As expected, 2011’s top-selling artist Adele won Record and Song of the Year for “Rolling in the Deep” as well as Album of the Year for “21.” She thus became only the sixth music act in history to sweep the Grammy Triple Crown in one year following past romps by Eric Clapton, Dixie Chicks, Christopher Cross, Carole King and Paul Simon.
Because Adele also won Best New Artist three years ago, she now reigns as only the second artist to win all of Grammy’s four highest honors over time. The other was Christopher Cross.
Adele also won Pop Solo Performance (“Someone Like You”) and Pop Album as well as Short-Form Music Video for “Rolling,” bringing her tally for this year to six. That ties the record set two years ago by Beyonce for the most victories in a single year by a female artist. Only Michael Jackson has scored more over all (8 in 1983). (See full list of new winners here.)
Kanye West won all four of the Rap races: Song and Collaboration for “All of the Nights,” Performance (“Otis,” with Jay-Z) and Album (“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy“) He also contended in that last race with “Watch the Throne,” his collaboration with Jay-Z. But despite his impressive haul, including a Song of the Year nomination for “All of the Lights,” neither album made the cut for Album of the Year. He did not show up to accept his new kudos.
Foo Fighters swept the Rock races, claiming Song and Performance for “Walk,” Hard Rock/Metal Performance (“White Limo”) and Album (“Wasting Light”), edging out Mumford and Sons. They also picked up the Long-Form Music Video award for “Back and Forth.”
The most nominated new artist was also the year’s biggest surprise: electronic artist/producer Skrillex received five nominations, including a bid for Best New Artist. While he lost that race to Bon Iver, he won both Dance Recording and Dance/Electronica Album for “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” as well as the Remix race for “Cinema.” Bon Iver also won Alternative Album for their self-titled debut disc.
Taylor Swift who won Album of the Year two years ago for “Fearless,” was completely snubbed in the general field, she won both Country Performance and Song for “Mean.” However, she lost Country Album to Lady Antebellum (“Own the Night”). The Civil Wars won both Country Duo/Group Performance and Folk Album for “Barton Hollow.”
Among those shut out was Bruno Mars, who received six nominations overall, including a sweep of the Record, Song, and Album of the Year races for “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” and its hit single “Grenade.” Nicki Minaj lost all four of her races, including Best New Artist.
And Lady Gaga lost all three of her bids, including Album of the Year for “Born This Way.” She had written off her chances in the Record and Song categories when she failed to submit the ubiquitous title track for consideration. She was also eligible for her duet with Tony Bennett, “The Lady Is a Tramp.”
Bennett won both of his bids: Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Duets II” and Pop Duo/Group for “Body & Soul,” his duet with late singer Amy Winehouse. He had been anticipated to be a spoiler in the Album of the Year race.