54th Annual GRAMMY Awards Liveblog

  • Adele
    Photo: WireImage.com
  • Bruce Springsteen
    Photo: WireImage.com
  • Bruno Mars
    Photo: WireImage.com
  • Rihanna
    Photo: WireImage.com
  • Paul McCartney
    Photo: WireImage.com

54th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Feb. 12, 2012
Staples Center, Los Angeles


8:30 PT/11:30 ET:
After that show-closer, some of you will be the modern version of speechless — unable to type. But we hope not for long. What category held the most surprises for you? Which performance will you be talking about tomorrow? How about Adele making GRAMMY history in tying Beyoncé for most awards won in one night by a female artist?

Please keep your comments coming! And thanks again for helping celebrate the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Good night!

8:28 PT/11:28 ET:
What a treat. "The End," literally. The Boss, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl join the stage to trade licks with Sir Paul and Co. The talent caliber onstage is off the charts. The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards have been a night to remember. And not just for the winners.     

8:24 PT/11:24 ET:
Sir Paul is back to take Music's Biggest Night out in style. As "Golden Slumbers" leads into "Carry That Weight," he's carrying his worldwide audience away on waves of nostalgia. And awe, most likely. Is there a classic rock fan out there who's not transfixed? Any kind of music fan? 

8:22 PT/11:22 ET:
Adele credits her "rubbish relationship" with paving the road to her night full of GRAMMYs it's what 21 is about. A little rubbish can go a long, long way.

8:21 PT/11:21 ET:
And another huge moment in a night full of them: Album of the Year goes to an astonished-looking Adele for 21. Surprised? 

8:19 PT/11:19 ET:
More Sir Paul is on the way, too. Lots left!

8:16 PT/11:16 ET:
And after that big win the night may not be over for big winner Adele. Still to come is the GRAMMY for Album Of The Year. Her breathtaking 21 is among the nominees.

8:14 PT/11:14 ET:
Time for the unveiling of a big one: Record of the Year. The prize goes to Adele, for "Rolling in the Deep."  

8:09 PT/11:09 ET:
Nicki is her own kind of worship-worthy deity — what a spectacle. Monks are dancing. So are altar boys. Nicki is levitating.    

8:06 PT/11:06 ET:
She may be brash, but brashness is no barricade to putting on a great show. Here comes Nicki Minaj, blond hair and in pearls. And in a confession booth? Sitting opposite a priest? This performance of "Roman's Revenge" is the perfect primer on the Best New Artist nominee: she's lightning-fast and a little puzzling, but so bursting with attitude you're apt to forget how confused you are and just go with her flow. 

8:03 PT/11:03 ET:
And that's not the only remaining award we want you to weigh in on. Album Of The Year is still up for grabs too. Keep up with all of the winners here.

8:01 PT/11:01 ET:
Will "Rolling In The Deep" take Record Of They Year? What about "Grenade," "Holocene," "The Cave," and "Firework"? We'll find out in a matter of minutes. Tell us who you're rooting for.

7:57 PT/10:57 ET:
Deadmau5 and whole portions of the audience, it seems, are in lit-up Mickey Mouse helmets for "Raise Your Weapon." The effect is at once creepy and cute. Dave Grohl could do nothing but smile and move with the music from sidestage.

7:56 PT/10:56 ET:
But it wouldn't be a dance segment without the Deadmau5 remix of "Rope," so here we go …

7:55 PT/10:55 ET:
The place is not only rolling, it's rocking, which is why it makes a lot of sense to bring back Foo Fighters, who, behind all those laser lights, are burning up their hit "Rope." 

7:53 PT/10:53 ET:
It's a light-saber salute to the infectiousness of dance music. 

7:52 PT/10:52 ET:
The fleet-footed, GRAMMY-winning Chris Brown is back, and check out who's keeping him company: David Guetta and Lil Wayne. They're into Guetta's "I Can Only Imagine," and the place is rolling! 

7:51 PT/10:51 ET:
"Soul Train" pioneer Don Cornelius is gone too. But definitely not forgotten, as LL Cool J and ?uestlove remind us.   

7:49 PT/10:49 ET:
And don't forget Nicki Minaj! Her performance is on the way as well.

7:48 PT/10:48 ET:
That last dose of raw emotion is soon to be tempered by a dance-music extravaganza. David Guetta, Foo Fighters and company are up in a minute.

7:45 PT/10:45 ET:
Jennifer Hudson: brilliant singer, and purveyor of chills.

