While some artists were just winning praise and criticism for their Grammy red-carpet fashions, others were already racking up the gramophones in the categories announced before the show began.
In pre-telecast Grammy Awards, Coldplay got their night started early with a win in the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for "Viva la Vida." Weezer got in on the action with an award for their viral-rific "Pork and Beans" video. French dance act Justice won for their remix of MGMT's "Electric Feel," and producer-turned-label-boss Rick Rubin won for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his work on albums by Metallica, Neil Diamond, Ours, Jakob Dylan and Weezer.
Lil Wayne also got a couple of W's in his column early on, with trophies for "Lollipop" in the Best Rap Song category and Best Rap Solo Performance for "A Milli." And though Kanye West claimed he didn't want any more awards, he began loading them up before the big show started, with a Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration trophy for his hookup with Estelle on "American Boy." Weezy and 'Ye also had won for the Best Duo or Group Performance with Jay-Z and T.I. for "Swagga Like Us."
The White Stripes' Jack White took an award home for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for the Raconteurs' Consolers of the Lonely. The "Juno" soundtrack won for the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. And Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, who could have a big night, got the ball rolling early, with a pre-telecast win in the Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album for Raising Sand, as well as the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "Killing the Blues."
Things were also good for former "American Idol" contestant Carrie Underwood, who won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Last Name," which she also performed later on the show.
Mary J. Blige celebrated early, with a win for Best Contemporary R&B Album for Growing Pains. The production duo StarGate snagged Best R&B Song for their work on Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent" — which also won for Best R&B Vocal Performance. Will.I.Am won for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for his bit on Chrisette Michele's "Be OK."
Alicia Keys added to her Grammy shelf with a Best Female R&B Vocal Performance statue for her "Superwoman." Radiohead got some Grammy love early on for their landmark In Rainbows album, which won the Best Alternative Music Album, beating out a group that included Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Gnarls Barkley and My Morning Jacket. But they were thwarted in the Best Rock Song category — as were Coldplay, Kings of Leon and Death Cab, who all lost out to Bruce Springsteen's "Girls in Their Summer Clothes."
Metallica were no slouches, winning Best Metal Performance for "My Apocalypse," while the Mars Volta struck their first gold for "Wax Simulacra" in the Best Hard Rock Performance category. First-time nominees Kings of Leon didn't go home totally empty-handed: They beat Radiohead, the Eagles, Coldplay and AC/DC in the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for the raunchy "Sex on Fire." And talk about beating out stiff competition, John Mayer won Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for "Gravity," besting Paul McCartney, Springsteen, Eddie Vedder and Neil Young.
Daft Punk scored the Best Electronic/Dance Album for Alive 2007. They also sent Lady Gaga home empty-handed by winning in the Best Dance Recording category for "Harder Better Faster Stronger." And though the whole "ladies night" landslide that could have been wasn't shaping up early on, Duffy represented with a Best Pop Vocal Album win for Rockferry.
Will Lil Wayne grab all the gramophones? Is Katy Perry going to tell her girl rivals to kiss off? Can Coldplay march off with a win? MTV News is all over the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, so stay tuned for interviews, analysis and more before, during and after the big night.