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AFP - Musical odd couple Robert Plant and Alison Krauss stole the show at the Grammys Sunday, dominating the prestigious awards gala with their groundbreaking rock-country collaboration.
Led Zeppelin frontman Plant and country icon Krauss scooped five awards, including the coveted album of the year honor and record of the year prize for work stemming from their acclaimed "Raising Sand."
Other big winners at a star-studded show at Los Angeles's Staples Center included British supergroup Coldplay, which won three awards, including song of the year for "Viva la Vida", and rapper Lil Wayne, with four.
"I'd like to say I'm bewildered," Plant told the audience after collecting album of the year, the final award of the night. "In the old days we would have called this selling out, but it's a good way to spend a Sunday."
"It's been a wonderful time," added bluegrass queen Krauss, who has now won a staggering total of 26 Grammys during her career, a record for a female performer.
Plant and Krauss also won Grammys for best country collaboration with vocals, best pop collaboration, best contemporary folk/Americana album, and record of the year.
Coldplay's trio of awards came for song of the year, best pop performance by a group and best rock album for "Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends."
"Thank you and sorry for blatantly recycling the Sergeant Pepper album," Coldplay drummer Will Champion said after collecting the song of the year award, in comments directed at Beatles legend Paul McCartney.
Elsewhere, New Orleans star Lil Wayne's hopes of winning in the album of the year award were thwarted by Krauss and Plant.
However the diminutive rapper did win rap album of the year for "Tha Carter III". Lil Wayne's other awards included best rap performance and best rap song.
British singer-songwriter Adele won the Grammy award for best new artist here Sunday.
The 20-year-old Londoner pipped fellow Briton Duffy for the award, as well as fellow nominees Jonas Brothers, country group Lady Antebellum and Philadelphia soul singer Jazmine Sullivan.
"Thank you so much, I'm going cry," Adele said. "Duffy I love you, I think you're amazing. Jonas Brothers I love you as well," she added.
Meanwhile as the awards unfolded, a behind-the-scenes drama involving pop singer Rihanna forced organizers to make an 11th hour change to their star-studded line-up of artists due to perform.
Police in Los Angeles confirmed they were questioning Rihanna's boyfriend, singer-songwriter Chris Brown, in connection with an allegation of domestic violence.
The 20-year-old Barbados-born singer had been due to perform early in the show but organizers abruptly announced her withdrawal just before the event.
Rihanna's performance was hastily filled with a duet between Justin Timberlake and soul legend Al Green.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny that Rihanna was the victim in an alleged domestic violence incident.
Meanwhile, tragic singer Jennifer Hudson won the first Grammy of her career after triumphing in the best R&B album category.
Hudson, 27, who is re-emerging into the spotlight after the murders of her mother, brother and nephew last year, won for her album "Jennifer Hudson."
The former contestant on reality television show "American Idol" won a best supporting actress Oscar two years ago for her performance in "Dreamgirls."
"I don't really know what to say," said Hudson, her voice cracking with emotion after she received the award from Whitney Houston. "Wow, I'm just in awe right now.
"I would like to thank my family in heaven and those that are here today. I just don't know where to start. Everybody, thank you all."
Hudson later received a standing ovation for a barnstorming rendition of "You Pulled Me Through."
There were wins too for Alicia Keys, whose single "Superwoman" earned the best female R & B vocal performance, and Ne Yo, who won the equivalent male award for "Miss Independent."
Elsewhere there was a win for 83-year-old "King of the Blues" BB King, whose "One Kind Favor" won the best traditional blues album. The win was the 15th Grammy of King's epic four-decade-old career.
After gathering his award, the legendary Mississippi bluesman told reporters he had been delighted by the election of President Barack Obama.
"It makes me think that America is really growing up," King said. "America is becoming America."