Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" from the album Seal won record and song of the year, and he also received a Grammy for best male pop vocal performance.
"'Kiss From a Rose' was the one that really stood out, not as a great song but as a sore thumb," Seal said, at the US music industry's top awards in Los Angeles. "I saw it as so different that it couldn't fit in with the concept of the album. For a while we actually dropped it."
His producer rescued it, Seal said, adding that the song had been written so many years earlier that he no longer remembered what it was about.
His fellow British artist Annie Lennox received a Grammy for best female pop vocal performance. She said she was honoured to win in a year of so many strong performances by women artists.
This year's awards boldly eschewed the mainstream, as was demonstrated by the four awards picked up by the alternative Canadian rock singer Alanis Morissette - and by the failure of the six-times nominated Mariah Carey to pick up a single prize for her sugary pop.
Morissette, 21, who shot to international stardom last year with her raw anthems of love and loss, won the awards for album of the year, best rock album, best rock song and best female rock vocal performance.
Her Jagged Little Pill album, which has sold more than 5 million copies in the US, beat the veterans Bob Dylan and Neil Young as well as U2. It also beat Michael Jackson in the key album of the year category.
"I accept this on behalf of anyone who's ever written a song from a very pure place, a very spiritual place," Morissette said, after receiving the album of the year award.
The Grammys' 8,000 music industry voters also awarded Frank Sinatra his first competitive Grammy in 29 years. His Duets II was named best traditional pop vocal performance.Reuse content