The 54th Grammys were all about Whitney Houston, but Adele was the big winner of the night.
With Whitney’s death fresh in everyone’s minds, 54th Annual Grammy Awards host LL Cool J, opened the show on a solemn note. "We’ve had a death in our family," he stated.
He then lead the audience in a prayer to the late Whitney Houston, who passed away Saturday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles just hours before her performance at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy party.
The usual Grammy atmosphere seemed to be cast in shadow with those mourning the death of the singer, actress, producer and icon. Later in the show Jennifer Hudson performed a heartfelt rendition of "I Will Always Love," paying tribute to Whitney. However, it left some feeling as though the audience should have gotten more from the music’s biggest night. There had been earlier speculation that the tribute may have also featured Chaka Khan among others.
Whitney wasn’t the only star that the music world has lost in the last year. Alicia Keys and country star Bonnie Raitt paid homage to Etta James, who died just weeks ago, performing a beautiful rendition of "Sunday Kind of Love." Don Cornelius, Heavy D and Gil Scott Heron were recognized as well.
The night also featured performances by Lil Wayne, David Guetta and Bruno Mars. Rihanna assisted Coldplay in a mashup that included "We Found Love" and their collaboration "Princess of China."
Rihanna’s ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who won Best R&B Album for F.A.M.E., also returned to the Grammy stage three years after their infamous fight. Although he’s performed at awards shows since then, this performance was seen by many as the ultimate stamp of his redemption.
Meanwhile Nicki Minaj’s performance left people one word: stunned. The rapper’s controversial and over the top performance was called ‘The Exorcism of Roman,’ in keeping with her latest single, "Roman Holiday."
Adele, who performed for the first time in months since her throat surgery, swept the award. She racked up a total of six Grammys, including Record of the Year for 21 and Song of the Year "Rolling in the Deep."
Other Big winners for the night also included Jay-Z and Kanye West who got Best Rap Performance. Kanye West also snagged Best Rap Album, while Kirk Franklin took home the award for Best Gospel Album.
— Kimberly Natasha