One of the best things about the GRAMMY Awards is that it's an all-inclusive celebration that honors a wide variety of music and artists. This year's GRAMMY Awards was a great example of that. Instead of concentrating awards among a few winners, Recording Academy voters opted to hand out awards to many different winners across its 81 categories.
Adele continued her momentum from last year's 54th GRAMMYs (where she took home six awards), taking the prize in the Best Pop Solo Performance category for her brilliant live version of "Set Fire To The Rain" that was recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall. The British superstar was surprised by her win.
"I just wanted to come and be part of the night since I loved it last year, obviously," she said with a smile during her acceptance speech.
Battling it out for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance were Florence & The Machine, Gotye featuring Kimbra, LMFAO, Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa, and Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe. Gotye scooped up the GRAMMY for his performance of "Somebody That I Used To Know." The song also won the coveted Record Of The Year GRAMMY. Gotye was visibly excited in the backstage press room and confided that he never imagined the song would resonate in such a big way.
"It's been an incredible year," he said. "I've not even had a chance to work on any new music. I've been touring nonstop."
Kelly Clarkson had a big night as well, winning the GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Album for Stronger, which spawned multiple hit singles, including the empowering title track "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." The Texas singer also treated the GRAMMY audience to a very special medley performance that started with her rendition of "Tennessee Waltz" as a tribute to Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Patti Page and segued into fellow recipient Carole King's evergreen "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)."
Trumpeter Chris Botti took the GRAMMY for Best Pop Instrumental Album during the Pre-Telecast Ceremony for Impressions, which includes collaborations with David Foster, Mark Knopfler and Vince Gill.
In the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, Paul McCartney received his 16th GRAMMY for Kisses On The Bottom. The record is a collection of pop and jazz covers plus two brand-new McCartney-penned songs.
With show-stopping performances by Sting, Justin Timberlake, Miguel, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna, and many happy winners and nominees, Music's Biggest Night was a very memorable one for pop.