LOS ANGELES — Mumford & Sons wrapped up a completely unpredictable Grammy Awards with perhaps the most surprising win of the night, taking home album of the year for “Babel.”
It was an event that even shocked the London folk-rockers.
“We figured we weren’t going to win anything because The Black Keys have been sweeping up all day, rightfully so,” Marcus Mumford said.
Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys ended up the night’s top winner with four trophies, including producer of the year and three rock category victories with bandmate Patrick Carney. But it was hardly a clean sweep as The Recording Academy’s thousands of voters spread the love for the year’s top singles.
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Fun. took home best new artist, in something of an upset over Frank Ocean, and song of the year for the transcendent anthem “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae.
Like Mumford & Sons, Gotye busted up the predictions, taking record of the year for 2012’s top-selling single, the haunting “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring Kimbra, and finished with three awards.
Jay-Z and Kanye West had three wins — sharing one award with Ocean — along with Skrillex, and a slew of nominees had two wins apiece, including former best new artist winner Esperanza Spalding, a Portland native.
Ocean was shut out in the major categories but took home two trophies, including best urban contemporary album.
Ocean also won best rap/sung collaboration for “No Church in the Wild” with fellow top nominees Jay-Z and West, and The-Dream. The win came after victories for Jay-Z and West for best rap song and best rap performance for “ … in Paris.” Ocean also performed his song “Forrest Gump,” the love song written about a man that first started the buzz that led to his announcement that his first love was a man.
The Black Keys took best rock performance and best rock song for “Lonely Boy,” and best rock album for “El Camino.”
Other winners included Rihanna, Beyoncé, Mumford & Sons and Taylor Swift.
University of Washington graduate student Martha Gonzalez took home a Grammy for her vocal work on the Quetzal album “Imaginaries,” in the best Latin rock, urban or alternative category.
During the show, Justin Timberlake debuted new tracks “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z and “Pusher Love” in a performance that was broadcast in retro black and white.
Rihanna and the extended Marley family paid tribute to Bob Marley.
Sting and Bruno Mars helped each other out on their hits “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Walking on the Moon.”
Elton John and Ed Sheeran teamed on “The A Team” and Miguel and Wiz Khalifa joined forces on “Adorn.”
Alicia Keys played drums during Maroon 5’s “Daylight,” before Adam Levine’s band backed her on “Girl on Fire.”
And Elton John, Mavis Staples, Brown, Mumford & Sons and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes paid tribute to the late Levon Helm with a spirited rendition of “The Weight.”
Adele won best pop solo performance for “Set Fire to the Rain (Live),” in one of the night’s least-surprising moments.
“I just wanted to be part of the night, because I loved it last year, obviously,” she said of winning a record-tying six awards in 2012.
Carrie Underwood won best country solo performance for “Blown Away,” Zac Brown Band won best country album for “Uncaged” and Kelly Clarkson took home best pop vocal album for “Stronger.”
Many stars showed a fair amount of skin — check out the Twitter pic of Ellen DeGeneres ogling Katy Perry’s revealing dress — despite CBS’ mandate that stars dress appropriately with butts, breasts and other sensitive areas covered adequately.
Nevertheless, Jennifer Lopez showed up on stage in a dress slit all the way to her hip.
“As you can see, I read the memo,” Lopez joked.