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Bruno is tops in pops

Lady Antebellum leads Grammy winners with 5 awards, including record of the year

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:23 p.m. HST, Feb 14, 2011

LOS ANGELES » Hawaii-born Bruno Mars was up for seven Grammy Awards last night, including song of the year and two for record of the year, but settled for one statuette -- best male pop vocal for his song "Just the Way You Are."

Lady Antebellum was the big winner of the night with five awards, including top record and song for the band's yearning crossover ballad "Need You Now," but rockers Arcade Fire won the showcase prize, album of the year, for their highly acclaimed "The Suburbs."

The lead single off Mars' debut album, "Doo-Wops and Hooligans," won its category over Michael Buble, John Mayer, Adam Lambert and Michael Jackson.

Mars was also nominated for producer of the year (nonclassical), best rap song and best rap/sung collaboration, but those awards went to other artists.

Mars is the first national recording artist with Hawaii ties to win a Grammy for a debut release since Bette Midler won the Grammy for best new artist in 1973.

The awards show was also a performance showcase for Mars, who appeared with B.o.B. and Janelle Monae in a medley that was a melodic tribute to doo-wop and early soul.

Lady Antebellum's wins mark the second straight year a country crossover act was the night's top story; last year, Taylor Swift captured best album among her wins.

Arcade Fire's Win Butler was stunned as the group accepted their top album prize and then quickly rushed to perform the last song of the night.

Eminem perhaps had reason to be stunned as well. Though nominated for a leading 10 awards, including record, song and album of the year, he took home just two -- both in the rap categories, for best album and solo performance.

It was the third time Eminem lost in the category, despite a critically acclaimed work that marked his resurgence after time out of the spotlight, a few subpar projects and successful recovery from a prescription drug addiction.

While Arcade Fire's win was a surprise, it wasn't totally unexpected, as "The Suburbs" dominated many critic's best-of lists of 2010. The true upset, however, came as Esperanza Spalding -- a jazz bassist and singer who sold a fraction of Justin Bieber's music and is perhaps best identified by her voluminous afro -- beat the perfectly coifed 16-year-old pop phenomenon, and also Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons and Drake, for best new artist.

She is the first jazz artist to win the category.

"I take this honor to heart so sincerely, and I'll do my damnedest to make great music for all of you. It's such an honor and God bless," said a shocked Spalding, who released her third album, "The Chamber Music Society," last year.

While Bieber Nation was in an uproar, the teen sensation himself was cheerful backstage after the loss -- perhaps assuaged by the fact that he's sold millions and owns the nation's No. 2 movie with his documentary "Never Say Never."

"I'm really happy for her and I had a great night. We performed, I got to perform with my mentor, which is amazing," said Bieber, who playfully jumped on Usher in the press room. "I'm really happy for her, and hopefully she has a good year."

The evening's other top winners included Jay-Z, John Legend and Lady Gaga, who each had three trophies; Muse, who won best rock album; and Train, whose "Hey, Soul Sister (Live)," one of the year's top songs, captured best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals.

The Grammys give out 109 awards -- but most are presented in a ceremony before the CBS show. Instead of focusing on the awards, the Grammy show emphasized performances for the year's most celebrated artists, along with emerging acts and true legends.

Lady Gaga entered the Staples Center, where the Grammys were held, in dramatic fashion, encased in an egg as dancers carried her to the stage.

When she "hatched," she seemed to have turned into Madonna, circa 1987, as she sashayed across the stage to her new song "Born This Way." But the singer, normally the most outrageous performer on any bill, was out-Gaga'd by Cee Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jim Henson Co.'s puppets, who gave a hilarious performance of "Forget You" that would have done Elton John proud.

Decked out in feathers of seemingly every hue, Green -- nominated for reord and song of the year for the dirty version of the song, "(Expletive) You," crooned alongside a sassy gaggle of puppets and Paltrow.

It was easily the show stopper in a night of performances that included a tribute to Aretha Franklin and a collaboration with Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers and a very raspy Bob Dylan.

Grammy winners

Winners in selected major categories at last night's 53rd Annual Grammy Awards:

» Record of the Year: "The Suburbs," Arcade Fire
» Album of the Year: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
» Song of the Year: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
» New Artist: Esperanza Spalding
» Pop Vocal Album: "The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga
» Pop Performance by a Duo or Group: "Hey Soul Sister," Train
» Female Pop Vocal Performance: "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga
» Male Pop Vocal Performance: "Just the Way You Are," Bruno Mars
» Rock Song: "Angry World," Neil Young
» Rock Album: "The Resistance," Muse
» R&B Song: "Shine," John Legend & the Roots
» R&B Album: "Wake Up!," John Legend & the Roots
» Rap Solo Performance: "Not Afraid," Eminem
» Rap Song: "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
» Rap Album: "Recovery," Eminem
» Female Country Vocal Performance: "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert
» Male Country Vocal Performance: "'Til Summer Comes Around," Keith Urban
» Country Performance by a Duo or Group: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
» Country Album: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
» Latin Pop Album: "Paraiso Express," Alejandro Sanz
» Contemporary Jazz Album: "The Stanley Clarke Band," the Stanley Clarke Band
» Classical Album: "Verdi: Requiem," Riccardo Muti, conductor
» Traditional Gospel Album: "Downtown Church," Patty Griffin
» Dance Recording: "Only Girl (In the World)," Rihanna
» Electronic Dance Album: "La Roux," La Roux
» Alternative Music Album: "Brothers," The Black Keys
» Spoken Word Album: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook)," Jon Stewart

On the Net:

» The full winners list in all 109 categories is available at www.grammy.com.


Star-Advertiser reporter John Berger contributed to this report.

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