7:44 PT/10:44 ET:
If anybody can convey in song the enormity of Whitney Houston's talent, and the void that's been left by her untimely death, it's Jennifer Hudson. Hudson, as many will remember, has already shown how courageous she can be in the face of personal tragedy. With this almost unbearably sad rendition of "I Will Always Love You," she solidifies her hard-earned reputation for strength and poise. And she's absolutely correct: we will always love Whitney.

7:42 PT/10:42 ET:
Have your Kleenex ready? Next up is Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston. 

7:39 PT/10:39 ET:
And now a tribute to the people in the music community we lost in 2011. Steve Jobs, Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Doyle Bramhall Sr., Jerry Leiber, Clarence Clemons, among others. Rest in peace.

7:37 PT/10:37 ET:
Neil Portnow echoed Bruce Springsteen in his speech, speaking about MusiCares: We — as a music community — take care of our own.

7:36 PT/10:36 ET:
While this is Music's Biggest Night, The Academy supports music all year long. Highlighting the important work of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares is Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow.

7:35 PT/10:35 ET:
Bon Iver is a sincere guy. And thoughtful too. He thanked all the "non-nominees."

7:34 PT/10:34 ET:
And the GRAMMY for Best New Artist goes to Bon Iver, known by some as Justin Vernon.

7:32 PT/10:32 ET:
"It Had to Be You" was featured in the movies Casablanca and Annie Hall. It was great in both, but I'll take this version. Well-paced and smooth.

7:29 PT/10:29 ET:
What a show so far. Your thoughts? Don't forget that what's sure to be a moving tribute to Whitney Houston is still to come.

7:27 PT/10:27 ET:
But first, the incomparable Tony Bennett — dapper, magnetic, multitalented! — will be the next icon to take the stage. Bennett has won two GRAMMYs this evening, making 16 for his illustrious career. He'll be joining past Best New Artist winner Carrie Underwood for our next performance.

7:26 PT/10:26 ET:
Up next: the coveted Best New Artist award. Esperanza Spalding took the prize last year. The Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, and Skrillex are in the running this year. Who's your pick?

7:24 PT/10:24 ET:
It's 2012 and Glen Campbell knows it: He gave a shout-out to the rhinestone cowgirls, too. 

7:22 PT/10:22 ET:
Obviously, so is the Rhinestone Cowboy himself: still ready to ride in a star-spangled rodeo after all these years. And still sturdy of voice. Just like in the song, hustle is the name of his game. What's your favorite Glen Campbell song?  

7:21 PT/10:21 ET:
And he's got Paul McCartney dancing along ...

7:20 PT/10:20 ET:
Just as gentle and as fittingly (and winningly) sentimental is Blake Shelton's rendition of "Southern Nights," Campbell's country-crossover classic. Some country crooners aren't born showmen. But Shelton, with his classic good looks and in his elegant suit, is. 

7:16 PT/10:16 ET:
And how about those harmonies?

7:15 PT/10:15 ET:
We're off into the Glen Campbell tribute. The Band Perry's "Gentle On My Mind" is a sweet reminder of why Campbell deserves the Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. This sentimental rendition leads pleasantly to a blanket-warm late-'60s place. 

7:12 PT/10:12 ET:
Stay with me — a tribute to the Rhinestone Cowboy is coming up!

7:10 PT/10:10 ET:
Vocal cord polyps are no match for Adele. What a remarkable performance. And a standing ovation that drew props from Bruno Mars, Miranda Lambert and Rihanna. What did you think?

7:08 PT/10:08 ET:
As the song's momentum picks up, reaching its own fever pitch, so does Adele. This is a controlled but richly felt performance.

7:05 PT/10:05 ET:
Here's Adele, launching confidently into "Rolling In The Deep." The superstar could be forgiven for taking it slow. But she's not withholding — in fact, she's characteristically belting, digging deep, and her whiskeyed, old-soul voice is in fine form. The best-selling artist of 2011 is back and singing the only way she knows how: fearlessly. 

7:00 PT/10:00 ET:
Next up is one of tonight's biggest moments. Adele will sing "Song Of The Year "Rolling In The Deep," her first performance since undergoing vocal-cord surgery last November.

6:56 PT/9:56 ET:
Best Country Album goes to Lady Antebellum for Own The Night. The trio won this same award in 2010 for the smash Need You Now.

6:54 PT/9:54 ET:
Katy is turning in an emotive rendition of her brand-new song "Part Of Me," while rocking a short-blue bob and shades. It sounds like the words are carrying extra special meaning? Who do you think she's singing about?

