The 54th Grammy Awards

Written by Robin Kiatipis

With the tragic loss of Whitney Houston, the 54th annual Grammy Awards were surrounded with an air of sadness before they even began. Houston passed away Saturday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was staying in preparation for a pre-Grammy party on Saturday evening.

Bruce Springsteen kicked off the show with an energetic performance of his new song “We Take Care of Our Own.” An excellent way to take the edge off the tragedy surrounding the night. Before introducing the show, LL Cool J started by saying a prayer for Whitney, then a short tribute video played. LL Cool J finished the tribute by saying, “Whitney, we will always love you.”

But as they say, the show must go on. Bruno Mars performed his song “Runaway,” while he yelled to the crowd to “get off their rich asses and dance.” The show took off from there, with high energy performances from Foo Fighters, Rihanna and Coldplay, Paul McCartney, and a tribute to the Beach Boys by Maroon 5 and Foster the People.

Unfortunately, performances by Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry were less than spectacular. But of course the best and most anticipated performance of the night was Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” This performance marked the first time Adele sang publicly since having surgery on her vocal chords only five months ago.

Kayne West lead the nominees with seven, Bruno Mars and the Foo Fighters were tied with Adele with six nominations. Kayne walked away with four awards, Foo Fighters won five, while Adele won every award she was nominated for. With her six wins, she has tied Beyonce’s record of most awards won by a female artist in one night.

If you were looking for some Canadian content in the nominations list, there was actually very little. Drake’s album, which would probably have been a top contender this year, was released too late in the year to meet the September 30, 2011 cut off. However, he still managed to rack up four nominations for his collaborations with Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. Deadmau5 was nominated for three Grammys, while Sum 41 were surprisingly nominated in the Best Hard Rock/Metal category, but Foo Fighters ended up coming away with the award. This was Sum 41’s first Grammy nod.

Paul McCartney returned to the stage for a second time to close the show. Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, and Joe Walsh of the Eagles. The performance was a perfect way to end the night.

Winners in selected major categories at Sunday’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards:

Album of the Year: “21,” Adele

Record of the Year: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele

Song of the Year: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth

New Artist: Bon Iver

Pop Vocal Album: “21,” Adele

Pop Performance by a Duo or Group: “Body and Soul,” Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse

Pop Solo Performance: “Someone Like You,” Adele

Rock Song: “Walk,” Foo Fighters

Rock Album: “Wasting Light,” Foo Fighters

Rock Performance: “Walk,” Foo Fighters

R&B Song: “Fool For You,” Cee Lo Green, Melanie Hallim & Jack Splash

R&B Album: “F.A.M.E.,” Chris Brown

Rap Performance: “Otis,” Jay-Z and Kanye West

Rap Song: “All of the Lights,” Kanye West

Rap Album: “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Kanye West

Country Vocal Solo Performance: “Mean,” Taylor Swift

Country Performance by a Duo or Group: “Barton Hollow,” The Civil Wars

Country Album: “Own the Night,” Lady Antebellum

Dance Recording: “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” Skrillex

Dance/Electronica Album: “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” Skrillex

Alternative Music Album: “Bon Iver,” Bon Iver

Spoken Word Album: “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t),” Betty White

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The full winners list in all categories will be available at http://www.grammy.com

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