Nominated for six awards, the singer recently underwent a throat surgery which fans worried would affect her voice. Judging from Sunday’s performance, they have nothing to worry about.
The 23-year-old, who has taken the music world by storm, underwent surgery on her vocal cords late last year and had been resting her voice on doctor’s orders until music’s biggest night, Reuters reports.
For the first time since then, the British singer took the stage to belt out “Rolling In the Deep” and finished to a standing ovation.
“I want to say thank you to Rick Rubin for teaching me about quality control,” the singer said after thanking her mother. She was overcome with emotion at the beginning of her speech but gathered herself before continuing with her touching acceptance remarks.
Tearing up and having difficulty speaking as she took the stage to claim the night’s top award, album of the year, Adele talked about “21” and its heartfelt songs dreamed up after a failed love affair.
“This record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone’s been through it, just a rubbish relationship, and it’s gone on to do things I can’t tell you how I feel about it, it’s been the most life-changing year.”
As joyous as the show was for Adele, it was equally as serious with tributes to late pop star Whitney Houston, who died suddenly on Saturday.
The host of the show, LL Cool J, began the broadcast by asking the audience to join him in a prayer for Ms. Houston, and later Jennifer Hudson did a touching rendition of Ms. Houston’s hit “I Will Always Love You,” reports The New York Times.
Then a video of Ms. Houston in her prime, singing her hit “I Will Always Love You,” played on a giant screen. The audience rose to applaud afterward.
But Adele had to share the spotlight with Foo Fighters, who captured five awards, including best rock performance for the hit “Walk.”
“This is a great honor because this record was a special record for our band. Rather than go to the best studio … we made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine,” said frontman Dave Grohl. “It shows that the human element of making music is what’s most important.”
Kanye West was also a top winner, taking home four Grammys for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which won best rap album, and its lead single, “All of the Lights,” honored for best rap song and best rap-sung collaboration.
Mr. West also took best rap performance for “Otis,” a duet with Jay-Z off “Watch the Throne” that samples an Otis Redding hit.
Chris Brown won the Grammy for best R&B album “F.A.M.E.”
Other major Grammy winners included country’s Taylor Swift, who picked up Grammys for solo performance and country song with “Mean,” which she performed to a standing ovation. She had been expected to take best country album, too, but Lady Antebellum swooped in and took that prize with “Own the Night.”
Some major pop stars walked away emptyhanded as the music industry seemed to reward back-to-basics artists. Bruno Mars had six nominations and gave a performance, but won nothing. Lady Gaga also failed to win.
The other big surprise came when indie folk band Bon Iver took the Grammy for best new artist over rapper Nicki Minaj, who had been widely expected to win behind hit album “Pink Friday.”
one of the show’s more poignant moments came early in the day when Mitch and Janis Winehouse, parents of the late singer Amy Winehouse who died of excessive drinking in 2011, accepted the award for best pop duo or group performance – Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett for “Body and Soul.”
“We shouldn’t be here,” her father, Mitch Winehouse, said. “Our darling daughter should be here. Those are the cards we are dealt.”
He added: “Long live Whitney Houston. Long live Amy Winehouse. Long live Etta James. There is a beautiful girl band up there in heaven.”