Early Grammy winners: Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, Eminem, Carrie Underwood, …

70 Grammys were handed out before the primetime telecast began on CBS Sunday evening. (See the full list of winners here.) Country singer Hunter Hayes presided over the three-hour plus ceremony that took place at the Nokia Theater, across the street from the Staples Centre.

Beyonce officially moves ahead of Aretha Franklin to become the second most awarded woman in Grammy history. Her two victories during the pre-telecast ceremony — Best R&B Song (“Drunk in Love“) and Best Surround Sound Album (“Beyonce“) were her 18th and 19th victories. Franklin is now in third place with 18 career prizes. Both trail Alison Krauss, who has 27.

But despite being the frontrunner for Album of the Year, Beyonce actually lost her genre category, Best Urban Contemporary Album, to Pharrell Williams‘s “GIRL.” Should Beyonce be worried in the top race? She also faces Williams for Album of the Year, but other artists have lost their genre categories and still gone on to win the top Album prize, most recently Mumford and Sons (“Babel,” 2012) and Arcade Fire (“The Suburbs,” 2010).

Williams also won Best Music Video for “Happy,” which makes it five years in a row that the Grammys’ winner in that race was also a top contender at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Toni Braxton and Babyface won Best R&B Album for “Love, Marriage, and Divorce” as predicted. It’s the first win in that category for either artist.

Other surprises included St. Vincent‘s win for Best Alternative Album. She’s the first solo female artist to prevail in that category since Sinead O’Connor in 1990. Not only that, it was her first nomination, and she managed to defeat proven Grammy darlings Arcade Fire (“Reflektor“) and Jack White (“Lazaretto“).

But White did win Best Rock Performance for the “Lazaretto” title track.

Carrie Underwood added to her impressive Grammys haul in country categories, winning Best Country Performance for “Something in the Water.” It’s her seventh career win, and her sixth in a performance category (she has never won an album or songwriting race).

But poor Miranda Lambert still can’t catch a break. She lost her three pre-telecast nominations, with only Best Country Album left to be presented during the main Grammys show. She and Underwood lost Country Duo/Group to first-time winners The Band Perry for their cover of Glen Campbell‘s “Gentle on My Mind,” while Campbell won Country Song for “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” which is also nominated for an Oscar this year.

Speaking of the Oscars, last year’s winner for Best Documentary, “20 Feet from Stardom,” won the Grammy for Best Music Film, while upcoming Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris failed to add a Grammy to his growing awards collection. His Tony-winning Broadway show “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” failed to win Musical Theater Album, losing to the Carole King jukebox musical “Beautiful.”

Other legends got their due: Tony Bennett won yet another Traditional Pop Album award for “Cheek to Cheek,” alongside Lady Gaga. This is now the sixth time Barbra Streisand has lost the category to Bennett, and her 10th total loss without a win. And Joan Rivers won Best Spoken Word Album posthumously for “Diary of a Mad Diva.”

The day is off to a rocky start for Iggy Azalea. Her “Fancy” was upset in the Pop Duo/Group race by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera (“Say Something“), and she lost Best Rap Album to Eminem (“The Marshall Mathers LP 2“). That was Eminem’s sixth Rap Album victory, extending his Grammy record in that category.

Eminem also won Rap/Sung Collaboration with Rihanna (“The Monster“), but Kendrick Lamar got some Grammys payback. After his controversial losses to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis last year, he beat Eminem for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “I.”

Frozen” won twice: Visual Media Compilation and Visual Media Song (“Let It Go“). Weird Al Yankovic won Comedy Album for “Mandatory Fun.” Double Oscar-nominee Alexandre Desplat won Visual Media Score for the second time in his career, for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

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