THERE was more evidence of America's fixation with Susan Boyle last night as the West Lothian singer was credited by Grammys host Stephen Colbert with "saving" the recording industry.
• Beyonce was the big winner of the night (Getty)
It may have been delivered with tongue firmly in cheek, but it was further proof of just how fast Boyle's star has ascended on both sides of the Atlantic.
Comedian Colbert, himself honoured during the Los Angeles ceremony, told the assembled stars: "You may be the coolest people in the world.
"This year your industry was saved by a 48-year-old Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes."
Despite this tribute, Boyle was not among the winners on the night. It was Beyonce who stole the show, becoming the most decorated female as she collected six trophies, including song of the year for her anthem Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).
It was another diva – Taylor Swift – who nabbed the top honour, album of the year, for her best-selling Fearless.
Although Beyonce also lost out on record of the year, which went to the Kings of Leon's Use Somebody, the entertainer still owned the most awards of the evening.
She shared the song of the year trophy with three writers for Single Ladies and also won best R&B contemporary album for I Am ... Sasha Fierce.
"This has been such an amazing night for me and I'd love to thank the Grammys," Beyonce said after winning best female pop vocal for Halo.
Kings of Leon were a bit more entertaining when they picked up their record of the year trophy, the family quartet's third of the night.
"I'm not going to lie, we're all a little drunk. But we're happy drunks," said lead singer Caleb Followill.
Lady Gaga won two Grammys during the pre-telecast ceremony but didn't get a chance to show her multitude of outrageous dresses during the primetime show, losing out on record, song and album of the year.
But she made her presence felt when she kicked off the night with a sequined green leotard with massive shoulders as she sang her Grammy-nominated hit Poker Face, then brought out Elton John as they melded her song Speechless and his classic Your Song together in a performance that featured duelling pianos, and glitter-painted faces.
The Black Eyed Peas also had three trophies, as well as Jay-Z, who won for best rap solo performance and two awards for Run This Town with Rihanna and Kanye West.
Rihanna – who was forced to bow out of last year's awards as a performer after being assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, accepted the trophy along with Jay-Z and with Beyonce's young nephew in tow.
West – who has kept a relatively low profile since his dustup with Swift a few months back – was a notable no-show.
Many participants in the programme wore red cross buttons in support of Haiti earthquake relief.
Mary J. Blige joined Andrea Bocelli in a rousing rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water, which was not only designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song's big Grammy wins, but to raise money for the people in Haiti.
The performance, introduced by Haitian native Wyclef Jean, will be available via iTunes.com/target, with the funds going to earthquake relief.
The show also included a special 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson featuring a video clip he made of Earth Song as Usher, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson sang along.
Jackson's young children, Prince and Paris, accepted a lifetime achievement award for their late father.
"Through all his songs his message was simple, love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world," Prince said.
52nd Annual Grammy Awards: Full list of winners
Record of the Year: Use Somebody, Kings of Leon
Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift
Song of the Year: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On it), Beyonce Knowles
New Artist: Zac Brown Band
Pop Vocal Album: The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Peas
Female Pop Vocal Performance: Halo, Beyonce Knowles
Male Pop Vocal Performance: Make It Mine, Jason Mraz
Rock Album: 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day
Rock Song: Use Somebody, Kings of Leon
R&B Album: Blacksummers' night, Maxwell
R&B Song: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), Beyonce Knowles
Rap Album: Relapse, Eminem
Rap Song: Run This Town, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Run This Town, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West
Country Album: Fearless, Taylor Swift
Female Country Vocal Performance: White Horse, Taylor Swift
Male Country Vocal Performance: Sweet Thing, Keith Urban
Latin Pop Album: Sin Frenos, La Quinta Estacion
Contemporary Jazz Album: 75, Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate
Classical Album: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Traditional Gospel Album: Oh Happy Day, various artists
Dance Recording: Poker Face, Lady Gaga
Electronic Dance Album: The Fame, Lady Gaga
Alternative Music Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix
Spoken Word Album: Always Looking Up, Michael J. Fox
Comedy Album: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Stephen Colbert