Adele swept the board at the Grammys on Sunday, picking up six awards on a night that the music industry paid tribute to the singer Whitney Houston. The 23-year old British singer capped a successful 12 months, winning in each category she was nominated for. She also performed live for the first time since undergoing surgery on her vocal cords last year.
Collecting the Album of the Year award for 21, she said: "This record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone's been through it – just a rubbish relationship."
21, which was also named Best Pop Vocal Album, was the best-selling musical release of last year with more than 17 million albums sold and topped the charts in more than 26 countries.
After winning the award for Best Pop Solo Performance for the song "Someone Like You", she said: "Seeing as it's a vocal performance, I need to thank my doctors, I suppose, who brought my voice back." On Sunday night, she performed "Rolling in the Deep", which picked up the awards for Record and Song of the Year.
The 54th Grammy Awards were overshadowed by the death of Whitney Houston the day before. LL Cool J, who hosted the event, opened the show with a prayer. "There has been a death in the family," before adding: "Whitney, we will always love you." Jennifer Hudson sang "I Will Always Love You" as a tribute.
There were also tributes to Amy Winehouse, who died last year. She received a posthumous award for a duet with Tony Bennett, which was accepted by her parents.
The award for Best New Artist went to Bon Iver, who saw off competition from the rappers Nicki Minaj and J Cole. Beyond Minaj, who arrived at the ceremony accompanied by a man dressed as the Pope and whose performance was condemned by the Catholic League, the only other controversy came as Chris Brown performed. It marked his return to the Grammys after he dropped out of the 2009 ceremony after an assault on his then-girlfriend Rihanna. He picked up an award for Best R&B Album.