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Image: Lady Antebellum
Lucy Nicholson  /  Reuters
Charles Kelley, left, Hillary Scott, center, and Dave Hayward of Lady Antebellum accept the Grammy for Best Country Album for "Need to Know" at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.
updated 2/14/2011 12:08:06 AM ET 2011-02-14T05:08:06

Lady Antebellum was the big winner at the Grammys with five awards, including record and song of the year for the band's yearning crossover ballad "Need You Now," but rockers Arcade Fire won Sunday's biggest prize, album of the year, for their highly acclaimed "The Suburbs."

Arcade Fire's Win Butler was visibly stunned as the group accepted their trophy and then quickly rushed to perform the last song of the night.

Slideshow: The 2011 Grammy Awards (on this page)

Eminem perhaps had reason to be stunned as well. Though nominated for a leading 10 awards, including record, song, and album of the year, he took home just two — both in the rap categories, for best album and solo performance. It was the third time Eminem lost in the category, despite a critically acclaimed work that marked his resurgence after time out of the spotlight, a few sub-par projects and successful recovery from a prescription drug addiction.

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Video: Arcade Fire wins Grammy, shocks Streisand (on this page)

While Arcade Fire's win was a surprise, it wasn't totally unexpected, as "The Suburbs" dominated many critic's best-of lists of 2010. The true upset, however, came as Esperanza Spalding — a jazz bassist and singer who sold a fraction of Justin Bieber's music and is perhaps best identified by her voluminous Afro — beat the perfectly coifed 16-year-old pop phenomenon, and also Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons and Drake for best new artist.

Video: 'Best new artist' Grammy: Esperanza Spalding (on this page)

She is the first jazz artist to ever win the category.

"I take this honor to heart so sincerely and I'll do my damnedest to make great music for all of you. It's such an honor and God bless," said a shocked Spalding, who released her third album, "The Chamber Music Society," last year.

theGrio: Esperanza Spalding's well-deserved win

While Bieber-nation was in an uproar, the teen sensation himself was cheerful backstage after the loss — perhaps assuaged by the fact that he's sold millions and owns the nation's No. 2 movie with his documentary "Never Say Never."

"I'm really happy for her and I had a great night. We performed, I got to perform with my mentor which is amazing," said Bieber, who playfully jumped on Usher in the press room. "I'm really happy for her and hopefully she has a good year."

Slideshow: 2011 Grammys red carpet (on this page)

The evening's other top winners included Jay-Z, John Legend, and Lady Gaga, who each had three trophies; Muse, who won best rock album; and Train, whose "Hey, Soul Sister (Live)," one of the year's top songs, captured best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals.

Lady Antebellum's wins mark the second straight year a country crossover act was the night's top story; Last year, Taylor Swift captured best album among her wins.

The Grammys give out 109 awards — but most of those are doled out before the live telecast in a ceremony before the CBS show. Instead of focusing on the awards, the Grammy show emphasized performances for the year's most celebrated artists, along with emerging acts and true legends.

Lady Gaga entered the Staples Center, where the Grammys were held, in dramatic fashion, encased in an egg as dancers carried her to the stage. When she "hatched," she seemed to have turned into Madonna, circa 1987, as she sashayed across the stage to her new song "Born This Way."

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But the singer, normally the most outrageous performer on any bill, was out-Gaga'd by Cee Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jim Henson Co.'s puppets, who gave a hilarious performance of "Forget You" that would have done Elton John proud.

Decked out in feathers of seemingly every hue, Green — who was nominated for record and song of the year for the dirty version of the song, "(Expletive) You," crooned alongside a sassy gaggle of puppets and Paltrow, who performed "Forget You" on the Fox TV show "Glee." The actress, who recently played a singer in the movie "Country Song" and is slated to sing on the Oscars telecast, perhaps should seriously consider joining hubby Chris Martin of Coldplay as a regular recording artist.

It was easily the show stopper in a night of performances that included a tribute to Aretha Franklin, a retro performance from Bruno Mars, a dazzling number by newcomer Janelle Monae that was James Brown-esque, a collaboration with Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers and a very raspy Bob Dylan.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Awards show

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  1. A tribute to Aretha Franklin

    The show kicked off with, from left, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson and Florence Welch performing a tribute to soul queen Aretha Franklin at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, in Los Angeles. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Muse

    Matt Bellamy of Muse performed the group's hit song "Uprising" at the Grammys. The group won for best rock album for "The Resistance." (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga and her backup dancers performed her new single "Born This Way" in yolk-colored outfits after she emerged from her egg on stage. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Train

    Pop group Train accepted their award for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals for their hit "Hey, Soul Sister." (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Janelle Monae

    Singer Janelle Monae went crowd surfing during her performance of "Cold War." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Miranda Lambert

    Singer Miranda Lambert won the award for best female country vocal performance for "The House That Built Me." She also performed the tune. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Bruno Mars

