Beyonce romps through Grammy Awards

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The Independent Culture

It was a night for the ladies at the 52nd Grammy awards in Los Angeles, as the R&B star Beyonce collected more trophies in one evening than any female performer the event’s history, winning six trophies, including Song of the Year for her now-ubiquitous hit: “Single Ladies (put a ring on it).”

She will share today’s headlines with Taylor Swift, the 20-year-old Country-pop singer, who made a total of four appearances on the winner’s podium, collecting the night’s top honour, Album of the Year, for her 2009 record, Fearless.

Beyonce’s record haul included prizes for R&B Song, Female Vocal Performance, Contemporary R&B album, Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, and Female Pop Vocal performance. It far eclipsed that of every other perfomer at this year’s event, and takes her lifetime tally of Grammys to 16.

She came within a whisker of taking to the stage of the Staples Centre in Los Angeles to collect an unprecedented seventh award. However her husband, Jay-Z, ironically beat her to top honours in the crucial category, for Rap/Sung performance.

Collecting her final award, Beyonce thanked fans for “an amazing night". A more exuberant set of victory speeches came from Swift, who was collecting her first Grammys after shooting to fame on the back of teenage love-songs written on her bedroom floor.

“Oh wow! Thank you so much! I just hope that you know how much this means to me that we get to take this back to Nashville,” she said, breathlessly. “Our families are freaking out in their living rooms. My dad and my little brother are losing their minds in the living room right now!”

Earlier, Swift - whose second album Fearless was the music industry’s best selling record of 2009 - had provided one of the night’s most memorable musical moments when she duetted with the Fleetwod Mac singer, Stevie Nicks.

The other standout performance of the evening, in a show that lasted almost four hours, belonged to Lady Gaga, who performed an extended and highly theatrical duet with Sir Elton John.

One of the few major prizes that didn’t go the way of a female star was Record of the Year, which was won by Kings of Leon for “Use Somebody,” their third award of the night. “I’m not going to lie… we’re all a little drunk. But we’re happy drunks,” said the group's lead singer Caleb Followill.

Away from the business of handing out awards, the show also saw a tribute to Michael Jackson. The late singer's daughter Paris and eldest son, Prince, made their first public appearance since his memorial service to speak at the event.

"First we’d like to thank God for watching over us for these past seven months and our Grandma and Grandpa for their love and support,” Prince said, in a touchingly-personal speech. “We’d also like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much since you were always there for him.”

The children’s appearance followed a special 3-D tribute to Jackson featuring a video clip he made of “Earth Song.” It was introduced by Lionel Ritchie and performed by an eclectic collection of five singers: Usher, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson.

Many performers, including The Black Eyed Peas - who were the night’s other big winners, with three awards - wore Red Cross buttons in support of Haiti earthquake relief.

Among them were Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli, who sang a version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to both celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song’s big Grammy wins, and to raise money for the people in Haiti. It will be sold via iTunes.

Winners in selected major categories at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards:

Record of the Year: Use Somebody, Kings of Leon

Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift

Song of the Year: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On it), Beyonce Knowles

New Artist: Zac Brown Band

Pop Vocal Album: The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Peas

Female Pop Vocal Performance: Halo, Beyonce Knowles

Male Pop Vocal Performance: Make It Mine, Jason Mraz

Rock Album: 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day

Rock Song: Use Somebody, Kings of Leon

R&B Album: Blacksummers' night, Maxwell

R&B Song: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), Beyonce Knowles

Rap Album: Relapse, Eminem

Rap Song: Run This Town, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Run This Town, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West

Country Album: Fearless, Taylor Swift

Female Country Vocal Performance: White Horse, Taylor Swift

Male Country Vocal Performance: Sweet Thing, Keith Urban

Latin Pop Album: Sin Frenos, La Quinta Estacion

Contemporary Jazz Album: 75, Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate

Classical Album: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10

Traditional Gospel Album: Oh Happy Day, various artists

Dance Recording: Poker Face, Lady Gaga

Electronic Dance Album: The Fame, Lady Gaga

Alternative Music Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix

Spoken Word Album: Always Looking Up, Michael J. Fox

Comedy Album: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Stephen Colbert