Sunday's Grammy Awards telecast made sweet music in the ratings, delivering for CBS its largest audience since 1984 and beating last year's viewership by 50 percent.
More than 39.9 million viewers flocked to the broadcast, making it the second most-watched Grammys in history, according to preliminary Nielsen Co. figures released Monday. That exceeds last year's Oscars broadcast, which was seen by 37.6 million viewers.
Helping stoke interest in this year's Grammys broadcast was recording sensation Adele, who emerged as the night's big winner with six trophies. Her album, "21," was by far the year's best seller and one of its most critically acclaimed.
But the broadcast was an attention-getter not only for the awards dispensed but also for its role as a memorial to Whitney Houston, a six-time past winner. The superstar singer died unexpectedly Saturday, just hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy gala.