LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Indie pop band fun., rockers The Black Keys and Australian-Belgian singer Gotye shared the top prizes Sunday at the Grammys, in an eclectic year for the music industry’s biggest awards show.
The New York-based fun. won Song of the Year for “We Are Young” as well as best new artist at the 55th Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center amid tight security as Los Angeles police hunt a former cop wanted for multiple murders.
British rockers Mumford & Sons took Album of the Year with “Babel,” while Gotye won Record of the Year for “Somebody That I Used to Know,” featuring Kimbra.
“I feel like it’s my 21st birthday,” said fun. frontman Nate Ruess, noting that he was actually 30 years old and that the band had been going for 12 years, but had nothing against being named best new artist.
The night saw several pairings of the music world’s younger and older generations: Sting singing with reggae legend Bob Marley’s children; Elton John with fellow Brit Ed Sheeran; and Prince handing a prize to Gotye.
Overall The Black Keys won the most Grammys, with four — best rock performance, best rock song and best rock album for the band, and producer of the year, non-classical, for singer Dan Auerbach.
Gotye took home three trophies — Record of the Year, best pop duo/group performance and best alternative album — as did Jay-Z and Kanye West, who triumphed for best rap performance, rap/sung collaboration and rap song.
Taylor Swift opened the show as a ringmaster in white hot pants and a spangly top hat, with a circus-themed performance of her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
Organizers hoped to avoid drama which the Grammys seem to attract — last year with the death of Whitney Houston on the eve of the show; and a few years before with the infamous Chris Brown-Rihanna domestic assault.
There was minor drama on the eve of the Grammys, but nothing like Houston’s shock death last year: Brown wrecked his Porsche in Beverly Hills on Saturday, and blamed paparazzi for the crash.
The LA Police Department (LAPD), as well as helping provide security for the Grammys, have been involved in a massive manhunt for an ex-cop accused of killing three people and threatening to kill more officers.
Thankfully there were no incidents to disrupt Sunday evening’s show, which went off smoothly.
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Album of the year: Babel (Mumford & Sons)
Record of the year: Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye featuring Kimbra)
Pop/duo group performance: ‘Somebody That I Used to Know,’ Gotye featuring Kimbra.
Traditional pop vocal album: ‘Kisses on the Bottom,’ Paul McCartney.
Rap performance: ‘N****s in Paris,’ Jay-Z, Kanye West.
Rap song: ‘N****s in Paris,’ Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis, Kanye West.
Rap album: ‘Take Care,’ Drake.
Record of the Year: “Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra
Song of the Year: “We Are Young” – fun.
Best New Artist: Fun
R&B performance: ‘Climax,’ Usher.
Traditional R&B performance: ‘Love on Top,’ Beyonce.
R&B song: ‘Adorn,’ Miguel Pimentel.
R&B album: ‘Black Radio,’ Robert Glasper Experiment.
Rock song: ‘Lonely Boy,’ The Black Keys.
Rock album: ‘El Camino,’ The Black Keys.
Hard rock/metal performance: ‘Love Bites (So Do I),’ Halestorm.
Alternative music album: ‘Making Mirrors,’ Gotye.
Dance recording: ‘Bangarang,’ Skrillex featuring Sirah.
Dance/electronica album: ‘Bangarang,’ Skrillex.
Latin pop album: ‘MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition,’ Juanes.
Latin rock, urban or alternative album: ‘Imaginares,’ Quetzal.
Latin jazz album: ‘Ritmo!,’ The Clare Fisher Latin Jazz Big Band.
Tropical Latin album: ‘Retro,’ Marlow Rosado Y La Riquena.
Country duo/group performance: ‘Pontoon,’ Little Big Town.
Country song: ‘Blown Away,’ Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins.
Gospel song: ‘Go Get It,’ Mary Mary.
Gospel album: ‘Gravity,’ Leerae.
Blues album: ‘Locked Down,’ Dr. John.
Folk album: ‘The Goat Rodeo Sessions,’ Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile.
Americana album: ‘Slipstream,’ Bonnie Raitt.
Bluegrass album: ‘Nobody Knows You,’ Steep Canyon Rangers.
Reggae album: ‘Rebirth,’ Jimmy Cliff.
World music album: ‘The Living Room Sessions Part 1,’ Ravi Shankar.
Children’s album: ‘Can You Canoe?,’ The Okee Dokee Brothers.
Spoken word album: ‘Society’s Child: My Autobiography,’ Janis Ian.
Comedy album: ‘Blow Your Pants Off,’ Jimmy Fallon.
New age album: ‘Echoes of Love,’ Omar Akram.
Jazz vocal album: ‘Radio Music Society,’ Esperanza Spalding.
Jazz instrumental album: ‘Unity Band,’ Pat Metheny Unity Band.
Large jazz ensemble album: ‘Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You),’ Arturo Sandoval.
Pop instrumental album: ‘Impressions,’ Chris Botti.
Compilation soundtrack album: ‘Midnight in Paris,’ various artists.
Score soundtrack album: ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross.
Song written for visual media: ‘Safe & Sound’ (From ‘The Hunger Games’), Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams.
Musical theater album: ‘Once: A New Musical,’ Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti.
Producer of the year, classical: Blanton Alspaugh.
Producer of the year, non-classical: Dan Auerbach.
Instrumental composition: ‘Mozart Goes Dancing,’ Chick Corea.
Orchestral performance: ‘Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride in a Fast Machine,’ Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony).
Opera recording: ‘Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen,’ James Levine and Fabio Luisi.
Choral performance: ‘Life & Breath: Choral Works by Rene Clausen,’ Charles Bruffy.
Short-form music video: ‘We Found Love,’ Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris.
Long-form music video: ‘Big Easy Express,’ Mumford & Sons.
Historical album: ‘The Smile Sessions’ (Deluxe Box Set), Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wolfe.