LOS ANGELES – Mumford & Sons’ Babel has won the Grammy for album of the year.
The British rockers said they didn’t expect to win since the Black Keys have been sweeping all day, Marcus Mumford said.
It was the foursome’s second win Sunday night. They also won best long-form music video.
Babel is platinum-selling success that is still rocking on the charts.
The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach was the night’s top winner with four awards.
Gotye, Skrillex, Black Keys, Jay-Z and Kanye West won three Grammys each. Frank Ocean, fun., Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding and Matt Redman were double winners.
We Are Young helped fun. earn a starring role at these Grammys with nominations in all four major categories after the release of their first album, matched only by Christopher Cross in 1981, and six overall. The band turned in a powerful early performance of Carry On as a downpour on stage began mid-song and guitarist Jack Antonoff got a kiss from girlfriend Girls creator Lena Dunham after winning.
But Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know, featuring Kimbra, was 2012’s top-selling song and just as omnipresent. He also won best alternative album for Making Mirrors and best pop/duo performance for Somebody. Prince presented him with the record of the year trophy and the Australian paid tribute to The Purple One’s influence.
Auerbach took the early lead thanks to a strong run in the pre-telecast awards show and had only lost once midway through the night.
His Black Keys took best rock performance for Lonely Boy during the main telecast and earlier in the day won best rock song for Lonely Boy and best rock album for El Camino with bandmate Patrick Carney, and Auerbach was named producer of the year. He also got an assist – but no trophy – on Dr. John’s best blues album Locked Down, which he produced.
Ocean won best urban contemporary album for channel ORANGE and 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, another Watch the Throne track.
Other winners included Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift, who opened the show as the Mad Hatter. Swift dressed in white top hat, tails, shorts and tall boots during the surreal version of her hummable hit We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together that included a troop of mime clowns and a guy on a tricycle with a flame-thrower attached.
The singer pretended to talk to the offending boyfriend on the phone: I’m busy opening the Grammys and we’re never getting back together.
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 teamed up on Adorn.
Alicia Keys played drums during Maroon 5’s Daylight, before Adam Levine’s band backed her on Girl on Fire.
Adele won the first award of the night on the main telecast, taking home best pop solo performance for Set Fire to the Rain (Live), in one of the night’s least-surprising moments – though the singer was somewhat taken aback.