6:53 PT/9:53 ET:
Katy Perry is out of this world. Literally. Dodging shooting stars and comets in her crazy headgear and space outfit, she's handily demonstrating why the pop thumper "E.T." was a 2011 radio staple. 

6:51 PT/9:51 ET:
Song Of The Year goes to Adele's "Rolling In The Deep." And that marks four awards for Adele, and two for producer and co-writer Paul Epworth. Could Adele sweep all six of her nominations?

6:48 PT/9:48 ET:
Next we find out who wins Song of the Year, a songwriter's award. After that it's Katy Perry. Adele is coming up, too. It will be her first performance since vocal-cord surgery. Anybody nervous for her?

6:45 PT/9:45 ET:
The statuesque Swift, plucking a banjo and wearing a braid, is at the top of a heap of discarded stuff from somebody's barn. She's still managing to give a kicky performance, though. "Mean"  has netted the songstress two awards tonight: Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance.

6:43 PT/9:43 ET:
Taylor Swift is turning in a spirited rendition of "Mean" off "Speak Now." She's pure country-pop superstar here, spilling the contents of her heart in the sure, sweet voice that's won her bazillions of fans worldwide. 

6:40 PT/9:40 ET:
The rootsy duo Civil Wars, who have picked up two awards tonight, are peeling into "Barton Hollow," their Southern Gothic-style stunner from the same-named album. This may be tonight's show-stealing performance.

6:38 PT/9:38 ET:
And the winner of the Best R&B Album is Chris Brown for F.A.M.E.

6:37 PT/9:37 ET:
As we remember Whitney Houston and Etta James, we can't forget the poet/singer Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron was honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

6:36 PT/9:36 ET:
A fine performance from the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year. And one deserving of that standing ovation. Gorgeous song. 

6:32 PT/9:32 ET:
Here he is, an orchestra behind him, singing the dreamy (and well-timed — it's almost Feb. 14, after all) ballad "My Valentine" off his new album, Kisses On The Bototom. His bandmates are also legends: Eagles guitar hero Joe Walsh and jazzy chanteuse Diana Krall. They're elegant together.

6:30 PT/9:30 ET:
It's Stevie Wonder, here to remember Whitney Houston and lead us into Sir Paul's performance with a little harmonica; Stevie Wonder does "Love Me Do."  

6:25 PT/9:25 ET:
In the hard-act-to-follow category, a Beach Boys reunion pretty much takes the cake. If anybody is up to the challenge, though, it is Sir Paul McCartney. He's next. 

6:22 PT/9:22 ET:
Adam Levine is back and so is Mark Foster. It's a milestone and a feel-good moment; may the Beach Boys reunite every year at teh GRAMMYs.

6:21 PT/9:21 ET:
Here it is, the moment anyone who appreciates a fine melody has been been waiting for: Al Jardin, Bruce Johnson, Mike Love, David Marks and, yes, Brian Wilson, together again. It's their 50th anniversary. "Good Vibrations" are circulating among the Staples Center and out into the world. Incredible. 

6:19 PT/9:19 ET:
Foster the People — who are in competition with Maroon 5 tonight for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their infectious "Pumped Up Kicks" — are doing a fine job of with the timeless "Wouldn't It Be Nice." Who knew these lads could go retro?

6:18 PT/9:18 ET:
Helping mark the momentous occasion are Maroon 5, reminding us what a great song "Surfer Girl" is alongside the nine-member Beach Boys band. Adam Levine leaves little to be desired as a singer. In fact, he's great here.

6:16 PT/9:16 ET:
History is about to be made: live on the GRAMMY stage, the Beach Boys are going to reunite. 

6:14 PT/9:14 ET:
Dave Grohl: "We made this at home in my garage." Long live their indie cred!

6:12 PT/9:12 ET:
Best Rock Performance goes to the Foo Fighters. The competition was fierce in this category, but the choice is pretty hard to argue with after tonight's electric performance. Or is it? 

6:10 PT/9:10 ET:
The Beach Boys reunion performance with Foster The People and Maroon 5 is also coming up soon — one of many poignant moments to come.

6:08 PT/9:08 ET:
Big award coming up … Best Rock Performance. Coldplay, the Decemberists, Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, and Radiohead are nominated. Who do you think will take the trophy?

6:06 PT/9:06 ET:
The "Paradise" title works two ways. What a great performance. That was well-earned sweat on Chris Martin's brow.