    Singer Bruno Mars performed his hit song "Grenade," and also offered "Nothin' on You" with B.o.B. and Janelle Monae. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga won for best pop vocal album for "The Fame Monster." During her acceptance speech, the singer said that when she was writing "Born This Way," she pictured Whitney Houston performing it. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Lady Antebellum

    The members of Lady Antebellum, from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood paid tribute to Teddy Pendergrass by kicking off their performance with his hit "If You Don't Know Me By Now." The act then transitioned to the group's "American Honey" and "Need You Now." (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan, third from right, and the bands The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons performed "Maggie's Farm" at the Grammys. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Justin Bieber and Usher

    Justin Bieber, left, helped wrap up Usher's performance of "OMG." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Paramore and Pauley Perrette

    "NCIS" actress Pauley Perrette, second from right, and Paramore presented the award for best rock album, which went to Muse for "The Resistance." (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Cee Lo Green and Gwyneth Paltrow

    Cee Lo Green, left, and actress Gwyneth Paltrow performed his hit song "F--- You," which was nominated for five awards. (Muppets provided backup vocals!) Not surprisingly, several lines of the tune were bleeped. Paltrow performed the clean version of the song, "Forget You," on "Glee" in season two. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Katy Perry

    Katy Perry kicked off her act with "Not Like the Movies," which segued into "Teenage Dream." During the latter song, a video of her wedding to comedian Russell Brand played behind her. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Rihanna and Eminem

    Eminem and Rihanna performed his hit "Love the Way You Lie," which also featured her vocals on the album version. The song was nominated for five awards. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban

    From left, John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban performed "Jolene" in honor of Dolly Parton, who received the lifetime achievement award. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Esperanza Spalding

    Jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding was a surprise win for best new artist. She beat out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons to take the honor. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Barbra Streisand

    Barbra Streisand performed her 1978 Grammy-winning tune "Evergreen," and later presented the award for album of the year. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger performed live for the first time at the Grammys with "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," a tribute to Solomon Burke. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Drake and Rihanna

    Singer Drake performed "What's My Name" with Rihanna around a big bonfire. Drake was nominated for four awards, and Rihanna's song "Only Girl (In the World)" won for best dance recording (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Arcade Fire

    The Arcade Fire pulled out a huge surprise win when they beat out Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry for the big album of the year trophy. The band's performance was also their first ever at the Grammys. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch
    Matt Sayles / AP
    Above: Slideshow (21) The 2011 Grammy Awards - Awards show
  2. Image: Lady Gaga
    Danny Moloshok / Reuters
    Slideshow (31) The 2011 Grammy Awards - Red carpet
  3. Image: Lady Gaga
    Danny Moloshok / Reuters
    Slideshow (31) 2011 Grammys red carpet - Red carpet
  4. Image: Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch
    Matt Sayles / AP
    Slideshow (21) 2011 Grammys red carpet - Awards show

Video: Who stole the show at the Grammys?

  1. Closed captioning of: Who stole the show at the Grammys?

    >> i think a lot of people were surprised.

    >> they were the most downloaded album.

    >> you never know if popularity translates into awards. the number one box office movie rarely takes it home at awards time. same thick in the music industry . you expected a few awards but not the big wrap-up they got.

    >> turned out to be a lot of surprises. justin bieber lost best new artist of the year to esperanza spaulding.

    >> i think a lot of people were googling last night.

    >> an incredible musician, singer. amazing.

    >> incredible.

    >> what happened to bieber ?

    >> justin bieber has an enormous fan base , but sometimes they go to the people who may be more technically above board . justin bieber , the greatest performer we have right now arguably, but maybe not the chops that the grammy voters wanted to see now.

    >> i guess it was truly honoring perhaps those who -- the award is for best new artist. he's been around two years.

    >> that's what's funny about the grammys. we had the situation last year with the zack brown band . people saying, they have been around a couple of years. it does honor somebody who seems new right now.

    >> an up and comer.

    >> lots of people saying this is a head scratcher.

    >> let's get to the performances. lady gaga making her red carpet appearance in the egg shell . didn't her egg shell stunt outdo her performance?

    >> if i arrived to work in an egg i'm not sure what i can do during the day to follow up with that arrival. lots of people were waiting for the song. the album isn't out until may so there was tons of hype. lots of people criticizing her for having a song that sounds like madonna's "express yourself." that's little surprise. lady gaga at every point of the way has been taking a page from the madonna playbook, how to be a fan favorite, stay popular, give your audit wrens ence --

    >> how to make an entrance.

    >> when your entrances are so outra outrageous people stop asking about you. people great with fame now know how to deflect and distract.

    >> most colorful performance, cee-lo green and gwyneth paltrow with the muppets.

    >> how much do i love that? we all know we're here to entertain and people enjoy seeing gwyneth paltrow cross the line from actress to singer.

    >> we don't have time to get to the fashion, but it was great to see barbra streisand performing, bob dylan , mick jagger for the first time.

    >> he's still got it.

    >> who knew it was his first time. so surprising.

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