Beyonce made history at the Grammys on Sunday as she collected six trophies, including song of the year for her anthem "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," making her the most decorated woman in one night in the 52-year history of the awards show.
The multihyphenate entertainer won her sixth trophy with best female pop vocal for her soaring ballad "Halo." Perhaps she was not aware of her record-setting feat; her acceptance speech was decidedly low key.
"Thank you so much. This has been such an amazing night for me and I'd love to thank the Grammys," Beyonce said in her brief remarks. "I'd like to thank all of the fans for their support over the years."
The Kings of Leon, whose "Use Somebody" trumped her "Halo" to win record of the year, were a bit more entertaining when they picked up their trophy, the family quartet's third of the night.
"I'm not going to lie, we're all a little drunk. But we're happy drunks," said lead singer Caleb Followill.
Beyonce, who in 2004 won five Grammys on the strength of her debut album "Dangerously in Love," a mark tied by the likes of Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse and Alison Krauss, reached that milestone again Sunday en route to the new record. She is the first to reach that mark twice.
She won the songwriting trophy along with three writers for her omnipresent anthem "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)." The superstar also won best R&B contemporary album for "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" among her other awards, and still had the opportunity to win the evening's remaining top award — album of the year.
Lady Gaga, who won two Grammys during the pre-telecast ceremony, kicked off the night with a sequined green leotard with massive shoulders as she sang her Grammy-nominated hit "Poker Face" amid an elaborate stage that included dramatic choreography and pyrotechnics.
Moments later, she scaled things down a bit — as much as Lady Gaga can — and brought out Elton John as they melded her song "Speechless" and his classic "Your Song" together in a performance that featured dueling pianos, and glitter-painted faces.
Taylor Swift, who was second to Beyonce in Grammy nominations with eight nods, won three early awards, including best country album. Though the 20-year-old has won just about every award imaginable over the past year for her best-selling CD "Fearless," she was wide-eyed when she accepted her trophy for country album.
"I just keep thinking back to when you're in second grade and you sing in the talent show for the first time and people joke around and say, 'Maybe we'll see you at the Grammys some day.' But that just seems like an impossible dream," she said. "I just feel like I'm standing here accepting an impossible dream."
Later, she also collaborated with a rock legend: Stevie Nicks joined her on stage as they both sang Nicks' "Rhiannon" and Swift's "You Belong With Me."
The Grammy for best new artist went to the Zac Brown Band, while best rock album went to Green Day for "21st Century Breakdown."
The Black Eyed Peas also had three trophies, as well as Jay-Z, who won for best rap solo performance and two awards for "Run This Town" with Rihanna and Kanye West.
Rihanna — who was forced to bow out of last year's awards as a performer after being assualted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, accepted the trophy along with Jay-Z with Beyonce's young nephew in tow. West — who has been keeping a relatively low profile since his dustup with Swift a few months back — was a notable no show.
Maxwell, up for six awards, also won his first Grammys — best R&B male vocal for the ballad "Pretty Wings" and best R&B album for "BLACKsummers' night." The album marked the R&B crooner's return after an absence of eight years from the music business.
While Beyonce has won a caseload of Grammys during her career, she hasn't won album of the year, but that had the potential to change Sunday. The superstar was nominated for album of the year for "I Am ... Sasha Fierce," along Swift's "Fearless," the most popular album of any genre last year.
Rounding out the album of the year category were the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D.," Lady Gaga's "The Fame" and the Dave Matthews Band's "Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King." The latter album was the band's first release since the death of founding member and saxophonist LeRoi Moore.
Many participants in the program wore red cross buttons in support of Haiti earthquake relief. Mary J. Blige joined Andrea Bocelli in a rousing rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which was not only designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song's big Grammy wins, but to raise money for the people in Haiti. The performance, introduced by Haitian native Wyclef Jean, will be available via iTunes.com/target, with the funds going to earthquake relief.
The show also included a special 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson featuring a video clip he made of "Earth Song" as Usher, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson sang along.
Jackson's young children, Prince and Paris, accepted a lifetime achievement award for their late father.
"Through all his songs his message was simple, love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world," Prince said.
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