6:05 PT/9:05 ET:
It's as if they're in a glow-in-the-dark graffiti-covered cave. But they still sound incredible.

6:04 PT/9:04 ET:
Cool color-drenched screen effect behind the band.

6:03 PT/9:03 ET:
Make that all of Coldplay: the band, nominated tonight for Best Rock Performance, is all together now for "Paradise." It's too easy to call this a pop-rock paradise, but it sort of is, isn't it? 

6:00 PT/9:00 ET:
Coldplay's Chris Martin is feeling the love, too, chiming in solo on the moody and magnificent "Princess Of China." Not for long, though. Rihanna's back, and the two are trading verses.

5:58 PT/8:58 ET:
Hip shaking in hotpants: does it get more Rihanna? Killer choreography here, almost reminiscent of a Janet Jackson number. 

5:56 PT/8:56 ET:
Rihanna, who's up for four GRAMMYs tonight, finds love everywhere, no doubt. But tonight the newly blond starlet is finding it onstage among a squad of dancers and a makeshift volcano. Does a more hopeless place exist? 

5:53 PT/8:53 ET:
Which performance do you like best so far?

5:51 PT/8:51 ET:
The tent adjacent to Staples Center was pogo-ing. The next performance is Rihanna with Coldplay. Is there a more versatile band? Remember their collaboration with Jay-Z? Rihanna is known to throw the occasional curveball in her performances, but count on Chris Martin and company to keep up.   

5:49 PT/8:49 ET:
Jack Black was right: Foo Fighters aren't lacking for indie cred. Or metal cred. Check Grohl's Slayer t-shirt.

5:48 PT/8:48 ET:
Actually, how could you not be a Foo fan? "Walk," the song Dave Grohl and company are currently clobbering onstage, is a fitting demo for why they're up for six awards tonight, including Album of the Year for Wasting Light. Foo obsessives know that the record marked the return of Butch Vig, who produced Nirvana's 1991 classic Nevermind.

5:43 PT/8:43 ET:
Dave Grohl and company have already taken four awards tonight, including Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance and Best Rock Song. Dave and the boys perform next. Stay here!

5:41 PT/8:41 ET:
There's something fitting about Jack Black introducing Foo Fighters. I'm sure somehow that Jack Black is a Foo fan. What about you?

5:40 PT/8:40 ET:
Aldean and Clarkson. With chemistry this pronounced, yes, we want them to stay here a little while.

5:38 PT/8:38 ET:
Best Country Solo Performance nominee Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, who's nominated with him for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, are squaring off to bring us the song that earned them the joint nod: "Don't You Wanna Stay." It's a feelings-drenched number — wistful, pretty and poured-on in the best way possible. 

5:35 PT/8:35 ET:
Taking home the GRAMMY for Best Rap Performance are — wait for it — Jay-Z and Kanye West for "Otis." That's West's fourth GRAMMY this evening.

5:33 PT/8:33 ET:
While we're waiting: did you see Gaga in the audience? What's lurking behind the veil?

5:31 PT/8:31 ET:
Commercial time. Up next is the award for Best Rap Performance. Will Chris Brown take the stage again and claim the prize with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne? Or will it go to Kanye West and Jay-Z for the much-acclaimed "Otis"? Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa, and Nicki Minaj and Drake are also in the mix. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson perform right after that — if you haven't heard them harmonize, don't miss it!  

5:30 PT/8:30 ET:
Regardless of whether he takes home a GRAMMY tonight, Chris Brown is a contender for most acrobatic performance. His legs are like rubber bands (in the best possible way).

5:29 PT/8:29 ET:
And he's keeping it coming: "Beautiful People" is a message song, and the message is clearly one of uplift, but that hasn't hampered the tempo or Brown's onstage energy. "Don't let them bring you down, noooo!" I'm feeling it. And feeling up. You too? 

5:27 PT/8:27 ET:
Chris Brown has climbed up a Rubik's Cube-like stage in his varsity jacket. Who's got the moves like Jagger?

5:26 PT/8:26 ET:
Chris Brown, a three-time nominee tonight, has stormed the GRAMMY stage with "Turn Up The Music" and, through the fog, some pretty complicated but hot dance moves are emerging. Check those fast-moving feet. Leggoooo, Chris! 

5:25 PT/8:25 ET:
Adele may have some more statue-collecting to do tonight, but already she's crying. She's beautiful in a black sparkly dress and a classic siren hairstyle.

