Canadian indie-rock group Arcade Fire, country trio Lady Antebellum and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding all pulled off major upsets Sunday night at the 53d annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Arcade Fire took home album of the year honors for “The Suburbs,” topping favorite Eminem, who led all contenders with 10 nominations but walked away with only two trophies, and who was shut out of the major categories. “Thank you,” Arcade Fire`s beaming singer Win Butler said, closing the show. “We`re going to play another song now, because we love music.”
Lady Antebellum was the biggest winner, with five trophies, including record and song of the year, best country song and best country performance by a duo or group with vocals, all for “Need You Now.” The album of the same title won best country album.
“We are so thankful for this,” singer Hillary Scott said, sounding slightly shocked as she took the stage with bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood to collect the record-of-the-year award. “I can`t believe it.”
In the new-artist category, Spalding topped pint-size superstar Justin Bieber as well as Drake, Mumford & Sons, and Florence and the Machine. Spalding, who has performed at the White House and at President Obama`s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, said, “I take this honor to heart so sincerely, and I will do my damnedest to make some great music for all of you.”
Soul singer John Legend and hip-hop band the Roots also were big winners, though their awards were given off-camera before the prime-time telecast on CBS began.
Legend and the Roots won three awards for “Wake Up!,” their album of covers of socially conscious and protest songs from the 1960s and `70s. They took home trophies for best R&B album; R&B song for “Shine,” penned by Legend; and traditional R&B performance, for “Hang on in There.”
“Man to win one … but 3?” Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson tweeted minutes later. “This is nothing to (multi-Grammy winner) @johnlegend, but everything to me. Wow.”
Eminem won for rap solo performance for “Not Afraid” and took home best rap album for the fifth time, topping the Roots` “How I Got Over,” among others, and accepting the award from rapper Nicki Minaj, who sported a Bride of Frankenstein hairdo.