LOS ANGELES (Top40 Charts) - Singer Alicia Keys, one of last year's hottest new talents, has stolen Grammys glory from veteran rockers U2 after scooping five prizes from six nominations at the prestigious music awards ceremony.
Keys' hit Fallin' was named the best song, she was best new artist and she picked up three more awards in R&B categories at the Los Angeles ceremony.
U2, whose eight nominations had led the field, ended up winning four gongs, including best record for their single Walk On and best rock album for All That You Can't Leave Behind.
The bluegrass musicians who contributed to the film soundtrack for O Brother Where Art Thou? pulled off a surprise by winning four awards, including best album.
Coldplay, Destiny's Child, Linkin Park, Eric Clapton, Alison Krauss and Sade were among the other acts to be named winners at the biggest ceremony in the United States music calendar.
Singer songwriter Keys' victories completes her rise to stardom after her debut album Songs in A Minor was enthusiastically embraced by fans and critics alike in 2001. "This year has been incredible, thank you to the Grammys for this opportunity," she said. "This album was a lot of years in the making, a lot of struggle in the making. I would like to dedicate this to thinking out of the box, not being afraid to be who you are." The 21-year-old, who is a classically-trainer pianist, had been nominated in six categories and also performed a medley of songs from the album during the ceremony.
U2 won the first award of the night, for best song by a pop duo or group for Stuck in a Moment That You Can't Get Out Of, after leading the nominations with eight nods. "Being Irish, if you get eight nominations and got no awards they wouldn't let you back in the country," lead singer Bono said. "So this is a public safety issue."
U2, who won three Grammy in 2001, also won awards for vocal performances by a duo or group in both the pop and rock categories.
The victories for the team behind the O Brother film soundtrack reflects their success in bringing bluegrass, the style played with fiddles and banjos, to a wide audience. Featuring musicians including Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss, it was named best compilation as well as best album.
The Soggy Bottom Boys won best country collaboration with vocals for the song I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow while Ralph Stanley won best male country performance.
UK group Coldplay, who picked up a string of awards in their home country in 2001, were rewarded across the Atlantic with the Grammy for best alternative music album for Parachutes.
Canadian Nelly Furtado was rewarded for international chart success with the gong for best female pop vocal performance for her hit I'm Like a Bird.
Lenny Kravitz was named best male rock vocalist for the fourth year in a row, while Bob Dylan won best folk album, Ravi Shankar won for world music and Eric Clapton for pop instrumental.
Enya's A Day Without Rain followed chart success with the prize for best new age album, Janet Jackson's All For You was named best dance recording and UK soul star Sade won best pop vocal album.
Destiny's Child's Survivor won a R&B prize, Missy "Misdemeanour" Elliot's Get Ur Freak On was judged best rap solo and Usher's U Remind Me won best male R&B vocal performance.
But soul singer India Arie, who had been nominated for seven awards, went home empty-handed.
U2 opened the main ceremony with a performance of Walk On featuring gospel star Kirk Franklin. Bob Dylan and Alan Jackson were among the other stars to play at the ceremony, while Tony Bennett performed a duet with Billy Joel on New York State of Mind.
There was tight security at the Staples Center, with guests required to go through metal detectors and have their bags searched. The show is the US music world's answer to the Oscars and is expected to draw a worldwide television audience of 1.7 billion people.