5:24 PT/8:24 ET:
Here it is, the night's first award: Best Pop Solo Performance goes to Adele. Surprised? This is Adele's third win of the evening, following Best Short Form Video and Best Pop Vocal Album.

5:22 PT/8:22 ET:
Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys don't come to mind automatically when you think of natural duet partners, maybe, but they owned this. Beautiful! Raitt and Keys glided into the song and savored every note. They'll never forget Etta James and neither will we.

5:18 PT/8:18 ET:
Also stay tuned for the first award announcement: Best Pop Solo Performance. Bruno Mars just made a pretty good case. He's up for "Grenade," against the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Pink, and Adele.

5:15 PT/8:15 ET:
Whitney Houston's untimely death is fresh in our minds, but we also lost the great blues lady Etta James not long ago. Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys will help remember the great, as they will perform the classic "A Sunday Kind Of Love." Do you know it? Any memories? 

5:14 PT/8:14 ET:
Bruno Mars used to be an Elvis impersonator, not a James Brown impersonator. But he could have done JB -- check out that split!

5:12 PT/8:12 ET:
Nobody rocks a pompadour like Bruno.

5:10 PT/8:10 ET:
Speaking of suave, here comes Bruno Mars, who's up for six GRAMMYs tonight, including the coveted Album of the Year for Doo-Wops & Hooligans. He's tearing it up with "Runaway Baby," a retro James Brown-ish slice of riffed-up pop brilliance. And funky. And pyrotechnics!

5:08 PT/8:08 ET:
And a touching classic clip of Houston singing "I WIll Always Love You" from the 36th Annual GRAMMY Awards. A gorgeous, goosebump-raising GRAMMY moment.

5:06 PT/8:06 ET:
"We've had a death in the family," said LL Cool J, as he starts the show with a prayer for Whitney Houston. In addition to suave, he's thoughtful.

5:05 PT/8:05 ET:
Host LL Cool J, who is hosting the GRAMMYs for the first time, is dashing as ever.

5:04 PT/8:04 ET:
And Little Stevie with the lean-in. How's that for a start to Music's Biggest Night?

5:03 PT/8:03 ET:
Springsteen may be in his 60s, but it's impossible to sell him short: He's in full anthem mode, and the crowd worships him.

5:00 PT/8:00 ET:
It's go time, folks: Right out of the gate and straight outta Jersey, Springsteen, Scialfa, Van Zandt, and company are sending shivers through the Staples Center with "We Take Care Of Our Own," the bust-it-up first single from the Boss' upcoming new album, Wrecking Ball. Noticeably absent from the lineup is the late Clarence Clemons. But the Big Man's spirit lives on in this en fuego performance. What do you think, Springsteen loyalists?   

4:45 PM PT/7:45 PM ET:
Hey there, music fans. Welcome to GRAMMY.com's official liveblog of the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards! I'm Tammy La Gorce, your host for what's shaping up to be an unforgettable night. I hope you'll join me during the show for minute-to-minute coverage of all the eye-popping action. Adele, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, and Taylor Swift have all won awards so far. Who'll emerge as the big winner tonight? Whose performance will everyone be talking about tomorrow? We'll know soon enough.

But tell us what you think before all the action gets underway. Weigh in with your early predictions about who'll get the nod in the most hotly anticipated GRAMMY categories, and which artists you expect to blow you away onstage. There's lots to look forward to, including a special performance by Jennifer Hudson in what's sure to be a poignant Whitney Houston tribute. Our comments section is below. 

We'll kick things off at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, when the legendary Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band open the show. Be with us throughout! 

8:13 AM PT/11:13 AM ET:
The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards are here — are you ready? 

I'm Tammy La Gorce, and I'd like to welcome you to GRAMMY.com's official liveblog for the show. 

Hosted by two-time GRAMMY winner LL Cool J, the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will air live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. ET/PT. 

As you watch the show, be sure to follow our liveblog for plenty of color commentary and up-to-the-minute coverage of all the goings-on. And add your voice to Music's Biggest Night by leaving a comment below. There will be plenty to talk about given the star-studded cavalcade of performers, including Adele, Chris Brown, Coldplay and Rihanna, Sir Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys with Maroon 5 and Foster The People, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Lil Wayne, Carrie Underwood and Tony Bennett, and Katy Perry. You can view a complete GRAMMY performer list here.

Will Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, and Adele go home with armfuls of statuettes? Which performances will delight? Who'll surprise the world with a big win? We'll find out together soon enough on Music's Biggest Night! 

We kick things off here at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.


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