Mumford & Sons, fun., Black Keys Win Big At The Grammys
February 11, 2013
Mumford & Sons took home the biggest prize of the night at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, as the British band's sophomore release Babel won for Album of the Year. The band also played their hit "I Will Wait," and contributed to an all-star performance of The Band classic "The Weight." Mumford & Sons also won a Grammy for Best Long Form Video earlier in the evening for Big Easy Express.
The Pop-Rock trio fun. was also a big winner, scoring Song of the Year for their #1 hit "We Are Young," as well as Best New Artist (despite Some Nights being the group's second album). fun. also performed a (fake) rain-soaked version of "Carry On."
The Black Keys picked up four Grammys in total. The duo played live, backed by Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and picked up the Grammy for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song, both for "Lonely Boy," while singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach was named Best Producer. Their album El Camino was also named Best Rock Album.
Record of the Year went to "Somebody That I Used To Know," the massive smash from Gotye featuring Kimbra. The tune also won for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Gotye's album Making Mirrors also won for Best Alternative Album. After dominating last year's Grammys, Adele won this year for Best Pop Solo Performance for a live version of "Set Fire To The Rain." Kelly Clarkson's Stronger won Best Pop Vocal Album.
Paul McCartney added another Grammy to his collection with Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Kisses On The Bottom. McCartney's win helped his label, Concord Music Group, earn the most Grammys of any label this year. Halestorm won Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for their single, "Love Bites (So Do I)."
The critically lauded Frank Ocean won Best Urban Contemporary Album for Channel Orange and performed "Forrest Gump" near the end of the broadcast. Jay-Z & Kanye West picked up three Grammys for tracks off their massive Watch The Throne collaboration. Drake's Take Care was named Best Rap Album.
Justin Timberlake's much-hyped live performance included a backing orchestra on the new single "Suit & Tie," which also featured Jay-Z hopping out of his front-row seat to join Timberlake. JT then segued into another brand new song, "Pusher Love Girl," off his upcoming album, The 20/20 Experience.
Bruno Mars and his band led an all-star collaborative performance, as Sting joined him for a no-brainer team-up on Mars' Police sound-alike hit "Locked Out Of Heaven," before moving on to duetting on a bit of the Police classic "Walking On The Moon." They were then joined by Rihanna and Damian & Ziggy Marley for a tribute to Bob Marley with "Could You Be Loved."
Jack White walked away empty-handed at the Grammys but had one of the most electrifying performances of the night, bringing out both his all-female and all-male bands for "Love Interruption" and "Freedom At 21," respectively.
Taylor Swift opened up the show with a surreal, Alice In Wonderland-goes-to-the-carnival take on "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Swift also won a pre-show Grammy for "Safe & Sound," her collaboration with The Civil Wars for The Hunger Games soundtrack. The evening ended on a completely different note, with Grammy host LL Cool J teaming with Public Enemy's Chuck D, DJ Z-Trip, guitar great Tom Morello and super-drummer Travis Barker for a new song, "Whaddup." The performance featured a brief breakdown into the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Til Brooklyn," to honor the late Adam "MCA" Yauch. Rolling Stone reports that "Whaddup" is from an upcoming project between LL Cool J and Z-Trip.
Other notable performances from the evening included Elton John and Ed Sheeran duetting on Sheeran's single "The A Team," Rihanna singing the ballad "Stay" with a cameo from singer Mikky Ekko, Kelly Clarkson's tribute to Patty Page and Carole King, and Carrie Underwood, whose magic, projection-screen dress stole the show out from under her while singing "Blown Away."
Additionally, the 2013 Grammys garnered the second-best ratings for the annual awards show since 1993. Nielsen reports that 28.37 million viewers tuned in Sunday night for the Grammys, with 12.9 million viewers aged 18-49, the best numbers for that demographic since 2004. Overall ratings were up seven percent compared to last year's Grammy telecast.