an award. "I mean, good god. That was the sexiest dancing I've ever seen."
The night's most memorable performance was the tribute to Levon Helm, which featured Elton John, Mumford & Sons, T Bone Burnett and the raspy vocals of Mavis Staples and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.
They earned a standing ovation. Jack White, who was nominated for the album of the year, was also well-received Sunday night.
Justin Timberlake made a return to the Grammy stage, performing his new hit "Suit & Tie" and a new song, the falsetto-heavy "Push Your Love Girl." Jay-Z joined the pop star onstage, and there were more collaborations like it throughout the night.
Alicia Keys joined Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert sang with Dierks Bentley, and Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Sting paid tribute to Bob Marley. They were joined by Damian and Ziggy Marley. The crowd sang along during "Could You Be Loved."
Adele, who was last year's big winner with six trophies, won best pop performance for "Set Fire to the Rain (Live)." She said backstage that she's enjoying motherhood and is at the beginning stages of recording her next album.
"I've been up since 6 a.m. so I'm quite tired. But it's nice, I haven't been as stressed out," she said. "You kind of have to prioritize what you stress about and worry about when you have a child."
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