The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards has officially been kicked off at Los Angeles' Staples Center on Sunday night, February 13. The opening performance, which is a tribute to Aretha Franklin, is introduced by LL Cool J. The likes of Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch, Yolanda Adams and Martina McBride took the center stage.
"I especially want to thank all of you who took the time to send me get well cards and flowers, beautiful flowers, and most importantly your prayers during my time of hospitalization," Aretha said of her absence at the awards show. "I wish I could have been with you tonight." She added, "But next year, OK?"
The first winner at the star-studded gala is Train - the band scoop Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for their live version of "Hey, Soul Sister". They beat "Glee" cast, Maroon 5, Paramore and Sade. "Thanks (to) Justin Bieber for not being in a duo or a group," lead singer Pat Monahan jokingly said.
Miranda Lambert, who sang "The House That Built Me" after Lady GaGa's performance, comes back to the stage to collect her Best Female Country Vocal Performance trophy for the same song she previously sang. She wins over Jewel Kilcher, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood and Gretchen Wilson. "First Grammy ever," she said.
A day before the Sunday live telecast, some early winners were announced at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party. Rihanna won Best Dance Recording for "Only Girl (In the World)". She wrote on Twitter, sharing it with her fans "CONGRATULATIONS #RihannaNavy!!!! We won a Grammy for BEST DANCE RECORDING!!!Only h* (sic) in the woooorrrrrlllldddd!!!!"
Lady GaGa got Best Short Form Music Video for "Bad Romance" clip. "Toy Story 3" music was named Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Eminem received Best Rap Solo Performance for "Not Afraid". Jay-Z brought home two awards already; Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, thanks to his duet with Alicia Keys in "Empire State of Mind".
Some of the early winners: