Opening with LL Cool J leading the Staples Center in a touching prayer for the recently-departed Whitney Houston, the 2012 Grammys were a slightly more somber affair than usual. Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to the departed icon with a heartfelt, melancholy version of “I Will Always Love You.”
In spite of the tragedy hanging over the night, the music awards show still boasted more than its fair share of scintillating performances. Rihanna and Chris Martin performed their collaboration “Princess of China” in front of a psychedelic video show for a glow stick-waving audience, and Katy Perry delivered a smoldering mash-up of “E.T.” and ”Part of Me.”
The biggest winner of the night was unsurprisingly Adele, who picked up all six GRAMMYs she was nominated for, including the coveted Album of the Year award.
And yes, Adele’s first major post-surgery performance found her in impeccable form. Aside from backup singers and her band, she required no accoutrements for her commanding, soulful delivery of “Rolling In the Deep.”
Dave Grohl’s acceptance speech on behalf of the Foo Fighters for their Best Rock Album win was easily the night’s pluckiest. “It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about sounding absolutely correct. It’s not about what goes on in a computer. It’s about what goes on in here,” he said pointing to his heart, “And what goes on here,” then pointing to his head. “Long live rock ‘n’ roll!” (Oddly enough, he later performed with laptop-musician Deadmau5).
Here a quick rundown of the winners in the major categories:
Best Album of the Year: Adele, 21
Best Record of the Year: Adele, "Rolling In the Deep"
Song of the Year: Adele, "Rolling In the Deep"
Best New Artist: Bon Iver
Best Rap Album: Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Family
Best Rock Album: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Best R&B Album: Chris Brown, F.A.M.E.
Best Alternative Music Album: Bon Iver, “Bon Iver”
Best Country Album: Lady Antebellum, Own the Night
Best Pop Vocal Album: Adele, 21
What did you think about the ceremony? Were the performances what you had hoped for? And if you hadn't known Adele underwent throat surgery in November, would you have known based on her GRAMMY performance last night?