Grammys 2012: Adele Sweeps, Jennifer Hudson Delivers Stirring Tribute to Whitney Houston

Adele swept the 54th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night taking home six trophies.

ByABC News
February 13, 2012, 12:18 AM

Feb. 13, 2012— -- Adele swept the 54th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night taking home six trophies including album of the year for 21 and record of the year and song of the year for "Rolling in the Deep." She broke down in tears accepting the album trophy explaining that 21 was inspired by something very normal -- "a rubbish relationship." "It's gone on to do things -- I can't tell you how I feel about it. It's been a life changing year." She then joked about rubbing away a bit of snot as she continued her speech.

Gwyneth Paltrow introduced Adele's triumphant return to the stage. She looked a little nervous while delivering a powerful performance of "Rolling in the Deep," but there's no doubt Adele's voice survived her vocal cord surgery beautifully. The crowd gave her an extended and rousing standing ovation.

Of course, the death of Whitney Houston impacted the Grammy broadcast heavily. Jennifer Hudson delivered a very tasteful and emotional performance of "I Will Always Love You" late in the show, ending it by singing "Whitney, we will always love you." It was obvious Jennifer was working hard to keep her composure as she sang.

Show host LL Cool J shared a heartfelt prayer in memory of Whitney Houston at the top of the awards broadcast saying, "We've had a death in our family. So at least for me, the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman who we loved, for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston." He added, "Although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit."

A clip of Whitney performing "I Will Always Love You" at the Grammy Awards in 1993 followed the prayer. LL then moved the focus to celebrating the music of the night saying, "Whitney, we will always love you. And tonight, we will remember you the best way we know how, with a song."

Bruce Springsteen kicked this year's Grammys off performing his new single, "We Take Care of Our Own," backed up by his E Street Band and a string section.

Bruno Mars rocked a gold coat and bowtie for a high-energy performance of "Runaway Baby" from his album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. He got the industry crowd on their feet channeling James Brown and saying, "Tonight, we celebrate music." We celebrate the beautiful Miss Whitney Houston, so get up off your rich asses and let's have some fun!"

Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt paid tribute to the other diva the music world lost recently -- Etta James -- with a performance of "Sunday Kind of Love."

Jack Black introduced the Foo Fighters' outdoor performance of "Walk" after the band won four Grammys in the pre-telecast. That song won the band their fifth trophy for best rock performance later in the night. Dave Grohl gave an earnest speech about making music from the heart with real instruments but was cut off by the electronic sounds of LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

Chris Brown showed off his dance moves atop a colorful staircase while performing a medley of his brand-new single "Turn Up the Music" and "Beautiful People." The former song is the lead single from Chris's upcoming album, Fortune. It was his first performance since missing the Grammy show three years ago following his physical altercation with then-girlfriend Rihanna, and a few fans on Twitter took issue with him lip-synching the entire performance. Chris also picked up the best R&B album Grammy for F.A.M.E.