British soul singer Adele dominated Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony as America's music stars also paid tribute to the late pop idol Whitney Houston.
Adele, 23, won for record of the year, album of the year, best song and best solo pop performance after topping 21 charts worldwide with popular anthems like Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You.
She also earned a standing ovation for her first live performance since taking time off for throat surgery.
"This is ridiculous," she told the crowd at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. "It's been the most life-changing year."
The most important event in the American music calendar opened with a tribute to Houston, one day after her death in a Beverly Hills hotel at the age of 48.
“It only feels right to begin with a prayer for a woman who we loved, for our fallen sister Whitney Houston," host LL Cool J said. "Heavenly Father, thank you for sharing our sister Whitney with us."
Producers then played a video of Houston singing her biggest hit, I Will Always Love You, with LL Cool J commenting "Whitney, we will always love you."
The Foo Fighters won five awards including best rock album, and Lady Antebellum won for best country album.
Taylor Swift picked up two awards for her song Mean, while Kanye West- who inspired that song when he insulted her at the 2009 Video Music Awards - won for best rap album. Bon Iver was named best new artist.
A poignant moment came when Mitch and Janis Winehouse, parents of late singer Amy Winehouse who died in 2011, accepted the award for best pop duo or group performance, for Amy and Tony Bennett's Body and Soul.
"Long live Whitney Houston. Long live Amy Winehouse and long live Etta James," said Mitch Winehouse. "There's a beautiful girl band up there."
Among the prominent performers were Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars, and the Beach Boys, who reunited for the Grammys in honour of their 50th anniversary.