Adele made her long-awaited comeback as she took six gongs to become the biggest winner at the Grammy Awards - and dedicated one of the prizes to the doctors who saved her voice.
On a night overshadowed by the death of Whitney Houston, 23-year-old Londoner Adele picked up all the prizes for which she was nominated on the strength of her steamroller success for album 21, and declared: "Girl did good."
And she wowed the Los Angeles audience with her first live performance since undergoing vocal-cord surgery last November. Without the surgery she risked losing her voice forever.
"It's been a life-changing year," she said.
She landed album of the year for 21 - which has set numerous UK chart records - and was also presented with the accolades of record and song of the year for the global hit Rolling In The Deep.
Adele matched Beyonce's 2011 record for most Grammy wins in a night by a female act, as some of music's biggest stars paid tribute to Houston, who was found dead in a bathtub on the eve of the ceremony.
Picking up album of the year, a sobbing Adele said: "Oh my God... thank you so much. Thank you.
"First of all, I want to say mum - girl did good. This record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone's been through it, which is a rubbish relationship."
The singer, who hails from Tottenham, north London, was forced to undergo laser throat surgery after being diagnosed with a vocal cord haemorrhage.
The condition forced her to cancel a string of UK concerts at the end of last year and she has kept a low profile since going under the knife.
Receiving the award for pop vocal performance, Adele thanked the US surgeons who performed her operation.
"Seeing as it's a vocal performance, I need to thank my doctors, I suppose, who brought my voice back," she said.
Adele received a rousing standing ovation from the Staples Centre crowd following the comeback performance of Rolling In the Deep. She is due to make her UK comeback with a performance at the Brit Awards next week.
She ended the night with Grammys for best pop solo performance for number one hit Someone Like You, best pop vocal album and short form music video for Rolling In The Deep.
She already has two Grammys from the the 2009 awards, so her total already exceeds the seven awards that the Beatles amassed for their recordings - excluding prizes for artwork and engineering - during the band's lifetime.
There was further success for Adele's album when Paul Epworth, who co-wrote Rolling In The Deep, took the Grammy for producer of the year.
British singer/songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae also picked up a Grammy for best R&B performance for Is This Love, while Amy Winehouse, who was found dead last year following a battle with drugs, scooped a posthumous award for best pop duo/group performance.
The 27-year-old's parents Mitch and Janis jointly accepted the Grammy for her collaboration with Tony Bennett on the track Body And Soul.
"We shouldn't be here. Our darling daughter should be here. These are the cards that we're dealt," said Mr Winehouse after he was called on stage by Bennett.
And paying tribute to his daughter, Houston and Etta James, who also died recently, he added: "Long live Whitney Houston, long live Amy Winehouse, long live Etta James. There's a beautiful girl band up in heaven."
The sombre ceremony came just 24 hours after troubled 48-year-old Houston was discovered dead at the Beverly Hilton in the west coast US city.
The 54th annual awards opened with a prayer and standing ovation to the singer, who won a clutch of six prestigious Recording Academy gongs over a turbulent career marred by spells of drug addiction.
Host LL Cool J said: "There is no way around this. We've had a death in our family so at least for me, the only thing that seems right is to start with a prayer for our fallen sister Whitney Houston."
Actress and singer Jennifer Hudson - who has called Houston one of her biggest idols - performed an emotional tribute, singing I Will Always Love You.
Dressed in black and backed by piano, she fought back tears as she sang the song, ending with the line: "Whitney, we will always love you."
The night's other big winners were the Foo Fighters, who won five Grammys.
Beatles star Paul McCartney, 69, closed the show with a medley of songs.
THE GRAMMY AWARD WINNERS
:: Album of the Year: 21, Adele
:: Record of the Year: Rolling in the Deep, Adele
:: Song of the Year: Rolling in the Deep, Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth
:: New Artist: Bon Iver
:: Pop Solo Performance: Someone Like You, Adele
:: Pop Performance by a Duo or Group: Body and Soul, Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
:: Pop Vocal Album: 21, Adele
:: Alternative Album: Bon Iver, Bon Iver
:: Rock Song: Walk, Foo Fighters
:: Rock Album: Wasting Light, Foo Fighters
:: Rock Performance: Walk, Foo Fighters
:: Hard Rock/Metal Performance: White Limo, Foo Fighters
:: R&B Album: F.A.M.E., Chris Brown
:: R&B Song: Fool For You, Cee Lo Green, Melanie Hallim & Jack Splash
:: R&B Performance: Is This Love, Corrine Bailey Rae
:: Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: Fool For You, Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
:: Rap Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
:: Rap Performance: Otis, Jay-Z and Kanye West
:: Rap Song: All of the Lights, Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West
:: Rap/Sung Collaboration: All of the Lights, Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
:: Dance Recording: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex
:: Dance/Electronica Album: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex
:: Musical Theatre Album: The Book of Mormon, Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone
:: World Music Album: Tassili, Tinariwen
:: Latin Pop Rock, Rock or Urban Album: Drama y Luz, Mana
:: Tropical Latin Album: Last Mambo, Cachao
:: Banda or Norteno Album: Los Tigres Del Norte and Friends, Los Tigres Del Norte
:: Regional Mexican or Tejano Album: Bicentenario, Pepe Aguilar
:: Country Solo Performance: Mean, Taylor Swift
:: Country Album: Own the Night, Lady Antebellum
:: Country Performance by a Duo or Group: Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars
:: Country Song: Mean, Taylor Swift
:: Jazz Vocal Album: The Mosaic Project, Terri Lyne Carrington & various artists
:: Jazz Instrumental Album: Forever, Corea, Clark & White
:: Improvised Jazz Solo: 500 Miles High, Chick Corea
:: Large Ensemble Jazz Album: The Good Feeling, Christian McBride Big Band
:: Blues Album: Revelator, Tedeschi Trucks Band
:: Folk Album: Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars
:: Pop Instrumental Album: The Road From Memphis, Booker T. Jones
:: Bluegrass Album: Paper Airplane, Alison Krauss & Union Station
:: Americana Album: Ramble at the Ryman, Levon Helm
:: Reggae Album: Revelation Pt. 1: The Root of Life, Stephen Marley
:: New Age Album: What's It All About, Pat Metheny
:: Children's Album: All About Bullies... Big and Small, various artists
:: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Paul Epworth
:: Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: Cinema (Skrillex remix), Sonny Moore
:: Gospel Song: Hello Fear, Kirk Franklin
:: Gospel/Contemporary Christian Performance: Jesus, L'Andria Johnson
:: Gospel Album: Hello Fear, Kirk Franklin
:: Choral Performance: Light & Gold, Eric Whitacre
:: Classical Contemporary Composition: Elmer Gantry, Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein
:: Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman
:: Orchestral Performance: Brahms: Symphony No. 4, Gustavo Dudamel
:: Opera Recording: Adams: Doctor Atomic, Alan Gilbert, conductor
:: Spoken Word Album: If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't), Betty White
:: Comedy Album: Hilarious, Louis C.K.
:: Compilation Soundtrack Album For Visual Media: Boardwalk Empire, various artists
:: Score Soundtrack Album For Visual Media: The King's Speech, Alexandre Desplat
:: Short form music video: Rolling in the Deep, Adele
:: Song Written For Visual Media: I See the Light, Alan Menken & Glenn Slater
:: Historical Album: Band on the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection - Deluxe Edition), Paul McCartney
Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists: Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me), Jorge Calandrelli