What also bewildered many: the performance by Sri Lankan singer/rapper M.I.A., who rocked the Grammys even though she was due to give birth to her first child Sunday.
On the red carpet, the pregnant singer said jokingly, "The baby is being extremely patient with me, which is really cute." Later, the 31-year-old singer joined four of rap's biggest stars -- Kanye West, Jay-Z, T.I. and Lil Wayne -- to perform "Swagga Like Us," which won the Grammy for best performance by a duo or group.
Pairings of stars old and new peppered the Grammys. Timberlake and Green started the evening's trend. The Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder later crooned "Superstition" together; Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney joined forces toward the end of the night over the Beatles' hit "I Saw Her Standing There."
In an attempt to seize on the theme of change ruling America since Barack Obama took over, Grammy president Neil Portnow took to the stage to implore the new president -- also a two-time Grammy winner -- to create a secretary of the arts position in his Cabinet.
If change can come to the White House, perhaps it can grace the troubled recording industry too -- but for Sunday night, reveling in the past and in some of music's most storied names seemed to be just fine of an agenda.
-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6835257.